First Latina to lead division in Dallas DA’s office

A judge hired to lead the Civil Division will be the first Hispanic to lead a division in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson is getting ready for her role as chief attorney of the Civil Division. Snelson will oversee all of the litigation that deals with Dallas County on both the plaintiff and defense sides.

She said she is looking forward to her new role, which begins mid-October.

“We’re going to work hard,” she said. “We’re going to get good results. We’re always going to have an eye toward justice.”

As a child, the Elizabeth Davenport character in the NBC television drama “The Rockford Files” sparked the judge’s interest in law.

“I think she just sparked in me an interest, because I didn’t have the role models,” Snelson said.

Snelson said her family struggled to make ends meet when she was growing up, and attending college was not part of her parent’s plans.

“I was never asked when I was going to graduate,” she said. “I was certainly asked when I was going to procreate.”

With the help of grants and scholarships at the University of Houston, Snelson became the first in her family to attend college and enroll in law school.

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