Baylor Law Alumnus Rodney Gilstrap Confirmed as Federal Judge

Dec. 6, 2011

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The U.S. Senate unanimously has confirmed Baylor University and Baylor Law School 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 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.

About Baylor

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

About Baylor Law School

Established in 1849, Baylor Law School was the first law school in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,000 living alumni. It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Baylor Law School has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide on a career in public service. The Law School boasts two Texas governors, members or former members of the U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature among its notable alumni. In its law specialties rankings, U.S.News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as the third best in the nation. Baylor Law School is ranked No. 56 in the magazine's 2012 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools."

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

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