St. Mary’s University School of Law honored Bexar County Probate Judge Polly Jackson Spencer and Houston attorney Charles A. Beckham, Jr. as the 2010 St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduates at an awards dinner Friday, Oct. 22 at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel, 402 W. Market Street. The annual award is given to two individuals with outstanding achievements in the legal profession and dedicated service to St. Mary’s School of Law.

“In their respective areas, Judge Spencer and Mr. Beckham have risen to the top of the legal field, not solely for their brilliant legal minds, but also for their untiring dedication as community servants,” said Charles E. Cantú, St. Mary’s University School of Law Dean. “They join past honorees as some of our brightest graduates who continue to bring respect and esteem to our alma mater.”

Spencer has served as judge for Bexar County Probate Court, Number One since 1990. She graduated from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1976 and began her career with Fulbright and Jaworski in Houston. She is a fellow of both the Texas Bar Foundation and San Antonio Bar Foundation. She served as a member of the Supreme Court Task Force on Judicial Appointments for the State of Texas, chair of Bexar County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Advisory Committee, and member of the Policy Maker Task Force for the Integration of Behavioral Health Care in Bexar County.

An accomplished attorney with more than 25 years experience, Charles A. Beckham, Jr. is a partner with Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston.  Beckham specializes in bankruptcy, business restructuring and energy issues. He graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1979. At St. Mary’s he served as Articles Editor of the acclaimed St. Mary’s Law Journal. For the past five years, he has been recognized by Chambers USA as one of the leading practitioners in Texas for bankruptcy.

The Distinguished Law Graduate Award Dinner was hosted by St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association President Elizabeth Rogers and Cantú. Last year’s winners were Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Parker Hervey and U.S. Congressman Michael McCaul. Other past winners include Justice Paul W. Green, Judge Carol R. Haberman Knight-Sheen, U.S. Representative Charles A. Gonzalez, Senator John Cornyn, Paul E. Casseb, Jack Paul Leon, Frank Herrera and U.S. Representative Henry B. Gonzalez.

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