Celebrating Black History Month 2023
During Black History Month, we recognize the achievements of SMU Law alumni who have made large impacts on our school and in society. Read below to learn about some of our exceptional alumni that are changing the world.
Judge Earldean V.S. Robbins '61
Judge Joan Tarpley Winn '68
District Attorney John Creuzot ’82
District Attorney John Creuzot ’82 served 21 years as a felony district court judge and is currently the Dallas County District Attorney. In 2000, he won the Distinguished Alumni Award for Public Interest from the law school. He has received numerous other awards for leadership and community service.
John K. Pierre '85
Vicki Blanton '91
Claire Babineax-Fontenot ’92
Clement Osimetha ‘95
Toni Y. Hickey '98
A. Shonn Evans Brown ’98
Judge Tonya Parker '98
Judge Tonya Parker ’98 was elected in 2010 and presides over the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas County. She is recognized at the local, state and national levels for her contributions to the legal community. In addition to numerous other awards, the Dallas Bar Association awarded Judge Parker the Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award in recognition of the barriers she has broken in the legal community and her commitment to the principal of equal justice under the law.
Judge Parker serves on the SMU Dedman School of Law Executive Board and is a past recipient
of the Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service.
Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire L.L.M. ’03
Christa Brown-Sanford '04
Christa Brown-Sanford ‘04 is co-chair of the Intellectual Property Department at Baker Botts. She also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is an adjunct professor at SMU Dedman School of Law where she teaches patent licensing and enforcement, in addition to patent prosecution courses. In 2019, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the law school.
Sanford serves on the SMU Law Executive Board and on the SMU Board of Trustees. She recently completed serving as the President for the Junior League of Dallas, during the League's Centennial year.
Judge Shelton Gibbs '05
Yulise Reaves Waters ’08
Yulise Reaves Waters ’08 is the Chief Innovations Officer of Lone Star Justice Alliance, a nonprofit legal organization that works to improve the lives of youth and emerging adults in the justice system. Previously, Waters was an Assistant City Attorney and Lead Community Courts Prosecutor for the City of Dallas where she co-founded the Second Chance Community Improvement Program (SCCIP) in 2014 which became the first-ever felony community court in Dallas County and the first-ever young adult specialty court in the State of Texas. She is a graduate of the 2019-2020 inaugural Dallas Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Racial Equity Now Cohort. Waters is the recipient of numerous honors including the Black Alumni of SMU’s History Maker Award and the SMU Law Distinguished Alumni Award.
Cedric A Powell '09
Brittany K. Barnett '11
Dr. Juanita DeLoach '12
She serves on the Board of Directors for Girls Embracing Mothers, Inc. and High-Tech High Heels North Texas, an organization focused on closing the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math.