Honorable Maryellen Hicks
Maryellen Whitlock Hicks is a judge for the state of Texas. She is of counsel to the Law Office of Karmen Johnson and Associates. Judge Hicks also serves as a mediator and arbitrator. She is the recipient of many firsts in her life. She was the first African-American and first female to serve on the Second Court of Appeals. (1993-1994). Judge Hicks was the first, and remains the only, African American female District Judge in Fort Worth, having served on the 231st Judicial District Court, (1983-1993). Judge Hicks was the first African-American Probate Court Master in Tarrant County. At the age of 27, she first became a Municipal Court Judge and later served as Chief Judge, again, a first for African-Americans and a first for women. Judge Hicks holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law. She attended Texas Women's University Graduate School. She holds a BA from Texas Women's University. She has also continued her education at Harvard Law School, University of Colorado and Golden Gate Law School. Maryellen joined the Southside Community Garden in February 2021 and serves as a board member of By Amy Means 104. She believes deeply in the work we are do in 76104 relating to food apartheid.
Judge Hicks a member of the State Bar of Texas and the National Bar. She is also a member of the Texas Punishment Standards Commission and a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. She has served as President of the Black Women Lawyers of Tarrant County, Fort Worth Black Bar Association and is the former director of the Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas. In addition to the professional activities, Judge Hicks has served on the Advisory Board of Directors for the Campaign for Human Development and AIDS Outreach Center. She has hosted Speak Out, a talk show on KKDA Radio Station for over twelve years. She was a founder of the African-American Summit For Peace, as well as Justice and Equality in Tarrant County. Judge Hicks is a member of Delta Signma Theta Sorority; a Golden Heritage Life Member of the NAACP, Vice President of the Chums, Inc. and a founding member of the Moles, Inc. She is a proud Federated Club Member serving the Odessa Social, Civic, and Arts Club, of which her mother was a founder. She also remains a committed philanthropist, consistently giving to a variety of organizations.
Her peers honored Judge Hicks in 1999 and 2001 as the number one Judge in the Houston Area Bar Poll. She outranked all Judges, including Supreme Court and Federal Judges. Texas Tech School of Law honored her as its Outstanding Alumnus in 2001, where she was the first African-American graduate. Texas Women's University also honored her as an outstanding alumnae in 1989. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram honored Judge Hicks in 1993 as the Woman of the Year. In addition to all of her professional and civic activities, Judge Hicks also raised a daughter alone, having been widowed. Her daughter Kathleen is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massuchusetts and the University of Nottingham, England, and is now also active in politics and the community. Judge Hicks considers herself an activist who cares and a philanthropist of limited means, but shares what she can and remains committed lifting as she climbs.