Judge Rodney Gilstrap was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas and was confirmed in 2011. He assumed the position of Chief Judge in 2018. He resides in Marshall, Texas and has responsibilities in the Marshall, Tyler, and Texarkana Divisions of the EDTX. Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Gilstrap was engaged in the private practice of law in East Texas for 30 years. During this time he also was elected three times as County Judge of Harrison County, Texas. He holds a BA magna cum laude from Baylor University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He also holds a JD from the Baylor University School of Law where he was an Assoc. Editor of the Baylor Law Review. He has served as President of the Baylor Law Alumni Association. In 2018 he was named “The Baylor Lawyer of the Year”–the highest recognition given by his alma mater. He was also selected as the 2018 “Jurist of the Year” by TEX-ABOTA (comprising all 16 chapters in Texas of the American Board of Trial Advocates).