On April 20, 2016, LCDLA in conjunction with the Texas Tech University School of Law awarded Jessica Eaton with the Clifford Brown Award. The award recognizes excellence as a student attorney in the Texas Tech Criminal Defense Clinic.
The award was named after local attorney Clifford Brown. The following tribute was contributed by local attorney and Clifford Brown’s son, Mike Brown.
CLIFFORD W. BROWN
Annually, the Lubbock Criminal Defense Lawyers Association recognizes the outstanding law student participating in the Texas Tech University School of Law criminal law clinical program. The award is presented by LCDLA in the name of Clifford W. Brown, long-time Lubbock Lawyer. The award in his name is particularly appropriate.
Cliff Brown was a 1942 graduate of Texas Technological College, and he remained a loyal Matador and Red Raider to his dying day. Although he graduated from another law school, Cliff was particularly proud of Tech’s law school and was fond of the law students. He was proud of Tech.
Upon graduation from Tech, Cliff Brown joined the United States Army Air Corps and became a B17 bomber pilot in World War II. He flew 51 combat missions over enemy territory from the base of the 15th Air Force in Foggia, Italy. First Lieutenant Brown was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bringing a crippled bomber back from a mission over Germany, returning over the Italian Alps and landing safely with a flaming engine but a safe crew.
Following the war, Cliff graduated from the University of Texas School of Law, in an accelerated program, with the aid of the GI Bill. Upon graduation, Cliff returned to Lubbock and entered the private practice of law with Burton S. Burks, a former elected District Attorney. From his first day in the practice of law, Cliff Brown was an advocate for the citizen accused. He eventually tried cases from the municipal court of Lorenzo, Texas, to the Untied States Supreme Court. He was recognized for his outstanding performance in the courtroom and his unimpeachable character. He became a friend and mentor to many young lawyers and law students. He was truly a lawyer’s lawyer.
During his practice, Clifford Brown advised lawyers on the practice of law and matters of legal ethics. He served as a member of the grievance committee and chairman of the local ethics committee. Many times other lawyers called on him for assistance or advice. On occasions, Cliff represented his colleagues before the grievance committee. On more than one occasion, he represented a fellow attorney indicted for a criminal offense.
Clifford Brown was a founding member and Past President of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Cliff was a founding member and past president of LCDLA. He was the founder of the TCDLA Hall of Fame program, and was, himself, inducted as a member of the Hall of Fame.
It is particularly appropriate that the LCDLA award to an outstanding law student is presented in the name of Clifford W. Brown. Early after the opening of the Tech law School, Cliff employed several law students as law clerks and continued to do so until his retirement. Some outstanding members of TCDLA once clerked for Cliff Brown. Cliff had a special affection for the students. He encouraged them, mentored them and convinced them to enter the practice of criminal law. He counseled law students during difficult personal circumstances. Cliff’s affection and encouragement of law students was repaid many times over. Cliff sent dozens of young lawyers into the honorable practice of law. His graduates have achieved distinction. Clifford W. Brown would be proud of the outstanding students of the Texas Tech University School of Law and its criminal law clinical program.