Attorney Jack Dunbar Named School of Law Alumnus of the Year

OXFORD, Miss. – While Jack Dunbar already has been recognized numerous times for his professional achievements, none of those honors compare with being named the 2010 Alumnus of the Year of the University of Mississippi School of Law.


Aleita Sullivan, president of the Law Alumni Chapter board of directors, congratulates Jack Dunbar on being named the 2010 Alumnus of the Year of the University of Mississippi School of Law.

“I was absolutely surprised receiving the award,” said Dunbar, who was presented the honor at the UM Law Alumni Association luncheon during the annual Mississippi Bar Association Convention. “As the background on the recipient was being read, it occurred to me, ‘I think I know this guy.'”

Co-founder of Holcomb Dunbar P.A. of Oxford, the honoree was also recently presented the Mississippi Bar Foundation’s 2010 Professionalism Award. Considered the organization’s highest honor, the accolade is given to an attorney whose life, practice and service display outstanding character and integrity.

UM law school deans past and present were present at the ceremony, and they agreed Dunbar is most deserving of his recognitions.

“Jack was an obvious choice for this award,” said Dean Emeritus Samuel Davis. “He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the legal profession, both in Mississippi and nationally. And he has been a loyal supporter of the law school and its programs.”

“Jack Dunbar epitomizes the very best of our profession,” Dean Richard Gershon said. “The fact that Jack Dunbar is an alum of the University of Mississippi School of Law makes all of us proud to be associated with the law school.”

Aleita Sullivan of Mendenhall, president of the UM Law Alumni Chapter board of directors, said Dunbar has been “a model alumnus.”

“From financial donations to serving as an adjunct professor, he continually provides the type of support that is crucial to our school’s growth,” Sullivan said before presenting Dunbar his award. “He has also provided leadership to the University of Mississippi by serving as president of the UM Foundation’s board of directors.”

An Indianola native, Dunbar earned his bachelor’s in political science at Millsaps College before enrolling in the Georgetown University School of Law. He later transferred to the UM law school, where he was a member of the Mississippi Law Journal and served as student body president before graduating at the top of his class.

After earning his Juris Doctor degree, Dunbar began his legal career in the Mississippi Delta. Later, he returned to Oxford and established his own practice. Over the course of his 40-year career, he earned a reputation as one of the state’s most respected trial lawyers. He has been included in every issue of “The Best Lawyers in America” since its inception and has been selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Mississippi by Mid-South Super Lawyers.

“A law degree opens so many opportunities to the graduate; not just in the practice of law, but in business, government and academics,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar has served as president of both the Mississippi Bar and the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents. While serving as the state’s delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, he was a member of the ABA Board of Governors and chaired the Operations Committee. Dunbar is also a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Bar Foundation and the Mississippi Bar Foundation.

For his role in helping negotiate a contract between Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. and the Lafayette County Community Hospital, Dunbar was awarded the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award in 1990.

Dunbar credits his alma mater as having been instrumental to his success.

“I am and will be forever grateful for my legal education at the University of Mississippi School of Law,” he said. “I am also very grateful for the many lifetime friends I have, both from the law school experience and from the profession. Ole Miss law was a life-changing experience for me.”

For more information about the School of Law, visit or call 662-915-7361.