Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight: ‘You can also make it’: judge shares his story

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Judge Jorge Hernández, who presides as a judge at the City of Lubbock Municipal Court, shared his story on how he came to be a judge.

Jorge Hernández was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1955 to Ramón Ledesma Hernández and María Luisa Escamilla Hernandez.

Hernández was the youngest of three children and later moved to San Antonio, where he would spend his teenage years and attend Holly Cross High School.

Hernández said he credits his parents and their efforts to instill the importance of education to him and his siblings.

“I had great motivators, my parents, and they were not going to let me lose focus of where I needed to end up,” said Hernández.

Hernández said Tulane University sent recruiters to his high school, which got him interested to apply.

“I wanted to experience new horizons,” said Hernández, “All my life, I had been a majority-minority, but the neighborhood I lived in, the barrio, the west side, and high school I went to was predominantly Mexican American. Very few people would go to college back then.”

Hernández got accepted on a scholarship at Tulane and said he felt motivated to succeed.

“It was an opportunity, but I also felt the burden on my shoulder of, ‘I’ve got to succeed,'” said Hernández. “It was not just representing the Mexican American Community, I was also representing my family, and that was very important to me.

Hernández said he quickly learned that Tulane was more difficult than his high school but opted not to let it defeat his goal.

“I would out study anyone at Tulane, said Hernández, “I was at the library from 8 in the morning until they closed at midnight, but that’s the work that needed to be put in.”

Four years later, Hernández graduated from Tulane University, where he majored in history and minored in Latin American studies.

“My parents were able to go to my graduation, and that was just a big moment for me,” said Hernández.

After graduation, Hernández was accepted to study at Texas Tech Law School.

“I knew I wanted to do something to my community, come back to Texas and help my community–the Mexican American community,” said Hernández.

Hernández got married during law school and faced a financial setback and after his first year at the law school.

“I got a job with LP&L as a dispatcher, working midnight till 8 in the morning, and then I would go to my classes after that at Tech, finish with my classes at 12 in the afternoon,” said Hernández.

Later he said a local attorney named Vincent Salinas would hire him as a clerk and act as a mentor. Hernández said his journey to becoming an attorney and a municipal court judge was accomplished from hard work, mentorship and integrity.

“‘Hey, I made it, but you also can make it,'” said Hernández. “If I’m here as a judge, you can be, not only a municipal court judge–you can be a supreme court judge.”

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