Mike McKool, a founder and Chairman of McKool Smith, and firm principal Sam Baxter have been recognized as “Legends of the 500” by Lawdragon based on their inclusion in the Lawdragon 500 listing of the “Leading Lawyers in America” for 10 consecutive years. Mr. McKool and Mr. Baxter are two of only 41 lawyers who are recognized as Lawdragon Legends this year. 

The Lawdragon 500 covers all practice areas and geographic regions, including lawyers from private practices of all sizes, businesses, governments, law schools and public interest organizations. Selections are primarily based on Lawdragon’s own editorial research, though submissions from law firms and other organizations and votes through an online form are contributing factors as well. According to the publication, the Legends are “a dazzling array of law firm leaders, plaintiff icons, Supreme Court justices, corporate counsel and public interest attorneys.”

As Chairman and a Founder of McKool Smith, Mike McKool is largely responsible for creating what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.”  Over the course of his 40-year career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials and developed an enhanced understanding of the psychology that governs how juries decide cases.  Mike is consistently recognized as one of the country’s leading trial lawyers by legal directories such as Chambers USA, Chambers Global, The Legal 500, and Benchmark Litigation, among others. In May 2016, he was named an “Icon of IP” by Law360 for his role in shaping today’s IP landscape and making an “indelible mark” in the area of intellectual property litigation. Last year, Mr. McKool was also profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized his “reputation as one of the country’s top trial lawyers.”  The article notes that he is “one of the best closers in the business” and “clients bring him in when a trial appears inevitable and they can't afford to lose."  He is also described as having “unrelenting focus and preparation in the run-up to a trial, which is rare in its intensity.” Also, in 2015, Mr. McKool received the Texas Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award for "Professional Excellence."  He was included in Benchmark Litigation’s listing of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America,” and received the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Texas Law Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to the legal profession.  He is the recipient of the 2014 Texas Lawyer "Top Verdicts Hall of Fame" Lifetime Achievement Award and the Dallas Bar Association “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award.

Sam Baxter’s unique ability to connect with jurors and skillfully cross-examine witnesses has helped him secure significant verdicts for clients, including four verdicts which have been recognized in The National Law Journal’s annual listing of “Top 100 Verdicts.” He is consistently recognized among the top lawyers in his field by many of the country’s leading legal publications and rankings, including Chambers USA, The Legal 500, and Lawdragon. In January 2016, he was recognized as an "Icon of IP" by Law360 based on his reputation and success in high-profile patent infringement disputes. Last year, Mr. Baxter was profiled in Law360’s “Trial Aces” special feature, which recognized the Top 50 trial lawyers in the United States. The publication noted that Mr. Baxter has a “charm” and an “ability to touch the hearts of jurors.”  This same year, he was awarded 2015 "Outstanding IP Litigator - Texas" by Managing IP, and included in Benchmark Litigation's listing of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America.” Law360 has recognized Mr. Baxter as one of the "10 Most Admired Intellectual Property Attorneys" in the country, and he was recently named the 2016 Best Lawyers patent litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in Tyler, Texas.

With more than 180 trial lawyers across offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Marshall, New York, Silicon Valley, and Washington, D.C., McKool Smith has established a reputation as one of America’s leading trial firms. Since 2006, the firm has secured nine nine-figure jury verdicts, and ten eight-figure jury verdicts. The firm has also won more VerdictSearch and The National Law Journal "Top 100 Verdicts" over the last ten years than any other law firm in the country. Courtroom successes like these have earned McKool Smith critical acclaim and helped the firm become what The Wall Street Journal describes as “one of the biggest law firm success stories of the past decade.” McKool Smith represents clients in complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, bankruptcy, and white collar defense matters.


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