The Honorable Celeste Iris Villarreal of Austin will be honored on June 26, 2014 with the Bob Black Bar Leaders Award by the Texas Tech Law Alumni Association.
The prestigious award will be presented to Judge Villarreal at a reception of the State Bar of Texas at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin.
The Bob Black Award is given to Texas Tech Law alumni who have served as president of a local, state, national, international, or specialty bar association. Villarreal is the Immediate Past President of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas.
Just last month, Judge Villarreal was elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Association. Fellows are selected for their outstanding professional achievements and their commitment to improving the justice system throughout the state of Texas.
Before taking the Municipal Court bench in 2010, Villarreal represented clients and litigated family law, criminal defense, wills and probate cases. She also has extensive governmental relations and communication experience in Austin and Washington, D.C.
Villarreal received her Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2005.
Before becoming an attorney, she enjoyed a successful career in broadcasting. The South Texas native earned her Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin in 1982. During the next two decades she worked for such notable media companies as the Fox News Corporation, Univision, Katz Media, Levenson & Hill, Times Mirror and the Paramount Stations Group.
In addition to her professional achievements, Villarreal has been recognized for her leadership and service in the community. Most recently she received the Outstanding Service Award for Municipal Judges by the State Bar of Texas and the Outstanding Service Award by the Hispanic Bar Association of Austin in 2012.
In Washington, D.C. Villarreal worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund and the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans. At our state capitol in Austin she was legal counsel for State Senator Rodney Ellis and later, general counsel for State Senator Judith Zaffirini.
Villarreal has published legal articles, served as editor for legal publications and speaks at programs and community organizations. The Tech Law Alumni award is named in honor of Texas Tech Law alumnus Bob Black, Class of 1980, who served as president of the State Bar of Texas during 2011-2012.
Villarreal will receive the award at the State Bar of Texas Annual meeting in Austin on June 26, 2014. The reception will be held at the Hilton Austin Hotel, 500 E. 4th St., from 5:30-7:30 p.m.