Thirteenth Court of Appeals

Justice Leticia Hinojosa 
Photo of Justice Leticia Hinojosa

Place 3

Justice Leticia Hinojosa was born in Brownsville, Texas and graduated from Homer Hanna High School in 1975. After graduation from High School, she attended the University of Texas at Austin graduating Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Arts in Government in December of 1978. Justice Hinojosa also attended University of Texas Law School where she received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in May of 1981. She was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in November 1981 at the age of twenty-three.

Justice Hinojosa began her legal career as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow doing public interest litigation for two years in Austin, Texas. Upon completion of the Fellowship, she moved back to South Texas and was a partner at various law firms heading up the firms’ litigation divisions. In 1989, Justice Hinojosa was appointed and subsequently elected Judge of County Court at Law #4, becoming the first woman elected Judge in South Texas and the third Hispanic woman elected Judge in the State of Texas. In 1996, she was elected Judge for the 139th Judicial District Court. She served two terms as District Judge and then stepped down to practice law. In 2016 she was elected Justice of the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 3 and took office on January 1, 2017.

Justice Hinojosa has served as a member and on boards of numerous legal and community organizations. She is especially proud of her work with Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), where she served as a member of the State Board of CASA and instrumental in the establishment of CASA in Hidalgo County. By the age of thirty-five she was recognized by Governor Ann Richards for her lifetime commitment to her community by receiving the Governor’s "Back to the People" Award.

Legal Experience

Attorney, Law Office of Leticia Hinojosa
Edinburg, Texas March, 2004 - December 2016
General Civil Litigation

Attorney, Law Offices of Lauderdale & Vela
Weslaco, Texas April, 1987 to March, 1989
Partner - General Practitioner with focus on Litigation & Municipal Court Prosecutor

Attorney, Law Offices of Cardenas & Hinojosa
Weslaco, Texas - January, 1984 to April, 1987
Partner - General Practitioner

Fellow of the Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship - Legal Aid Society of Central Texas
Austin, Texas - August, 1981 to December, 1993
Public interest litigation

Leadership Training

  • Leadership Texas - Class of 1994
  • Harvard Law School - Executive Training, Boston, Mass. - 1991
  • Center for Creative Leadership, San Antonio, Texas - July, 1991
  • National Hispana Leadership Institute - 1990 to 1991
  • Leadership McAllen - 1987

Professional Activities

  • State Bar of Texas Appointee to the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law - 2006 to 2008
  • Texas Supreme Court Appointee to the Board of Law Examiners; Duties: Determining the fitness of law school applicants to study law - 1993
  • American Bar Association - August, 1993 to Present - Member of Committee on Judicial Selection, Tenure and Compensation and Committee of the Courts and Community
  • National Association of Women Judges - 1993 to 2005
  • Hidalgo County Women's Bar Association; Founding Member and Past President - 1992 to Present
  • Hidalgo County Bar Association; Positions held: Secretary and member of the Board of Directors - January, 1984 to Present
  • Texas State Bar Young Lawyers Association; Position held: Member of the Board of Directors for Hidalgo County Chapter
  • Texas State Bar Section on Concerns of the Spanish-Speaking; Position held: Treasurer - 1982 to 1984

Community Service

  • Appointed to the Advisory Board of Advocacy Resource Center for Housing - 1993
  • Guest columnist for the women's section of The Monitor, McAllen's daily newspaper - September, 1993
  • Girl Scouts Board of Directors - September, 1991
  • Leadership McAllen Board of Directors - July, 1982
  • Texas Council on Family Violence - Committee on Public Policy - February, 1992
  • Hidalgo County Child Welfare Board of Directors - 1986 to 1989
  • Past Vice President and President of the Advisory Board to the Hidalgo County Child Protective Services concerning the protection of abused and neglected children of Hidalgo County
  • Texas Rural Legal Aid Board of Directors - 1986 to 1990
  • Past President of the Board. Non-profit corporation created to provide legal services for the poor of the rural areas of Texas including Hidalgo County
  • Hidalgo County Pro Bono Project; Volunteer attorney to provide free legal services to the poor of Hidalgo County - 1988 to Present
  • Weslaco Chamber of Commerce - April, 1987 to March, 1989
  • Weslaco ISD Vocational Advisory Committee; Advisor to students interested in pursuing careers in the legal field - September, 1988 to May, 1989
  • Pharr Chamber of Commerce - Adopt a Student Program - November, 1989
  • Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates); Member of the State Board of CASA and instrumental in the establishment of CASA in Hidalgo County
  • Annie's List; Currently serving on the State Board of Annie's List

Honors & Awards

  • Recipient of the Public Service Award, Governor Ann Richard's "Back to the People" award for Outstanding Volunteer Services - 1992
  • Selected to Participate in National Hispano Leadership Institute - 1990 to 1991
  • Named Outstanding Professional Woman of the Year by the Business & Professional Woman's Club of McAllen - 1989
  • Named one of the Outstanding Hispanics of the Year by Kenneth Junior High School, Mission, Texas - 1989
  • Honored by Women Together (program for battered women) for outstanding contribution to the organization - December, 1989