Chief Justice Alma Lopez

CHIEF JUSTICE ALMA LOPEZ was born in Laredo, TX. She grew up in San Antonio, after moving there at a young age. Justice Lopez started her higher education at San Antonio College and then transferred to St. Mary’s University, graduating with a B.B.A. in 1965. She then earned a doctorate in jurisprudence at St. Mary’s University in 1968. She credits her father’s involvement in politics with her interest in law at a young age. 

She practiced family and immigration law for 25 years until her appointment in 1993 to the Fourth Court of Appeals by Governor Ann Richards. Justice Lopez has since been elected twice, and in 2002 became the first Hispanic woman elected to serve as Chief Justice on the Fourth Court of Appeals. In 2005, she became the first Hispanic to serve on the first all-woman appellate court in the U.S. 

Justice Lopez serves on the boards of South Texas Higher Education Agency, Kids Exchange, Dress for Success, and the Council of Chief Justices, and she is a member of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees (2018).    

She is also a member of the San Antonio Bar Association, the Democratic Women of Texas, the Mexican American Bar Association, and the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, she was named Distinguished Law Graduate of St. Mary’s Law School.

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


Sonia R. Garcia, Politicas: Latina public officials in Texas, 75-86 (2008).

First Hispanic Woman Chief Justice Honored, Sᴛ. Mᴀʀʏ’ꜱ Uɴɪᴠᴇʀꜱɪᴛʏ (2007), (last visited Apr 25, 2019).