Leah Witcher Jackson Teague
Professor of Law
Professor Leah Teague comes from a three-generation Baylor Law family. She followed in her father’s and brother’s footsteps and attended Baylor University (1983, B.B.A., summa cum laude). After earning her J.D. cum laude in 1985, she entered private practice with the Waco law firm of Naman Howell Smith & Lee, where she practiced for four years in the firm’s business section. Her primary focus was tax planning which led her to teach tax and business classes after joining the faculty.
She recently stepped down as the Associate Dean, a position she held for almost 30 years, a feat quite uncommon considering the average tenure in legal education is three to six years. She currently serves as the Director of Business Law Programs, a position she assumed in order to expand opportunities for our students and elevate the national and regional profile of Baylor Law’s business and transactional programs.
Professor Teague also currently co-teaches the Leadership Engagement and Development course, which is part of Baylor Law’s unique Leadership Development Program. Teague will continue to work on enhancing the leadership development and professional formation of our students while working on a national level to better prepare future lawyers for the important roles lawyers are expected to assume as leaders and difference-makers in our society.
Recognizing that being a lawyer is a privilege that requires her to give back to society, she spends significant time in service to the profession and her community. She has been heavily involved in worthy efforts from local to national organizations. On a national level, she was instrumental in the creation of a new section within the American Association of Law Schools. The AALS Section for Leadership was created to promote scholarship, teaching, and related activities that will help prepare lawyers and law students to be better prepared to serve in positions of influence and impact as lawyers. She served as Chair of the Section in 2020 and continues to play a vital role in the continuing development and growth of the section.
She served as an appointed member of the American Council on Education's Women Network Executive Council, a national advisory council to the Women's State Network, where she chaired the council’s New Initiative Committee which led its Moving the Needle Initiative aimed at increasing the national awareness of the economic and social benefits of, and therefore importance of, greater diversity in leadership. She also joined other academic leaders from the U.S. and abroad to discuss the status of women leaders in society when she was invited to participate in two Oxford Round Tables.
In Texas, she currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Federal Tax Institute. Appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas, she served on the Professional Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Texas. She is an elected member of the Texas Bar Foundation. She is an alumnae of the Leadership Texas, as well as the Leadership America program. She was selected as a Woman of Distinction by the Blue Bonnet Council of Girl Scouts. She was the founding co-chair of the Texas Women in Higher Education, Inc.
Locally, Teague serves on the board of directors for Start Up Waco, a non-profit created to lead Waco’s entrepreneurial support efforts and elevate Waco as a hub for business innovation. She chairs its Governance Committee. She is a past president of the Waco McLennan County Bar Association. She has been actively involved in organizations that support the education of the community's young people. As a founding member of the Greater Waco Community Education Alliance leadership team, she worked with other community leaders to increase the community's active involvement in supporting the education of every student in the greater Waco community. She was also a founding member of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD program which provides promising high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds with a mentor from the business community. She was a founding member of the Midway Education Foundation board of directors. She served as a member of Waco ISD's Partners in Education Advisory Board. She taught Sunday school for elementary and intermediate grade school children for over 15 years. She was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus for Leadership Waco and a Distinguished Alumni of Midway High School. She served as the chair of the American Heart Association Waco Heart Walk.
She writes and speaks on tax, business, non-profit, and leadership topics and she is frequently asked to give motivational speeches to youth delivering a message that emphasizes the importance of education, commitment, and perseverance in pursuing their dreams.
When her daughters were young, she spent significant time assisting her two daughters' softball and volleyball teams. "We spent countless nights and weekends practicing and training, and we traveled to more places than I can remember, but I treasure every experience with them, even my broken fingers and other minor injuries along the way. My daughters and I learned many valuable life lessons through their athletic experiences. I’m so proud of what they accomplished. Not many mothers can brag about having a daughter who was the winning pitcher for four Little League World Series Championship Teams. I’m even more proud of the incredible professional women they have become." Both of her daughters, as well as her son-in-law, graduated from Baylor University with advanced degrees. One of her daughters is a graduate of Baylor Law.
Professor Teague also believes in heart-healthy living. She participated in numerous triathlons, marathons, and trail runs and currently does Spartan events. She remembers her first full marathon and her first full Ironman triathlon as some of her most challenging experiences in life. "Endurance races are true tests of your physical and mental tenacity. When my son-in-law first said we should sign up for an Ironman (swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles, and run 26. 2 miles) I told him he was crazy! That sounded impossible. Finding the training time, as well as the resolve, to push one's body to its physical limits and beyond while meeting all your professional and personal commitments was a daunting juggling act," she adds, "but training with good friends and my son-in-law – as well as that feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line – made it all worthwhile." She still enjoys running and other outdoor activities.
Teague and her husband Ted are active members of the Waco community. Professor Teague also enjoys oil painting, cooking, baking, traveling, and time with her children and grandchildren, which is a high priority and joy.
- SSRN Author Page
- Growing Number of Leadership Programs and Courses Supports Professional Identity Formation (forthcoming in the Santa Clara Law Review’s 2021 Leadership Symposium Issue).
- Leah Teague & Stephen Rispoli, The Study of Leadership Theories: Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born, ABA Law Practice Magazine (Nov/Dec. 2021).
- Making Progress in Legal Education: Leadership Development Training in Law Schools, 73 Baylor Law Rev 1 (2021).
- Leah W. Teague, Elizabeth M. Fraley & Stephen Rispoli, Fundamentals of Lawyer Leadership (2021).
- Elizabeth M. Fraley & Leah Witcher Jackson Teague, Where the Rubber Hits the Road: How do Law Schools Demonstrate a Commitment to Training Leaders? 14 TENN. J. OF L. & POL. 434 (2020).
- Donald J. Polden & Leah Jackson Teague, More Diversity Requires More Inclusive Leaders Leading By Example in Law Organizations, 48 HOFSTRA L. REV. 681-703 (2020).
- Training Lawyers as Leaders Blog
- What LSSSE Data Can Teach Us About Developing Our Law Students for Influence and Impact as Leaders
- Society Needs Lawyers Equipped for Ethical Leadership and Service: The Role of Law Schools in Character Development, The Character of the University Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture, Waco, Tx (October 18, 2019).
- Lawyers as Leaders: Community Engagement and Leadership Benefits All, 81 Tex. B. J. 88 (2018).
- Training Lawyers for Leadership: Vitally Important Mission for the Future Success (and maybe survival) of the Legal Profession and Our Democracy, 58 SANTA CLARA L REV 633 (2018).
- Getting Grittier, Growing Your Mindset and Developing Resilience
- Higher Education Plays Critical Role in Society: More Women Leaders Can Make a Difference
- American Council on Education’s IDEALS for Women Leaders: Identify, Develop, Encourage, Advance, Link, and Support, WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP IN HIGHER EDUCATION 61-78 (Information Age Publishing 2014). Women and Leadership in Higher Education
- Networking to Leadership in Higher Education: National and State-Based Programs and Networks for Developing Women
- Educate the Women and You Change the World: Investing in the Education of Women is the Best Investment in a Country’s Growth and Development, Forum on Public Policy (2009)
- Won the Legal Battle, but at What Tax Cost to Your Client: Tax Consequences of Contingency Fee Arrangements Leading up to and After Commissioner v. Banks
Leadership Engagement & Development