Justice Jan Patterson joined the faculty of Baylor Law School in 2012 following an extensive career in civil and criminal trial practice in state and federal courts in New York and Texas, appellate law practice in the Second and Fifth Circuits and Texas state courts, and a distinguished career on the bench serving as a Justice on the Texas Third Court of Appeals. Justice Patterson served on the third court of appeals for 12 years, writing extensively on administrative law, natural resources law, criminal law issues, as well as a wide range of other civil and criminal issues. While on the court of appeals, she served as the appellate judge appointee on the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Justice Patterson also served as Vice Chair of the Commission. She also served as chair of the Appellate Judges of the Judiciary Section of the State Bar of Texas.
Justice Patterson is a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. She is a frequent speaker at CLE seminars and served as judicial advisor to the Board of Directors of Texas Women Lawyers.
Prior to service on the bench, Justice Patterson practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and Sneed Vine & Perry in Austin. She served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where she prosecuted organized crime and white collar crime cases, and in the Western District of Texas. She was also appointed by the Department of Justice to serve as an assistant special prosecutor in a federal corruption investigation.
As a lawyer, Justice Patterson handled complex civil litigation and white collar defense. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute, past Treasurer and Board member of the Second Circuit Federal Bar Council, and founder, past President and Master of the Bench in the Justice Calvert American Inns of Court. She is currently a Master Emeritus in the Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court. She has served as a lecturer at the FBI Academy and was recognized by the Department of Justice for outstanding contributions in the field of drug law enforcement and for federal agent training programs and by the Department of Agriculture for outstanding contributions in fraud prosecutions. While in New York, Justice Patterson was elected to and served as a board member of The Dakota.
Justice Patterson earned her J.D. degree at the University of Texas School of Law where she served as a visiting and adjunct professor, teaching courses in international war crimes, criminal and civil procedure, and special prosecutions. Justice Patterson also received a Masters in Judicial Process at the University of Virginia Law School.
She is a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Travis County Women Lawyers' Association, was recognized by the Friar Society as a Distinguished Alumna, the University of Texas' oldest honorary organization, and received the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit.
Justice Jan Patterson continues to serve as a senior judge by appointment of the Texas Supreme Court.