Each year during Pro Bono Week, which is celebrated nationwide in October, the law school honors two outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to public service.
Liz-Huntley Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley has become a well-known child advocate in Alabama. A 1997 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, Liz serves on several boards, including Leadership Alabama Board of Directors, Children’s First Foundation Board of Directors, Children’s Village Board of Directors, Alabama School Readiness Alliance and Project Gear (President and Co-Founder).
In 1994, while beginning her first year in law school, Mrs. Huntley co-founded Project GEAR in Chilton County. Project GEAR is a non-profit organization which works to remove barriers to learning from at-risk youth. Mrs. Huntley has received statewide recognition for her work with the youth in Chilton County. After being featured in articles in the Alabama Lawyer and the Addendum, the Alabama State Bar adopted a resolution honoring her efforts.
Mrs. Huntley’s drive for creating a program for the youth in her county came from her pre-law school internship with A+, The Coalition for Better Education. While at A+, Mrs. Huntley worked at the grassroots level and traveled the state to promote a better quality of education for the children of Alabama. She also served as the Education Liaison to the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus.
Following law school, Liz served as Law Clerk to both the Honorable U.W. Clemon, United States District Court Northern District of Alabama, and the Honorable John Bush, 19th Judicial Circuit, State of Alabama. When Liz was a solo practitioner in Chilton County, she served as one of the County’s Guardian Ad Litem attorneys representing abused and neglected children. She currently practices at Lightfoot, Franklin and White in Birmingham and participates in the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Volunteer Lawyers Program for the Alabama State Bar.
An active alumnus of the University of Alabama School of Law, Liz now serves as Vice-Chair of the law school’s Board of Trustees for Farrah Law Society. She was also recently appointed to the Board of Trustees for Auburn University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.
We are proud to count Liz Huntley among our distinguished graduates.
A 1964 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, William J. (“Bill”) Baxley II has made important contributions to public service in Alabama.
William-Baxley Bill Baxley was elected Alabama Attorney General at age 28. He served as Attorney General from 1971 to 1979, and Lieutenant Governor from 1983 to 1987. As Attorney General, Mr. Baxley appointed the state’s first African-American assistant attorney general, who later became a federal judge. His successful prosecution of Ku Klux Klansman Robert Chambliss for the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is featured in the Spike Lee documentary, 4 Little Girls. His legal accomplishments are also documented in Lay Down with Dogs, Until Justice Rolls Down, and numerous other publications.
Throughout his career, Mr. Baxley has served in the Alabama Army National Guard, beginning as an enlisted clerk and rising through the ranks to retire as a Colonel in the JAG Corps. In 1979, he founded the firm known today as Baxley, Dillard, McKnight & James. Mr. Baxley has successfully represented clients in the United States Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, and in appellate and trial courts over which they exercise jurisdiction. He has been selected as a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, as well as being recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer.
Mr. Baxley has spoken to groups around the country about his role in prosecuting the Sixteenth Street church bombing case, and has been particularly active in re-telling this important story during 2013, the 50th anniversary of the bombing. Earlier this year, Mr. Baxley was awarded the Order of the Samaritan by the University of Alabama School of Law, the highest public service honor bestowed by the law school.
We are proud to count Bill Baxley among our distinguished graduates.