Claudine Jackson - Finalist
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is proud to recognize Claudine Germain Jackson as a Finalist for the first ever ABA YLD National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
The second oldest of four girls, Ms. Jackson primarily grew up on military bases in Europe. After completing her high school education in Texas, Ms. Jackson attended college and law school at Baylor University. She finished in the Top 30% of her class. Bradley J.B. Toben, Dean of Baylor’s Law School, writes that “[Ms. Jackson] is not only one of the finest young lawyers going, but even more importantly, one of the finest persons whom I have ever had the privilege of knowing.”
After graduating from law school, Ms. Jackson moved to Fort Worth, Texas, to begin practicing law. There, she married Greg Jackson, a fellow lawyer. She is now the very proud mother of a five-year-old son, Grant, and a three-year-old daughter, Sarah. A friend and former co-worker of Ms. Jackson says that she “should be admired for her ability to balance her career and family with such grace. She is a loving and dedicated mother and wife, always putting her family first, yet successfully fulfilling the demands of her practice.”
Ms. Jackson began her law practice in January of 1996 with the firm of Bourland, Kirkman & Seidler. Within a few months, she argued her first case before the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. Shortly thereafter she, unassisted, tried her first two jury trials, one a personal injury matter for the plaintiff and the other a dissolution of a partnership for the defense. One of her supervising attorneys from that firm says “it was immediately apparent that Claudine was special. She asked the right questions, made the right decisions and zealously represented her clients. But she also had that certain spark of a lawyer who ‘gets it.’”
In 1998 Ms. Jackson was asked to join the firm of Watson, Caraway, Harrington, Nelson, Midkiff & Lunningham, L.L.P. At this new firm she became intimately involved in the development, strategy and litigation of multi-party cases in areas of medical malpractice and nursing home defense. Brooks Harrington, her former supervising attorney at that firm, describes Ms. Jackson as being “one of the very most able and committed young lawyers I have EVER encountered. She is, to use a cliché a ‘natural’ as a litigator. She is the kind of person who makes a witness want to help and agree with her, an attribute which a lawyer either has or has not, and which, as you know, is often the key to obtaining helpful testimony.”
In her fifth year of practice, Ms. Jackson was recruited by Brackett & Ellis, P.C. to assist in the defense of a variety of medical malpractice claims throughout Texas. In 2001 she was presented with an opportunity to go in-house as Senior Legal Counsel for Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., where she managed the company’s non-product liability litigation and directed, developed and implemented Bell’s legal activities related to employment and labor issues. But, she was not ready to give up her development as a trial lawyer and returned to Brackett & Ellis, P.C. after a year. In 2005, she was unanimously voted in as the youngest shareholder her firm has ever selected.
Ms. Jackson’s reputation as a trial lawyer continues to grow. Peter J. Molinelli, a Florida trial attorney for whom Ms. Jackson has served as local counsel for in several nursing home cases, says that “we specifically requested Claudine to serve as our local counsel in all of our Texas cases. All of these matters are extremely high dollar, volatile, and complex litigation. We have complete trust and faith in Claudine’s abilities.” A New York attorney that has hired Ms. Jackson describes her as having “an engaging personality” and as being “extremely bright and articulate. Despite her relatively young age and soft-spoken demeanor, she is a compelling and convincing advocate on behalf of her clients and she is certainly among the best of the hundreds of attorneys in the field whom I have observed during the last several years.”
Ms. Jackson has received numerous professional awards. In 2006 and 2007 she was recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer-Rising Star. In addition, she was named as a Top Attorney by Fort Worth , Texas magazine in 2005 and 2007 in the area of employment/labor law and in 2006 in the area of medical malpractice defense. She was also named the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas and the Outstanding Young Lawyer of Tarrant County in 2007. Richard L. Bourland says that he considers “her the best young lawyer I have ever had the privilege of working with in my 36 years as a Texas attorney.”
Ms. Jackson is a dedicated community volunteer and leader. For over 13 years, beginning with an internship and subsequent clerkship with Heart of Texas Legal Services while a student at Baylor School of Law, Ms. Jackson has tirelessly served her community by providing legal services to the poor. While active in the local young lawyers’ organization, Ms. Jackson started the Liberation Pro Bono Legal Clinic. This Clinic provides legal services on a weekly basis to people that cannot afford counsel. Ms. Jackson represented clients of the Clinic almost every time the Clinic was open and was the driving force behind the Clinic’s longevity.
Ms. Jackson also served for seven years as a member of the Private Attorney Involvement Board for West Texas Legal Services and is currently serving on a new Women’s Advocacy Project for that organization. She also served at the state-wide level on the Texas Legal Services Center Board of Directors from 1999 until 2002. Ms. Jackson was a member of the State Bar of Texas’ Pro Bono College in 2002 and 2003, which requires an attorney to perform a minimum of 75 hours of qualified pro bono legal services in one year.
In addition to her pro bono service, Ms. Jackson served from 2002 until 2005 as a member of the Harris Health Exchange, a business leader group under the umbrella of the Harris Methodist Health Foundation. She has also served as a judge for Fort Worth’s Teen Court. She was recently selected as a member of the Leadership Fort Worth Class for 2007-08.
Service to the Bar
Ms. Jackson is also a dedicated leader of the Fort Worth bar. She began her service with the Fort Worth – Tarrant County Young Lawyers Association in 1997 as a Director, a position she held for two years. During this time she served as Chair of the organization’s primary fundraising committee and of its Reading Power Club. In 1998, Ms. Jackson was elected Secretary of the organization and subsequently served as Vice-President, President-Elect and President.
According to Patricia Graham, Executive Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association, “during her presidency, Claudine provided leadership to her Board and the YLA membership. Among her accomplishments as President, she enhanced the monthly newsletter of the Association and its timely delivery to the membership.” In addition to revamping the newsletter, Ms. Jackson implemented the organization’s first-ever Self Management Seminar, which addressed financial management, stress reduction, professional image, and health and fitness. She also helped to continue the organization’s many projects, including CLE luncheons, a golf tournament, a Christmas project for low-income children, the High School Mock Trial Competition, social events, and Suit Up for Success, an interview seminar and clothing drive for low-income individuals.
In 1999-2000 Ms. Jackson served as a Director of the Tarrant County Bar Association. Throughout the years, she has also served on various TCBA committees, including the Fundraising Committee, the initial TCBA’s Professionalism Award Committee, and the Law Day Committee.
Ms. Jackson has also been involved on the statewide level. She has chaired local committees promoting projects of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and has assisted with many other TYLA projects, including Aspiring Youth, Get Out The Vote, and We the Jury. She was also a presenter at the TYLA’s Bar Leaders Conference and a speaker for a segment on TYLA’s Ten-Minute Mentor Series.
Ms. Jackson is also a lifetime member of Baylor’s Law School Alumni Association, a Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Association and a member of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute.
In conclusion, Claudine Germain Jackson has tirelessly served her clients, her community and her profession for the past eleven years. She has demanded the best of herself and inspired others around her to do the same. She has many admirers and friends and is a highly-respected professional. As one fellow attorney and friend wrote about her, “In addition to being a great lawyer and committed public servant, Claudine is a great friend and an extremely devoted mother and wife. I know that she works extremely hard in maintaining and achieving a balance with all these aspects of her life, sacrificing much of her own time and a good night’s sleep to ensure that she is always there for her family while also making sure her clients are well taken care of; balancing being the best trial attorney she can be with making time for bedtime stories and breakfast in the morning with her children.”
Or, as her former supervising attorney, Brooks Harrington, declared, “I am sure that every candidate for this award is worthy, and that every candidacy is supported by letters as glowing as this one. In fact, I hope this to be the case, for the sake of the future of our profession. But I can assure the Committee this about Claudine: In the years to come, whether she wins this award or not, Claudine Jackson will distinguish herself increasingly as an absolutely top-notch litigator and counselor, a legal professional who actively provides care and service to people in need, and as a woman who, with the support of her husband, has achieved a seemingly impossible balance among the demands of being a successful litigator, mother, wife and child of God.”
The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division is honored to recognize Claudine Germain Jackson as a Finalist for the ABA YLD National Outstanding Young Lawyer Award. She is an amazing lawyer, community servant, and leader of the profession.