HOUSTON – The Southern District of Texas Chapter of the Federal Bar Association has awarded U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery the Michael Taylor Shelby Award for Professionalism in Federal Service.
Lowery received the award at the 2022 Federal Bar Association’s annual dinner the evening of Oct. 24.
The award was established in 2006 in memory of Michael Taylor Shelby, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas (SDTX) from 2001 to 2005. The award recognizes an attorney in federal service in the SDTX who has exhibited outstanding dedication, ethics and professionalism in the practice of law on behalf of the federal government.
As part of her selection, Lowery was recognized as a lifelong public servant who embodies the essence of what the late Shelby stood for – dedication to the pursuit of justice, adherence to ethical principles and commitment to professionalism. Lowery has been the chief federal prosecutor for the SDTX since February 2021. In that role, she has led her office of nearly 500 employees through unique challenges of the pandemic while ensuring the interest of the United States is served in criminal, civil and appellate cases.
Lowery joined the SDTX in 2008, initially as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA). She soon earned the title of senior litigation counsel and ethics advisor before joining management as a deputy criminal chief, executive AUSA, criminal chief, first assistant U.S. attorney and eventually the court-appointed U.S. attorney. As reflected in her titles, Lowery has vast knowledge of criminal law issues and a record of strong leadership.
Lowery’s colleagues note how she earned every title she has held at the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), bringing to each position her innovative thinking and sound reason. She leans forward by giving seasoned and newer attorneys opportunities to develop and demonstrate leadership skills. Defense attorneys seem to respect her because she is honest and fair and is never willing to compromise her integrity.
The award recognizes that Lowery sets standards to ensure the right cases are prosecuted and violent criminals are apprehended. She also takes a pragmatic approach to civil cases to ensure the United States is made whole in affirmative litigation and the interest of the United States is protected in defensive litigation. In the Appellate realm, she considers and reviews the SDTX’s adverse Fifth Circuit and district court decisions and determines what recommendations to make to the Department of Justice Criminal Appellate Section and the Office of the Solicitor General regarding further review.
Lowery’s federal service extends beyond the USAO. She is vice chair of the Border & Immigration subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee (AGAC) and a member of the Violent & Organized Crime AGAC subcommittee. She also takes advantage of opportunities to engage with the community in which she serves. She speaks at annual Red Ribbon Week events, law enforcement training workshops and conferences as well as local bar association events. She also participates in federal agency campaigns to reduce crime. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where she teaches Criminal Litigation and Legal Issues in Criminal Procedure.
Accolades aside, Lowery was noted as a consummate professional who is well respected among her peers, staff and the community.