TRLA Board President Selena Solis Sworn in as Judge for 243rd District Court

EL PASO, Texas — Judge Selena Solis - a longtime advocate of equal justice for low-income communities, a civic leader, and president of TRLA’s Board of Directors - was sworn in as judge for the 243rd District Court in El Paso; she will preside over felony criminal and civil cases. Describing her professional trajectory, Judge Solis says, “My legal career has always been in public interest law, advocating on behalf of low-wage workers, victims of employment discrimination, and low-income immigrants accused of violating federal laws.”


In October 2003, Judge Solis became an assistant federal public defender in El Paso. Previously, she was a civil rights attorney for TRLA, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

Raised in Austin and the Rio Grande Valley, she adopted El Paso as her home when she became an assistant federal public defender there. She has raised her daughter, Olivia Carmen Franchesca Guzman, in El Paso, where she has served the community through leadership within numerous organizations.

In May 2013, she was elected to the Board of Trustees for El Paso Community College. Art Fierro, Chair for EPCC’s Board of Trustees, described her as “a dedicated trustee who is committed to ensuring EPCC strives for positive outcomes at every level.” She has served in leadership roles for the State Bar of Texas Disciplinary Grievance Committee, the Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest, the El Paso County Civil Service Commission, the El Paso Museum of Art Advisory Board, IMPACT Programs of Excellence, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, and the Equal Justice Center.

“Throughout her legal career, Judge Solis has fought to make sure that low-income people are not cut off from access to legal representation and remedies,” said Robert Doggett, executive director of TRLA. “She has been committed to the idea that all people, regardless of their income, have an equal right to justice. Her court will benefit from that dedication.”

In other TRLA news:

  • Attorney Maricarmen Garza, group coordinator for TRLA’s Victims’ Rights Group, was appointed to the ABA’s Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence. For 20 years, the Commission has been instrumental in both policy initiatives and in providing resources and technical assistance. The Commission partners with the U.S. Department of Justice and agencies across the United States to offer training and practical knowledge essential to effective representation of victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.

  • TRLA staff, along with pro bono attorneys and over 40 law students from the William Wayne Justice Center and Mithoff Pro Bono Program, counseled over 50 Rio Grande Valley high school students who have disabilities. The students and their families were counseled on guardianships and guardianship alternatives. The Jan. 15 clinic in Edinburg was conducted as a partnership with the Region 1 Education Service Center.

  • TRLA’s Board of Directors honored Judge Antonia Arteaga, who presides over the 57th Civil District Court in Bexar County, for her longtime service as a Board Member. Nine TRLA staff members were recognized for either 20 or 21 years of service. Those honored are attorneys Renee Treviño, Pablo Almaguer, Pamela Brown and Danielle Gonzalez, and staff members Terry Secrest, Sara de Leon, Sandra Prieto, Norma Dominguez, and Jose Garza.

nancy nusser