Honorable Elma Teresa Salinas Ender

HONORABLE ELMA TERESA SALINAS ENDER, born August 11, 1953, made history when Governor Mark White appointed her as judge of Texas’ 341st District Court of Texas at age 30. Judge Ender was the first Hispanic and youngest woman to be appointed to a District Court.
Ender received a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974, and her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1978.  She was also in the first graduating class of the Texas College for Judicial Studies at the Texas Center for the Judiciary in 2004. 

Judge Ender’s career was highlighted by extensive service to the legal community statewide. She served on numerous State Bar of Texas committees on Resolutions, Real Estate, Probate, Trust, Family Law, and Concerns of Spanish Speaking Community, as well as serving on its Executive Committee. She served with the Webb County Bar Association, and in various capacities with the Texas Young Lawyers Association, the committee of Admissions and Grievances for the Southern District of Texas, and on several committees of the State Bar of Texas.

She also served as a member of the American Bar Association and participated in numerous activities with the Texas Center for the Judiciary, including as faculty member. Ender served several years with the Texas District Judges Association, as a committee member appointed by Governor George W. Bush to help rewrite code of Criminal Procedures in 1995, and as a member of a task force and commission focusing on child welfare for the Texas Supreme Court. 

In 2012 Judge Ender retired as the longest serving district judge in Webb County in Laredo, Texas. In recognition for her service, she was awarded by the Webb County Bar Association with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

By John Cadena, St. Mary’s University Law Fellows in Public History (2018).