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Baylor Law Alumnus Rodney Gilstrap Confirmed as Federal Judge

Dec. 6, 2011

On Monday, Dec. 5, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Baylor Law alumnus Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas.

Gilstrap, who is a partner at Smith and Gilstrap in Marshall and is the former County Judge of Harrison County, was nominated by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

"Rodney Gilstrap has a good balance of legal experience, having served as both a county judge and as a private attorney," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas, in a statement. "His public service and strong academic credentials combined to make him a strong choice for this judgeship in East Texas."

Gilstrap graduated magna cum laude at Baylor University in 1978 before returning to earn his J.D. at Baylor Law School in 1981. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was associate editor of Baylor Law Review. He previously served as president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association.

"Rodney is a stellar example of a genuinely quality person of faith, a wonderful community servant across the many years, and a lawyer of the first-rate. We are and will be so proud of Rodney, now assuming the federal bench," said Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben.

Judge Gilstrap and his wife, Sherry Sullivan Gilstrap, of have two children -- a daughter, Lauren, who is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and now a practicing physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and a son, Stephen, who graduated from Yale Law School earlier this year and who is now a law clerk in the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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