The scholarship is awarded annually to a second-year SMU law student who has demonstrated leadership qualities consistent with the values embraced by Mr. McCleary, a former Gardere managing partner. Mr. McCleary, who passed away in 1996, served as Gardere's managing partner from 1991 through 1995. His vision for Gardere included participation in local, state and national public affairs, humanitarian activities and pro bono work. He established many of the community outreach programs that have become a hallmark of the firm, including the Annual Gardere MLK Jr. Oratory Competition, which celebrates 20 years in 2012.
In just two years, Ms. Bennett has already demonstrated her scholarship and leadership at SMU by, among other accomplishments, serving as an SMU Law Review Staff Editor and co-chairing the Judges Committee for the SMU Dedman School of Law 1L Jackson Walker Moot Court Competition. When accepting the scholarship, she acknowledged how great it was to receive the award in Don McCleary’s honor.
Gardere managing partner Steve Good presented the scholarship to Ms. Bennett at the annual Dallas Bar Foundation Fellows luncheon on March 30.
"Tamara’s leadership abilities, involvement in law school and commitment to the community are impressive,"
"I think Don would be proud of his legacy, including the fact that he continuously serves as a source of inspiration to all of us,” adds Mr. Good.
Previous recipients of the McCleary scholarship were Rebekah Bailey in 2010, Amy Binks Sanderson in 2009 and Ausra Laurusaite-Kromelis in 2008.
Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, an AmLaw 200 firm founded in 1909 and one of the Southwest's largest full-service law firms, has offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Mexico City. Gardere provides legal services to private and public companies and individuals in areas of government affairs, energy, litigation, corporate, tax, environmental, labor and employment, intellectual property and financial services.