Meet Judge Christine A. Nowak

493rd District Court,

Collin County

Where did you attend law school? Baylor

What area of law did you practice?  Civil/Commercial Litigation

When did you realize you wanted to become a lawyer?  College, after I realized I did NOT want to be an accountant

When did you realize you wanted to become a judge?  I’ve actually always wanted to grow up and be trial lawyer of the year

How long have you been a judge? I’ve been a state court judge for about six months; if you include my time as a federal magistrate judge, around eight and a half years.

Are lawyers intimidated by you?  Doubtful.

Tell me about your family? 1 husband, 2 kids, 1 dog (a pug named Friedrich Von Nowak a.k.a. Fred)

What is your spouses’ occupation? Judge

Are your children in college or working? No children in college or working (yet).

If you could change anything about the judicial system, what would it be?  I wish informal dispute resolution (mediation/settlement conferences) was offered through/in each court’s system.

What do you do when you are not at the courthouse?  Drive my children around, fold laundry, and other very glamorous activities. 

If you were to leave the bench today, what would you do?  Mediate!  I really love to help people problem solve and to fit puzzle pieces together. 

What are your passions?  Reading!  I heart reading for fun; you will always find me with my nose in a book if I have any free time.

If you can do anything over in life, what would it be?  I wish I had studied abroad in college.

Meet the Member

Meet Karla Leal. She is the Court Coordinator for Cameron County Court at Law No. 2 in Cameron County. Karla began working for the county in 2007 as a Deputy Clerk at the Cameron County Clerk’s office. She then moved to County Court at Law No. 2 in January 2011, as the Records Coordinator, and later promoted to coordinator in 2013. Karla handles the criminal dockets for Judge Laura Betancourt. Karla enjoys working with her co-workers because they make it fun and always have each other’s back. Karla was an only child so her co-workers have become her brothers and sister. The most difficult part of being a coordinator for Karla is dealing with difficult defendants and attorneys.

Karla greatest influence in her life has been her family. Her mom has been her biggest supporter. She has two wonderful kids, Albert 21 year old and Renata 9 years old. Karla family also consist of a dog, two lovebirds and a rabbit.

Some random fact about Karla are that her most overused phrase is Bomba (she says it in Spanish because in English it does not make sense lol).  One of the things that Karla values most in her friends is that you must have a sense and have a great personality, if not she can cut you off quick from her life. If Karla did not have to work, she would be traveling the world visiting places like Greece, France, Spain and many others.

Karla first became a TACA member in 2011, as it was custom that all court staff become a member. She graduated and became a Certified Court Manager in 2016. She is one of two people that have completed the program in Cameron County. Once she became a TACA member, she says she got more involved with committees because her administrator Perla Diaz made her. Although she was voluntold to sign up on committees, she enjoyed helping out. She has been part of membership and education committee. If there was one thing that Karla wished people knew about TACA it would be that it is a great place to meet new people and make long lasting friendship no matter what part of Texas you are from.  She encourages all to get out and volunteer with TACA.

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