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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Linda Yáñez

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(110 pages)

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Born November 30, 1948. Linda Reyna Yáñez is the first Hispanic woman to serve on a Texas appeals court. She taught at Harvard Law School and served on and chaired numerous committees and boards for the State Bar Associations in Texas, Illinois, and Massachusetts. She was Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in Chicago, Illinois. Judge Yáñez currently serves on the 13th Court of Appeals for the state of Texas.

Interview Summary:

Ms. Yáñez talks about her family history and genealogy and describes early childhood memories of race discrimination in the public schools and the community. She elaborates upon the reasons for her higher education pursuits including earning her law degree at Texas Southern University. Ms. Yáñez tells about the events that led to her dismissal as a public schoolteacher in Texas following her decision to become politically active in Raza Unida activities. She credits then Governor Bill Clements for helping her get a fresh start as a schoolteacher in a different district. Ms. Yáñez gives details about her early law career in Chicago as a staff attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation where she gained her experience and reputation as an immigration attorney. She tells about her experiences working on President Clinton's transition team for immigration matters. Ms. Yáñez relates the circumstances of her appointment to the Texas Court of Appeals by Governor Ann Richards and she details the duties, responsibilities, and procedures of appellate judges. She also gives details regarding how appellate judges finance and manage their elections. She concludes the interview by telling about her experiences that has resulted in a personal feud with the U. S. Border Patrol who she accuses of racial profiling of Mexican Americans.

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