Jerry Clements, JD '81

March 15, 2011
Jerry Clements

Partner/Chair, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP - Austin, Texas

Named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers by the National Law Journal, Clements serves as chair of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, a full-service law firm with offices in 11 cities around the U.S. and two international locations.

"Effective leadership in the field of law demands clear thought and a listening ear. I make a point of listening more than I talk. Law is a fascinating field, but it's complex and tough, fraught with argument and interpretation. My background at Baylor and my experience as a trial lawyer in the courtroom prepared me well to organize my thoughts, understand my position and be confident to stick with it no matter what. Don't get me wrong; there's room for flexibility, and definitely room for listening, but there's no room for weakness or wavering. Just like the judge and jury, your partners and team members can sense indecision. Effective leadership in law demands self-confidence and determination, but one also has to have a heart and an understanding of human nature.

"I entered Baylor Law School as a former special education teacher with no idea of what type of law I wanted to practice, just the idea that law school would be fun and a challenge. Baylor Law whipped me into shape fast. Baylor's legacy and traditions, its professors and students guided me to think on my feet and to make the courtroom my home. Baylor nourished my curiosity and helped instill in me a strong sense of loyalty to client and cause -- to treat each case as if it's the most important legal matter in the world. Baylor Law reinforced my sense of focus and purpose, and the people who guided me through that intense period of my life remain among my most memorable and influential role models."