Abilene Christian University graduate Robert Pitman (’85), who has been serving as a U.S. attorney, was recently confirmed by the Senate as federal judge of the Western District of Texas, a lifetime position in San Antonio.
President Barack Obama nominated Pitman in June 2014 to fill a role vacant since 2008, when W. Royal Furgeson Jr. retired and later became founding dean of the University of North Texas School of Law. Pitman had been the top federal prosecutor for the same Western District since 2011. Before that, he was a magistrate judge.
He was one of three named by Obama to fill Texas federal court benches, joining Texarkana lawyer Robert Schroeder III and Amos Mazzant III, a Sherman magistrate judge.
Pitman is a native of Fort Worth who attended The University of Texas Law School following ACU, where he was president of the Students’ Association and salutatorian of his graduating class. He served as a legislative aide to Dr. Robert D. Hunter (’52) from 1985-87 while Hunter was a Texas state representative in Austin, and he earned a master’s degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford.
Following law school, Pitman was a judicial clark from 1988-89 for David O. Belew Jr., U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Texas; an associate at Fulbright and Jaworski LLP from 1989-90; attorney advisor for the general counsel of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys from 1996-97; and assistant U.S. attorney from 1990-2003.
Other ACU alumni in high-ranking judicial roles include Jeffrey S. Boyd (’83), one of nine current justices on the Texas Supreme Court, and Jack Pope (’34), former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.
The Jack Pope Fellows Program at ACU honors the 101-year-old Pope – who was the longest-serving Texas Supreme Court justice (38 years) in history – by preparing Abilene Christian students for careers in public service.