Fourth Court of Appeals

Justice Luz Elena Chapa 
Photo of Justice Luz Elena Chapa

Place 4

Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa was elected to serve on the Fourth Court of Appeals effective January 1, 2013, and when elected, she was the youngest appellate judge in the State of Texas. She was re-elected in 2018 and is currently serving her second term. Prior to her election, Justice Chapa practiced on both sides of the civil docket in counties across Texas, with a concentration in products liability litigation.

Justice Chapa was raised in El Paso, Texas and pursued her secondary education in San Antonio at St. Mary’s University, where she received both her Bachelor of Arts in English and her Juris Doctor. Between college and law school, she headed to Capitol Hill, where she interned for US Congressman Lloyd Doggett and worked for the late US Congressman Frank Tejeda. During law school, Justice Chapa interned for Chief Justice (Ret.) Alma L. López, and upon graduating, Justice Chapa began her legal career in El Paso, working with the law firm Oaxaca, Bernal & Associates. She later moved to Corpus Christi in 2001, where she joined the law firm Hartline, Dacus, Barger & Dreyer, LLP before returning to San Antonio in 2005 and working with Chapa Law Group.

Starting in 2005, Justice Chapa firmly planted her roots in San Antonio, where she has raised her three children. At the age of 42, she made history again when her youngest child was born, a first for a sitting Fourth Court justice.

Justice Chapa is a proud American Bar Foundation Fellow, a Texas Bar Foundation Life Fellow, a San Antonio Bar Foundation Fellow, a 2014 Inductee to the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame and is a member of numerous organizations. She serves on the boards of the ABA Appellate Judges Conference (Board Director and Diversity Chair) and the Appellate Judicial Education Institute (Board Director and Education Committee). Justice Chapa also serves on the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division’s Standing Committee on Judicial Diversity.

In addition to her responsibilities to her family, the Fourth Court, and the legal profession, Justice Chapa is a long-standing mental health advocate. She has served on the board of Clarity Child Guidance Center since 2014. Clarity is the only mental health treatment center in South Texas dedicated to treating children ages three to seventeen. Her past board service includes serving: Guardian House (Board Chair), Healy Murphy Center (Board Vice President), St. Mary’s Law Alumni Association, St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Alumni Association, and The Children’s Ballet of San Antonio.


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