News Release

Texas Access to Justice Foundation 
October 10, 2023

Texas Access to Justice Foundation Adds Former Eagle Pass Mayor Jose A. Aranda Jr. to Board of Directors

Retired Texas Supreme Court Justice Deborah Hankinson reappointed for a new term as chair

AUSTIN, Texas — The the largest state-based funding source for civil legal aid, today announced the addition of real estate brokerage owner and former Mayor of Eagle Pass, Jose “Pepe” A. Aranda Jr., to its board of directors. The Supreme Court of Texas appointed Aranda to a three-year term beginning September 1, 2023.

The Supreme Court of Texas also reappointed retired Texas Supreme Court Justice Deborah Hankinson as the chair for a new three-year term. As the fifth chair of the Foundation’s board, she is the first woman to serve in this position. Hankinson served on the Supreme Court of Texas from 1997 to 2002 and spearheaded the creation of the Texas Access to Justice Commission, the Foundation’s partner in increasing access to justice. She was first appointed to the Foundation’s board in 2003 and served as vice chair from 2008 to 2020. A well-known mediator and arbitrator, her talent has been recognized by legal organizations and publications on state and nationals level.

“It’s a profound privilege to continue my service as the board chair for the Foundation, where I will continue to guide the organization in its mission of equal justice for all,” Deborah Hankinson, chair of the board of directors for the Texas Access to Justice Foundation, said. “We also take great pride in Mr. Aranda’s addition to our board, whose experience is invaluable to our work being done across the state. His expertise and dedication to improving the lives of Texans as a former mayor and county judge will undoubtedly strengthen our initiatives, helping serve those in need.”

Aranda served as the Maverick County Judge from 2003 to 2011, where he oversaw the construction of a new water plant and water distribution system in northern areas of the county, along with the construction of a 650-bed detention center that created 180 new jobs in the community, among many other achievements.

Prior to his role as a Maverick County Judge, Aranda was elected Mayor of Eagle Pass from 1998 to 2002. Major accomplishments during his terms included initiating the construction of a $103-million regional potable and wastewater system as well as participating in the design of and securing funding for a new 43,000-square-foot convention center. The former Mayor of Eagle Pass saw through the completion of the second International Bridge and promoted economic development in the community, resulting in the creation of more than 5,000 jobs.

Prominent Houston attorney Travis Torrence was also reappointed for another three-year term on the board. The Foundation’s board includes 13 attorneys and public members—seven are appointed by the Supreme Court of Texas and six by the State Bar of Texas.


The Texas Access to Justice Foundation (, created by the Supreme Court of Texas in 1984, is the leading state-based funding source for the provision of civil legal aid in Texas. The organization is committed to the vision that all Texans will have equal access to justice, regardless of their income. The Foundation administers a variety of funding sources, which are earmarked to assist nonprofit organizations in providing legal aid to more than 120,000 Texas families each year.


Contact: Kimberly Schmitt
512-320-0099, ext. 104


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