Justice Alma L. López was born in Laredo, Texas on August 17, 1943, and was raised and educated in San Antonio, Texas. Justice López was appointed to the Fourth Court by Governor Ann Richards in October 1993, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Fourth Court of Appeals and the first Hispanic woman to serve as Chief Justice in the State of Texas. She was elected to a full term of six (6) years on November 8, 1994, taking office on January 1, 1995. She was re-elected to a second term in November 2000.
Justice López graduated from St. Mary’s University with a B.B.A. in 1965 and from St. Mary’s Law School with a J.D. in 1968. Justice López practiced law for twenty-five years, twenty of those as a sole practitioner prior to being appointed to the Court.
Justice López is the recipient of many awards including the Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Mexican American Bar Association in 1998. She was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for Public Service in 2002 and received the National Association of Women Lawyers President’s Award for Excellence in 2004. She is listed in the Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans.
In addition to her many honors she also lends her time and expertise to many community organizations and presently serves on the boards of the following associations and foundations: Bexar County Women’s Bar Association (1996-present), Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. (Battered Women’s Shelter), (1996-present), St. Mary’s Hispanic Law Alumni Association (1996-present), Texas Women Lawyers Association (1997-present), Texas Migrant Council (1999- present), South Texas Higher Education Agency (l999- present), Kids Exchange, (l999- present), and Milagritos Services (l998- present). She is also a member of the Democratic Women of Texas, Mission City Business and Professional Women’s Association, as well as many other groups.
Justice López is married to Emilio Cavazos, a thirty-four year veteran of law enforcement. They are proud parents and grandparents.