Brooke López

Staci Williams: Running for Texas Supreme Court

Updated: Apr 19, 2024

Staci Williams headshot

Judge Staci Williams is running for Texas Supreme Court, Place 7. She is currently the two-term presiding judge of the 101st Civil District Court in Dallas County. Even when Judge Staci is adjudicating decisions and serving the Dallas county residents, she is also leading the Citizens’ Civil Academy (CCA), a grassroots program exposing folks to the world of civil courts. Judge Staci believes her many experiences in the legal profession such as working with the U.S. EEOC, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, City of Dallas, and DART provides her the breadth of knowledge needed to serve on the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge Staci was born in Longview, though her family called Marshall, Texas home. Based on the segregated hospitals at the time, she and her twin sister were born 15 miles away from home. Judge Staci went to a segregated school until the 2nd grade, when her school began to integrate. This was during the time of the Civil Rights movement when the news media would capture the horrific acts taken upon Black communities fighting for equality during the backlash of integrating schools based on the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Case. Judge Staci vividly remembered asking her father ‘Daddy, are the dogs going to get me at school?”

Judge Staci and her twin sister would go on to graduate from the top ranked Hockaday School. This all-girls preparatory academy in Dallas prepared its graduates “to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in a rapidly changing world.” Hockaday would reinforce the values her parents, extended family, and communities lived by: scholarship, athletics, character, and courtesy. She was one of three to become the first African-American students to graduate from the school. Continuing her education, Judge Staci would go on to attend Smith College in Northampton, MA where she participated in the rigorous American Economic Association Summer Program at Yale University and later would become a high excelling law graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC.

When Judge Staci first announced her campaign in 2014 for the 101st District Court, she was told that she would not receive any endorsements or campaign funds. Nevertheless, Judge Staci was determined. She ran on a concise budget to build her platform. Correspondingly, Judge Staci would win the Democratic primary election for the seat with 62% of the vote and fill the seat the following January. She was re-elected in November 2018 with 63% of the vote.

Judge Staci’s legal career brought her to many facets in the law field. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, she served as a Judicial Clerk. She then worked as the in-house counsel for defense, telecommunications, and retail corporations. Judge Staci also served as a trial attorney and an administrative judge for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Additionally, she counselled for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and became an arbitrator for entities like Dallas Area Rapid Transit (“DART”) and the United States Postal Service. Furthermore, Judge Staci has served as a Municipal Court Judge for the City of Dallas and as a Civil District Court Judge for Dallas County. Judge Staci’s career of nearly 30 years in the legal system has driven her to run for the Supreme Court Justice for the State of Texas.

Outside of the campaign trail and courtroom, Judge Staci still finds a way to bring the court to the community. She founded the Citizen’s Civil Academy (“CCA”), a free nonpartisan program that educates the public about the civil court system. Judge Staci created the CCA after hearing pleas of people not understanding the court proceedings. Many people have exposure to the criminal justice system but are rarely exposed to the civil court system until they are facing a lawsuit. Judge Staci wants to change this phenomenon. The program began in Dallas County and has since expanded to surrounding areas. She aspires for the CCA to eventually become a statewide program.

Judge Staci knows the difficulty of balancing life and running for office, but reinvigorates from community gatherings. If you ever spoke to her past interns, they would immediately think about all the surprise gatherings Judge Staci created to celebrate their accomplishments as a team. She believes in the importance of celebrating everyone because she finds joy in the success of others. Instead of having a staff Thanksgiving Dinner, Judge Staci and the 101st District Court for the last three years have donated 101 cans of food to the North Texas Food Bank. When Hurricane Harvey evacuees came to Dallas, Judge Staci and her court donated 202 pairs of flip-flops for individuals taking showers. Despite the immensely busy schedule, Judge Staci celebrates members on her team and gives back to the community.

Judge Staci’s resilience, creativity, and highly ranked academic dedication have supported her journey in serving communities.

To learn more about Judge Staci Williams, visit her website at https://judgestaci.com/.

Staci Williams with her Colleagues at Supreme Court

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