Andrea Bouressa: Serving Texas with gratitude
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Judge Andrea Bouressa was appointed to the 471st District Court in Collin County by Governor Greg Abbott on September 1, 2019. Serving the State of Texas as a District Judge has been the greatest honor for Judge Bouressa, who is currently running for election to keep the bench for a full four-year term.
Since her childhood, Judge Bouressa has been invested in engagement and involvement within her community. As an elementary school student, she was one of a handful of students that petitioned the local city council to have an annual Trash Bash day. She attended a city council meeting, for which her parents dressed her proudly in professional attire. “That experience,” Bouressa reflected, “stayed with me and showed me the importance of being involved and having good government.”
Judge Bouressa, originally from Bryan, Texas, and a third-generation Aggie, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University. “I actually grew up in several different towns across Texas,” Bouressa explained. “My family moved several times while I was in school, so when I did finally get to go to Texas A&M for college, it felt like returning home in a way, because I grew up in that area.” For Bouressa, her experiences moving to various cities as a child impacted her greatly politically, as she was able to meet a variety of people from different walks of life and experience different types of communities across Texas. “Growing up in a number of different environments helped shape my perspective about best governing practices and the importance of flexibility to adapt to each community’s needs.” Her roots have given her perspective in making sure that, in a position of leadership, she considers the impact of decisions that she makes on everyone that is affected, avoiding the pitfalls of tunnel vision.
While at Texas A&M University, Judge Bouressa served as Community Service chair for Alpha Chi Omega, organizing service events every month for her sorority. She then continued her studies at the University of North Texas, earning a master’s degree in Sociology. After finishing her master’s degree, Bouressa shifted her studies to the law in an effort to develop skills that would help her become a strong advocate for people who needed their voice heard. Attending Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law, she received the Dean’s Scholarship while maintaining part-time employment throughout the entirety of her law school career. After graduating from law school, she focused particularly on civil litigation and appeals in private practice. Judge Bouressa has also maintained many volunteer positions within her community, including serving as a board member for Golden Corridor Republican Women and for the Collin County Christian Prayer Breakfast.
Serving as a Judge was not always a part of Bouressa’s future plans. However, in 2015, Judge Bouressa had an epiphany. “I realized I wanted to run for a bench in Collin County,” she explained, “so I went all in and gave it a shot. Although I ran unsuccessfully in 2016, losing that election really solidified my desire to pursue a position in the judiciary.” Being appointed by Governor Abbott to the 471st District Court in 2019 is by far, in her opinion, the biggest compliment and professional achievement she has received thus far. Reflecting on her own experiences running for office, Judge Bouressa urges anyone interested in campaigning to start as soon as possible. Bouressa’s county has a population of over a million people, making it impossible to connect personally with each and every individual in an election cycle. Because of this, she found it invaluable to develop a plan to connect with voters as soon as possible.
In her position as Judge of the 471st District Court of Collin County, Judge Bouressa has navigated through the obstacles and challenges that COVID-19 has presented within the courtroom. Bouressa has been able to help everyone who wants to be heard and participate in the court have an avenue to do that safely, regardless of their economic circumstances or familiarity with technology. She has held hundreds of hearings and bench trials via Zoom, and has found seeing the court through these unfamiliar times to be such a privilege. For any women who aspire to be in a position similar to hers, Judge Bouressa offers the following advice: “Campaigning is such an unusual thing, going out and telling our own accomplishments as women and trying to obtain endorsements and support in different forms seems like such an unnatural experience, so having a close-knit group of friends that can help guide you and keep your priorities straight, whether it’s family, friends, or neighbors, is really important.” As Judge Bouressa seeks vote for reelection as the 471st District Court’s Judge, she remains honored to have served the State of Texas as a District Judge and looks forward to many more years on the bench.