Power Lunch Series Featuring Hon. Hilda Tagle
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Hilda G. Tagle is a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. She is the first Hispanic female in Texas to become a federal judge.
Born and raised in Robstown, Texas, Tagle was the oldest child and only daughter of Manuel and Dolores Tagle. She had three younger brothers. As a little girl, Tagle read Heidi, and dreamed of traveling to Switzerland. Since I was a little kid, I loved to read,” Tagle remembers. Somehow, I figured that an education was a way to get to Switzerland.
Although her mother encouraged her reading, she insisted that Tagle enroll in beauty school. At the age of 16, Tagle became a licensed beautician.
But Tagle wanted a college education so badly, she could taste it. After graduating from Robstown High School in 1965, she enrolled at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, earning an Associate in Arts degree. She graduated from East Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in library science. She received a master’s degree from North Texas State University and worked as a librarian at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory in Houston for four years. While working as a reference librarian at North Texas State University, Tagle became intrigued by the law. In 1975, she entered the law school at The University of Texas at Austin. Two years later, she became a lawyer.
Tagle returned to Corpus Christi where she began her legal career working for the City Attorney’s office and continuing as an assistant Nueces County attorney. In 1980, she became a prosecutor in the Nueces County district attorney’s office. A year later, she went into private practice and also taught at Del Mar College.
Her hard work and reputation landed her an appointment as Judge of Nueces Country Court at Law No. 3 in 1985, becoming the first Hispanic female judge in Nueces County and only the second Hispanic woman judge of a court of record in Texas.
On January 1, 1995, she took her oath as judge of the 148th District Court. She presided over the court until early March of 1998 when the U.S. Senate confirmed her as federal judge.
Throughout her career, Judge Tagle has been involved in numerous law related activities, including the Corpus Christi Bar Association, the Mexican American Bar Association of Corpus Christi, as founding president of the Coastal Bend Women Lawyers, as well as Co-Chair of the 1992 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting. Tagle was appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. She was also appointed to the Governor’s Commission for Women by Ann Richards in 1991. She is a recipient of numerous awards, the most recent of which is the 2017 Sarah T. Hughes Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.
When she became a judge in 1985, she also became a parent. She became joint custodian of her then 10-year-old nephew, Santiago.
Hortense Ward Speakers Fund
Asian Law Students Association
Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association
Thurgood Marshall Legal Society
Women’s Law Caucus