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Hon. Victor Villarreal, Laredo

Judge Victor Villarreal was appointed by Webb County Commissioners Court to serve as Judge of Webb County Court-at-Law II in April, 2017. On March 6, 2018, the people of Webb County elected Judge Villarreal to a four-year term; and he ran unopposed in 2022 for a 4-year term which began in 2023.

Doing more with less, he has reformed the court, eliminated a backlog of cases, streamlined activities, and reduced the budget and staff. He accomplished his goal to transform Webb County Court-at-Law II from the worst audited court in the state to the only court in the state that has been audited at 100% compliance for guardianship cases. On November 15, 2019, the Texas Judicial Council designated Webb County Court-at-Law II a Judicial Center of Excellence–the first county court in Texas to attain the designation. During the pandemic, he planned, announced, and held the first-ever virtual hearings and webinars in Webb County.

From humble beginnings, Judge Villarreal was born in Laredo and was brought-up by his mother, a public school teacher, after his father died when he was only 12. One of his grandfathers was the gardener at the courthouse, and his other grandfather shined shoes and sold magazines in downtown Laredo. His uncle made and sold candy apples at the courthouse. They taught him the value of hard work and education.

He is a graduate of Texas A&M International University and was named a Distinguished Alumni in 2010. Before becoming a lawyer, he completed an internship at the National Science Foundation, where he learned that attorneys have unique opportunities to positively impact people's lives, and a social responsibility to do so. After internships at the United States Department of State and the Texas House of Representatives, he enrolled at the University of Texas School of Law. At UT Law, he was president of the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students’ Association, the largest of its kind in the United States; and he created the Susana I. Aleman Scholarship at UT Law. As a lawyer, he served as president of the Laredo-Webb County Bar Association and created the Barbra Kazen Endowed Scholarship at Texas A&M International.

Prior to becoming judge, he was elected director, secretary, and then vice-president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. Frequently called the “public service branch” of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Young Lawyers Association advances the role of the legal profession by serving the public. True to its purpose, the Texas Young Lawyers Association under Judge Villarreal's leadership brought the Texas Supreme Court to Laredo and Webb County for the first time in the history of the State of Texas. The Court heard oral arguments on a case at Texas A&M International University for the benefit of students interested in the legal profession.

Judge Villarreal served nearly six years on the State Bar Grievance Committee for his local district, and his public service continues. Judge Villarreal is the immediate past president of Texas Latinx Judges; a commissioner on the Judicial Branch Certification Commission; a curriculum committee member of the Texas Center for the Judiciary; a member of Texas Office of Court Administration Judicial Needs Assessment Committee; and a board member of both the Judicial Section and Juvenile Section of the State Bar of Texas.

Judge Villarreal is married to another Laredoan, Lorena Martinez-Villarreal. They have two beautiful daughters, Sofia, 8, and Andrea, 7. His favorite activities include reading to his daughters and hosting student and teachers to the Court’s Access to Justice: Class in the Courtroom mock trials.

The Webb County Court-at-Law II Access to Justice: Class in the Courtroom mock trial series has welcomed over 6,000 students into the courtroom to learn about the real aspects of jury trials including the importance of jury service, courtroom layout, occupations within the judiciary, and the consequences of breaking the law. The lessons are brought to life in the best place to learn these lessons–in the courtroom. His advice to all: Discover your best talents; and serve others—directly with help or indirectly by example.