Prestigious award is made annually to an outstanding Texas lawyer who is a servant of the profession and a dedicated advocate.
Baylor Law professor Tom Featherston, renowned attorney, educator and legal expert in trusts, estate and marital property law, has been honored as a recipient of the Texas Bar Foundation’s Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award. Established to celebrate Grantham's life as a gifted and committed lawyer, the award is given to lawyers who exemplify the qualities of an accomplished, talented, and dedicated practitioner, and who demonstrate a passion for service.
Featherston earned his J.D. with highest honors from Baylor Law School in 1972 after receiving his B.B.A. from Baylor University in 1971. After graduation, he entered private practice in Houston. He joined Baylor Law School in 1982 and was appointed the Mills Cox Chair in 1990.
He is active in the leadership of the State Bar of Texas’ Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section, having chaired numerous committees, worked on significant legislation and public policy issues, served on its governing council, and presided as its chair.
Featherston has served on the governing council of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section. He has also served as the Trusts and Estates articles editor of Probate & Property and currently serves on the faculty of its annual Skills Training for Estate Planners program in New York City.
Board certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Featherston is an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. In 2009 he received the Distinguished Probate Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given by the REPTL Section of the State Bar of Texas. He was named Outstanding Baylor University Professor in 2000. He has also received the Journal Award of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Continuing Legal Education from the State Bar College.
There is no one who better exemplifies the qualities [Terry Lee Grantham Memorial Award] seeks to honor than Tom Featherston.–Dean Brad Toben
“Simply put,” says Baylor Law’s Dean Brad Toben, “a person cannot work in trust or estate law in Texas without seeing the handiwork of Professor Tom Featherston. His involvement with the State Bar, the continuing education topics he presents, and his regular consultation on Texas legislation make him the indispensable resource for questions dealing with this vital area of the law.” He added, “There is no one who better exemplifies the qualities this award seeks to honor than Tom Featherston.
In addition to an extensive career as an educator and award-winning lawyer, Tom Featherston has built a legacy of mentoring Baylor Law students in pro bono service to veterans and first-responders. In 2012, he came alongside fellow Baylor Law professor Bridget Fuselier, who had recently created the Baylor Veterans Clinic, to offer a now-annual Veterans Day Wills Program. Professor Featherston was essential to the creation of the necessary forms, questionnaires and templates that would be used by Baylor Law students to create wills, powers of attorney and other documents for veterans and first-responders. Rather than simply prepare documents for the veterans attending the clinics, Tom expends additional time and energy to provide Baylor Law students the opportunity to create these important documents and provides critical feedback and insights to each student. At the suggestion of Professor Featherston, Baylor Law expanded the estate planning service provided to veterans to also provide those services to first-responders. This award-winning program has now assisted hundreds of Central Texas veterans and first-responders, and offered hundreds of hours of real-world, practical experience to Baylor Law students.
Bridget Fuselier, creator of the Baylor Veterans Clinic, says of Tom, “he is not trying to earn any promotions or accolades for his work. He is simply giving of his time due to his dedication to the law and to the people of the community that we serve.”
Professor Featherston received his honor at the Texas Bar Foundation dinner on June 22, 2018 in Houston.
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