Some of the proudest moments in Brooklyn Sawyers’ career are standing at the lectern in the United States District Court and announcing she is there on behalf of her client, the United States of America.
“That feels good,” said Sawyers, who is an assistant United States attorney (also known as a federal prosecutor) for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
Her credentials don’t stop there. She’s also an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where she teaches trial practice to second-year law students, and the University of Phoenix, where she is an instructor of history and pre-law courses for undergraduate students.
Sawyers, who graduated from Emory & Henry in 2002, had a keen interest in the law long before she attended college. “I have always found the work of the Department of Justice among the noblest public services in the world. I wanted to contribute to that noble work and serve what turns out to be some of the most vulnerable victims in society,” she said.
“It feels great to have any dream come true, but I want to emphasize that anything I have accomplished has not been from my own abilities, but as a gift from God. It’s through my faith in God and God’s gracious favor that I have been able to see my dreams realized.”
She credits her education at Emory and Henry College for helping her achieve those dreams.
My Emory & Henry College days taught me a lot about community service and giving back.Brooklyn Sawyers
As a result, she has dedicated her career to the public sector and much of her personal time to community service, including serving on the Board of the National Black Prosecutors Association and most recently the Emory & Henry College Board of Trustees.
Also, I learned the importance of mentoring others through the valuable mentorship I received from Emory & Henry such professors as Dr. Jack Roper and Dr. Samir Saliba. These men are giants in the academic world, and they made a huge difference in my life. As a result, I mentor approximately 20 young ladies from all walks of life.
Following her graduation from Emory & Henry, Sawyers attended East Tennessee State University, from which she received a master of arts degree in history in 2004, and the University of Tennessee College of Law, from which she received a doctor of jurisprudence degree in 2006. In November 2015, she was admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar.
As coordinator for the offices of the Human Trafficking Initiative and the Smart on Crime Initiative, Sawyers prosecutes criminal offenses that are committed against the United States. “I also serve as the East Tennessee Department of Justice Diversity Ambassador, which means I seek to help implement the Department’s diversity commitment locally,” Sawyers explained.
The attorney has worked on several cases that have been in the public eye recently, including several larger-scale conspiracies that involved networks of people who joined forces to violate U.S. laws. One specific case focused on a heroin drug conspiracy involving conduct from individuals from New York City to Orlando. The guilty parties in those cases are serving sentences from several years to life in prison.
Most recently, she prosecuted a drunk driver who caused the death of his passenger in a head-on collision while speeding and intoxicated. She also prosecuted two men for sexual assault against minors.
“What I enjoy most is helping victims,” said Sawyers. “As a mother myself, nothing feels better than seeing a child, who spent far too long crying, smile when she sees her molester punished.”
Sawyers resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her daughter who is an honor student and lacrosse player. Mother and daughter enjoy traveling the world together, including trips to Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Florence, Verona and Sydney. Sawyers’ most recent personal interest is physical fitness and she is seeking a personal training certificate from the University of Tennessee.