50 for 50 Spotlight: The Honorable Jeffrey S. Boyd (JD ’91)

“My dream is for Pepperdine Law to become THE school that comes to mind for every prospective law student who wants to pursue not merely a law degree, but justice, faith, and public service.”

In honor of the fifty years of history at Pepperdine Law, we are recognizing the alumni whose Pepperdine past continues to pave the way for the present. Justice Boyd is a valuable member of our alumni community who continuously gives back to his alma mater as a member of the Board of Advisors, as a mentor, and for some, as a boss.

Just like the law school’s founding Dean Ronald Phillips and Pepperdine President Jim Gash, Boyd is a graduate of Abilene Christian University. He earned his law degree summa cum laude from Pepperdine Law in 1991, where he graduated second in his law school class. During his time in law school, Boyd served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review, was the winner of the School’s Fall Individual Advocacy Tournament, and received numerous American Jurisprudence Awards, the American Board of Trial Advocates Award, and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society Writing Award. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Thomas M. Reavley on the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Appointed by Governor Rick Perry, Justice Boyd joined the Texas Supreme Court on December 3, 2012.

Justice Boyd said, “I believe it was President Kennedy who once said ‘the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ I am compelled to live in a manner that demonstrates my appreciation for all that Pepperdine and its leaders, professors, and supporters have done for me. Because of Pepperdine (and, more specifically, people like Ron Phillips, Bob Cochran, Bernie James, and Janet Kerr), I learned not only to appreciate the law and the rule of law, but to work and live in the law in a way that supports and demonstrates my faith and values. More practically, I would never have gone to law school without the financial support made possible by Pepperdine’s scholarship donors. Because of my appreciation for the opportunity and preparation they all gave me, I feel I have no choice but to follow their example and do what I can to help others recognize and benefit from what Pepperdine offers.”

He added, “The 50th anniversary provides an opportunity to honor those whose faith and service have done so much to improve so many lives, and none deserves more honor than Dean Ron Phillips. If we can be just half the school he tried to make us, all that everyone has done and will yet do will be more than worth it.”

Justice Boyd represents those quintessential Pepperdine values of serving others, and one of the way he does so is through the creation of a strong network and opportunities for alumni. This fall, 2019 alumnus Beau Carter secured a role as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of Texas, a position he would describe as his dream job out of law school.

Beau said, “It’s been a huge blessing working with and learning from Justice Boyd. His dedication to service is evident in the way he works tirelessly on every case to make sure no stones goes unturned.” Beau continued, “He also cares a great deal about our experience clerking for him, giving us the insights that make the experience unique.” Best of all, Beau noted, is that Justice Boyd is always looking for an excuse to have lunch at Bert’s BBQ in Austin (where there’s famously a menu item named “The Judge” in his honor).

Justice Boyd pictured with 2019 graduate Beau Carter outside of Bert’s BBQ

With Taylor Campos

Justice Boyd with Zach Carstens (JD ’20)

Justice Boyd is also a member of the Pepperdine Law Board of Advisors which supports and advances the mission of the university by helping the School of Law achieve the highest standards of academic excellence and maintain its distinctive character. Board of Advisor members are recruited for their accomplishments within and service to their local, national and international communities.

Justice Boyd and his wife, Jackie, live in Austin and are parents to twin daughters, Hanna and Abbie, and a son, Carter.