Baylor Lawyer Brit Featherston Sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas

December 2, 2021

Baylor Lawyer Brit Featherston Sworn in as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas


Baylor Law School congratulates Brit Featherston, JD '92, who took the oath of office to become the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas on November 16, 2021


WACO -


On Tuesday, November 16, Baylor Lawyer Brit Featherston (JD '92) was sworn in as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. Featherston was appointed by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and took the oath of office from fellow Baylor Lawyer, Chief District Judge Rodney Gilstrap (JD '81). Featherston was accompanied at his swearing-in ceremony by his brother, Professor of Law Tom Featherston (JD '72), and by former United States Attorney and Adjunct Professor Malcolm Bales, each of the Baylor Law School Faculty.

"Brit is a shining example of leadership and service," stated the Dean of Baylor Law, Brad Toben. "He has had a distinguished career in prosecution, leadership, and national service. Brit is a top-notch lawyer and a true quality person. The U.S. Attorney's Office could not be in better hands," he added.

Featherston's career in law enforcement began in 1981 in the Port Arthur police department. After serving the people of Port Arthur for many years, he followed his brother Tom's footsteps to law school, enrolling at Baylor Law and graduating in 1992.

Following law school, Featherston did a brief stint in private law practice, before returning to the law enforcement. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas in 1996 where he has held positions as First Assistant U.S. Attorney, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, supervisory U.S. Attorney, and Acting United States Attorney. Featherston also has held roles as the National Crisis Management Coordinator for all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and Justice Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

While working for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Featherston and two other federal prosecutors were assigned to prosecute the infamous James Byrd Jr. case. The case revolved around three white supremacists who dragged Byrd, an African American, behind a pick-up truck for several miles as Byrd died a gruesome death. The tragic case was covered by the national media, and the entire nation watched in shock and horror as the details of the case emerged in trial. Of the three charged, two received the death penalty and the third a life sentence. As a result of the Byrd case, Texas passed hate crime legislation that expanded upon the 1969 federal hate crime law. The resulting legislation has been widely adopted and is still in force. Featherston was also instrumental in the establishment of a command post in Lufkin and the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to the re-entry disintegration of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003 over East Texas.

Featherston is now the chief federal law enforcement official in the Eastern District of Texas and will oversee six law enforcement offices across the district including 60 prosecutors and 120 employees.



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ABOUT BAYLOR LAW
Established in 1857, Baylor Law was one of the first law schools in Texas and one of the first west of the Mississippi River. Today, the school has more than 7,800 living alumni. Accredited by the American Bar Association and a member of the Association of American Law Schools, Baylor Law has a record of producing outstanding lawyers, many of whom decide upon a career in public service. Baylor Law boasts among its notable alumni two governors, members or former members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, two former directors of the FBI, U.S. ambassadors, federal judges, justices of the Texas Supreme Court and members of the Texas Legislature. In its law specialties rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor Law's trial advocacy program as among the best in the nation at No. 2. Baylor Law School also is ranked No. 48 in the magazine's 2020 edition of "America's Best Graduate Schools." The National Jurist ranks Baylor Law as one of the "Best School for Practical Training" and No. 4 in the nation in its most recent "Best Law School Facilities" listing. Business Insider places Baylor Law among the top 50 law schools in the nation. Baylor Law School received the 2015 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award, making it only the third law school in the nation to be honored with the award since its inception in 1984. Learn more at baylor.edu/law

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 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 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Learn more at baylor.edu

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