July 12, 2017
Contact: Amy Starnes
Public Information Director, State Bar of Texas
(800) 204-2222, ext. 1706, or (512) 427-1706


State Bar of Texas honors Judge Hilda G. Tagle

Judge Hilda TagleAUSTIN — The State Bar of Texas honored exceptional service to the public and the legal profession during its Annual Meeting held June 22 and 23 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

Judge Hilda G. Tagle, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, received the Sarah T. Hughes Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The State Bar of Texas Women in the Law Section presented the award.

The Hughes award honors the accomplishments of women who have achieved outstanding recognition in their professional area and who, by doing so, have paved the way for success for other women attorneys.

Hughes’ historic achievements in the judiciary paved the way for Tagle’s own historic achievements. When Hughes was appointed to the 14th District Court in 1935 and became the first woman state district judge in Texas, it was in spite of opposition by the state senator who issued a public statement that “Mrs. Hughes ought to be home washing dishes.”

Similarly, when Tagle was appointed judge of the Nueces County Court at Law No. 3 in 1985, thereby becoming the first Mexican American woman county court at law judge in Texas, she says it was in spite of one Nueces County commissioner who suggested that Tagle should “forget about being a judge [because] the job of a judge [was] too stressful for a woman.”

Born and raised in Robstown, Tagle obtained a master’s degree in library science from North Texas State University in 1971 and worked as a librarian for four years before deciding to make a career change. She graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1977 and began working first for the city of Corpus Christi and later for the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office. She also practiced law and taught at Del Mar College before being appointed to the Nueces County Court at Law in 1985. She served as judge of the 148th District Court from 1995 until 1998.

Nominated by President Bill Clinton, Tagle became the first Mexican American woman U.S. district judge in Texas in 1998.

Media note: A high-resolution photo of Judge Tagle is available upon request.

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The State Bar of Texas is an administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Texas that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

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