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Posted on: Jun 1, 2020

Roy R. Barrera Sr. Nominated for the Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award

The State Bar of Texas (SBOT) Hispanic Issues Section presents the 2020 Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award to San Antonio attorney, Roy R. Barrera, Sr.

The Reynaldo G. Garza Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an attorney or judge who has demonstrated a long commitment and made great achievement in addressing concerns and issues affecting the Hispanic community and to the Hispanic Bar in Texas and has worked toward advancing diversity and access to justice in the practice of law. 

The award has been presented since 1983 and is named for the Honorable Reynaldo G. Garza, the United States’ first Mexican-American federal judge who served from 1961-2004, first in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas and then on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Mr. Barrera is beloved in the San Antonio legal community and it is with great pride that even more attorney leaders throughout the state of Texas learn about his important contributions and impact on the Hispanic community and up and coming leaders.

Many people know Mr. Barrera as a talented and gifted trial attorney and many have heard his story about arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1957, especially notable in San Antonio because he was arguing against Fred Semaan. 

But Mr. Barrera was also was making an impact outside of the courthouse. In 1968, he was the first Hispanic Secretary of State in Texas and afterwards stayed active as a state and city civic leader.  As Justice Patricia Alvarez noted in her nomination letter, “As such, he was influential in fostering and, many times, demanding equal treatment of Hispanics at a time when we were only known as “those Mexicans.” His quest for equal treatment did not stop after he stepped down as Secretary of State. Through the years, Mr. Barrera continued working relentlessly to better the Hispanic community through mentoring, education and promoting self-improvement.”

Mr. Barrera was to be honored by the State Bar of Texas at their June annual meeting.  Due to cancellation, Mr. Barrera will be recognized at a future event.