Chip Babcock’s desire to become a top lawyer with First Amendment fluency grew from a childhood passion. As a toddler, he followed his father who, worked for the New York Herald Tribune, for visits to the paper’s pressroom. The rush of the newsroom lingered, fueling his launch of a neighborhood newsletter at the age of 11. He later served as the editor of his school newspapers from elementary through 12th grade, and worked in The Miami Herald’s newsroom part time during high school and during the summer throughout high school and college. In college, he worked as a sports director for Brown University’s radio station WBRU, and then moved onto The Philadelphia Inquirer as a sports writer after graduation, after turning down offers from Sports Illustrated and The Miami Herald.
The skills Chip Babcock developed as a journalist made for a natural transition to becoming a top lawyer. He found that his reporter’s instincts for reading people, getting the facts, and telling a compelling story served him well in the courtroom and helped him create the high-profile First Amendment legal practice he has today.
Acumen and Accolades
As a preeminent First Amendment lawyer and trial and appellate attorney, he has successfully represented some of the highest-profile media and political defendants to date, including Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil, Bill O’Reilly, Warner Brothers, Inc., George W. Bush, the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, and the Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Affairs.
Following a two year position as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Robert William Porter, he joined Jackson Walker in 1978—working, early in his career, on a case with TransAmerican Press that would establish the First Amendment right of journalists to protect confidential sources.
Today, he serves as the chairman of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Litigation Counsel of America. A partner at Jackson Walker L.L.P., Chip Babcock has been recognized as Texas Lawyer’s “25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter-Century;” awarded the prestigious Ronald D. Secrest Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award from the Texas Bar Foundation in 2016; selected in 2015 by Law360 as one of 50 “Trial Aces” in the United States; listed in D Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas in from 2009 to 2012; named a Texas Super Lawyer from 2003 to 2015 by Super Lawyers magazine; and ranked as a top First Amendment lawyer and commercial litigation and trial attorney in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Chip Babcock was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., raised in West Palm Beach, Fla., and graduated from Brown University in 1971. He earned his degree from Boston University School of Law in 1976 and served as the Boston University Law Review’s executive editor from 1975-1976.
Texas Supreme Court
United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western District of Texas
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits