Judge Maria T. Jackson has been the presiding Judge of the 339th State District Court in Houston, Harris County, Texas since the election of 2008. Judge Jackson presides over serious felony offenses, which run the gamut from low-level drug offenses to capital murder. She has presided over one hundred jury trials and several have been featured on The First 48 Hour national television show. She has appeared on many Houston radio and media outlets like Red, White and Blue Political Show, Magic 102, KCOH, and The Prison Show on FM 90.1. Judge Jackson has taken the lead in implementing sweeping changes for DWI probationers in her court. These changes are so notable that the Harris County Probation Department has followed Judge Jackson’s lead in implementing them county wide.
Judge Jackson has served by appointment of the Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice as the presiding Judge in Cameron County, Texas. The United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, the District Attorneys of Alabama, and the National Judicial College selected Judge Jackson as one of twenty-four judges from across the country to receive training at the National Computer Forensics Institute (NCFI). In 2003-2008, Judge Jackson was appointed by the Mayor and City Council as a Fulltime Municipal Court Judge for the City of Houston. During her tenure as a Municipal Court Judge, she also served as a trainer and instructor for the Texas Municipal Courts Education Center. She was a Municipal Bond Attorney and a certified Mediator.
Awards and Recognition
Judge Jackson’s passion for public service has not gone unnoticed. Her service to the community has led a number of organizations to recognize her. Judge Jackson was named “Best Criminal Court Judge of 2011” by the Houston Press, making her the first African American woman to be given this honor. D-Mars.com Business Journal awarded Judge Jackson the People’s Choice Award for two consecutive years in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, Judge Jackson was named one of the “Top 30 Most Influential Women of Houston.” In 2015, Judge Jackson was recognized again for her judicial service to the community by the Lebanon Times magazine. She was a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Black Heritage Honoree, a Houston Bar Association-CLE distinguished member, and recognized by Houston’s Influential 40 Under 40. The Houston Sun honored Judge Jackson the “Women of Power and Purpose” award in 2013. In addition to breaking the barriers for minority women in the legal profession, Judge Jackson broke barriers for Houston Municipal judges by being the first judge to be acknowledged by the Mayor’s Spotlight City of Houston employee newspaper. In addition to her accomplishments at the state level, Judge Jackson has been recognized as a “Woman of Now” hall of fame honoree by the U.S. House of Representatives, 18th Congressional.
Professional Activities and Memberships
Judge Jackson’s devotion does not stop at public service. She is also a devoted member to her profession and her alma mater Texas A&M University School of Law formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Judge Jackson serves on the Board of District Judges, where she chairs the Security Committee and serves on the Administration of Justice and the Legislative Committee. She serves on the Mental Health Task Force Board. She is currently a member of the State Bar of Texas, Texas State Bar College, Garland R. Walker American Inns of Court, American Bar Association, Houston Lawyers Association, Houston Bar Association, and the Mexican American Bar Association. She serves on the Harris County Bench Bar Pro Bono Awards Committee. She is a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and the Houston Bar Foundation. She previously served as past Co- Chair on the Speakers Bureau Committee for the Houston Bar Association and on the Board of Directors for Texas A&M University School of Law.
When Judge Jackson is not pursuing her passion for the law, she serves her community by volunteering as a mentor for at-risk youth, high school students, law students and young lawyers. She is a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. She is an active member of the Houston Chapter of Links, Inc., where she serves as Chair on the Services to Youth program. She is a sustaining member of the Harris County Democratic Party. She is a member of the Lakewood Church. She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
B.A. Political Science
The University of Texas at Arlington
Doctor of Jurisprudence
Texas A&M School of Law formerly Texas Wesleyan School of Law