The Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III, JD ’90, Named 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year

July 9, 2024
2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year Hon. Amos Mazzant with Dean Jeremy Counseller and Dean Patricia Wilson
The Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III (center), the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year, with Dean Jeremy Counseller (L) and Associate Dean Patricia Wilson (R)

In a ceremony held on Friday, June 28, 2024, in Plano, the Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, was honored as the 2024 Baylor Lawyer the Year by the Baylor Law School Alumni Association. The event celebrated Judge Mazzant’s distinguished career and contributions to the legal profession.

The ceremony began with a warm welcome by Interim Dean Patricia A. Wilson of Baylor Law School, followed by an invocation from Terri Scott, Judge Mazzant’s Judicial Assistant in the Eastern District of Texas.

The introductions of the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year were delivered by two esteemed figures: The Honorable Aileen Goldman Durrett, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, and Bradley J.B. Toben, Dean Emeritus and M.C. & Mattie Caston Professor of Law at Baylor Law School. In their introductions, Durrett and Toben highlighted Judge Mazzant’s exemplary service and dedication to justice, noting his profound impact on the legal community and his unwavering commitment to fairness. Lawrence Morales, II, President of the Baylor Law Alumni Association, presented Mazzant with the Lawyer of the Year award. 

Judge Amos Mazzant III receives a standing ovation at the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year reception
The Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III, receives a standing ovation at the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year luncheon

Judge Mazzant, who serves as a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division, was appointed to his position on December 19, 2014, by President Barack Obama. His federal judicial career began as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas from 2009 to 2014. 

Before his federal judicial appointments, Judge Mazzant served as a justice on the Fifth District Court of Appeals of Texas in Dallas and earlier spent twelve years as a briefing attorney in the federal court system for Judges Paul Brown, Robert Faulkner, and Don D. Bush. He also practiced privately at Wolfe, Tidwell & McCoy, P.C., in Sherman, Texas. Judge Mazzant is an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh (BA, 1987) and Baylor Law School (JD, 1990).

In 2021, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. appointed Judge Mazzant to the Judicial Conference Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System. He currently chairs the Administration Committee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. His accolades include being named Judge of the Year by the Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2022 and TEX-ABOTA Jurist of the Year in 2024.

President of the Baylor Law School Alumni Association Lawrence Morales, JD '05 (L) With The Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III, JD ’90
President of the Baylor Law School Alumni Association Lawrence Morales, II, JD '05 (L) with The Honorable Amos L. Mazzant, III, JD ’90

Interim Dean Patricia A. Wilson noted, “The Baylor Lawyer of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed to a Baylor Lawyer each year. From his legal abilities and professional accomplishments to his commitment to service in his community, Baylor Law School, family, and church, Judge Mazzant represents the best of Baylor Law. It is clear that Judge Mazzant is the right choice for the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year.”

Judge Aileen Goldman Durrett praised Judge Mazzant’s integrity and fairness, saying, “He is well-known for being fair—applying the law as he must even though it might be difficult in some situations.”

Brad Toben, Dean Emeritus of Baylor Law School, noted Judge Mazzant’s commitment to the growth and development of his term clerks. Toben remarked, “Judge Mazzant takes the mentoring of his clerks seriously and commits to being in their corner for life, not simply for the duration of their term in his chambers.”

Judge Mazzant is also a dedicated community servant, holding leadership positions in several professional and local organizations. He is a past president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the Grayson County Bar Association, and the Sherman Kiwanis Club. His involvement extends to the American Bar Association, the Dallas Bar Association, and several foundations and community theaters.

Reflecting on his legal education, Judge Mazzant expressed gratitude to Baylor Law School, where he is a lifetime member of the Baylor Law Alumni Association and was recognized as the Young Baylor Lawyer of the Year in 2002. He is a frequent guest speaker at Baylor Law School and has mentored numerous Baylor Law School graduates as clerks.

Judge Mazzant remarked, “When I selected Baylor Law School over 37 years ago, little did I know that going to Baylor would profoundly impact my personal and professional life. Choosing Baylor Law School set things in motion that made all these things possible. I am truly honored and humbled by this award, and I want to thank the Baylor Law Alumni Association for this recognition. As a student who witnessed these award ceremonies in Waco, I never dreamed I would be Baylor Lawyer of the Year one day.”

A photo of people enjoying some of the 2000 baked goods that Judge Mazzant and his family prepared for the reception
An avid baker, Judge Mazzant and his family even baked approximately two thousand homemade treats for guests at the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year luncheon

Judge Mazzant spoke of the enduring lessons from his professors at Baylor Law School and its rigorous curriculum by noting, “Baylor prepares you for being a lawyer and the crucible of the courtroom. Baylor instilled in me many things about what it takes to be a trial lawyer, the importance of the jury trial and the Seventh Amendment, and the need to give back through public service.” 

Judge Mazzant thanked those in his personal and professional life by noting, “This award would not have been possible without the love and support of my family. And I am grateful to the Court staff and term clerks who make this possible.”

At the close of the luncheon, Jeremy Counseller, incoming Dean of Baylor Law School and Abner V. McCall Chair in Evidence Law, spoke to Judge Mazzant’s fitness for the award, “You are what we want our students to become. That’s why you richly deserve this award. You honor Baylor Law School with your life, example, and service.”

Aside from his judicial responsibilities, Judge Mazzant is known for his baking acumen, often sharing homemade treats with his colleagues and friends. Judge Mazzant and his family even baked approximately two thousand homemade treats for luncheon guests to enjoy.

Judge Mazzant resides in Sherman, Texas, with his wife, Michelle. The couple has been married for nearly thirty-four years and have two daughters, Katelyn and Alexandra Rose. 

Judge Mazzant with his family at the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year Reception
Judge Mazzant with his family and colleagues at the 2024 Baylor Lawyer of the Year luncheon