Juli A. Mathew, an Indian-American from Thiruvalla who has been elected as a judge of the Fort Bend County Court at Law No 3 in the United States for the second consecutive time, will swear in as the judge through videoconference from her in-law’s house at Bheemanady in Kasaragod on Monday.
A Democratic candidate, she is the first Indian-American to be elected to the bench.
Ms. Juli told The Hindu that 2023 was turning out to be a great year for her. Earlier, there were no female judges on the bench before her entry four years ago. “My selection will instill confidence in people, especially Indians and other people from the Asian community, that it is very much possible,” she said.
Ms. Juli was the Associate Municipal Judge in Arcola, Texas, and a practising attorney for 15 years with experience in mass tort, civil litigation, probate, and criminal matters in Fort Bend and surrounding counties. She was voted as the Administrative Judge for the County Courts by her peers and also headed the first Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court.
She said that her father, who did business, had run into legal problems and the family had to struggle a lot during their initial days in the U.S. “The financial and legal problems faced by parents made me think that this would not have happened had they known the law and legal aspects. I decided to study law and worked hard to reach where I am,” she said.
Ms. Juli and her brother Johnson grew up in Philadelphia after their parents Thomas Daniel and Susamma migrated from Thiruvalla. Mr. Thomas is a pharmacist and Ms. Susamma is a nurse in the U.S.
She completed her high school in Philadelphia and attended Penn State University before attending Delaware Law School for her Juris Doctorate. She also studied at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. During her academic years, she was also president of the Student Government Association at Penn State Abington and received a citation for leadership from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is married to Jimmy Mathew, who hails from Bheemanady in Kasaragod, and has three children.