Never wished to be a Judge, but now this Indian-American woman cherishes the job


When she moved to the United States with her parents years ago after dropping out of school in a village in Kerala, Julie A. Mathew never wanted to be a lawyer or a judge.

Some legal problems, which his father faced in his business many years ago, planted the first seeds of thought in his mind about the need to study law.

Mathew later practiced as a lawyer in the US for 15 long years and made history by breaking the glass ceiling and defying odds four years ago by becoming the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the judge’s bench there.

After being sworn in for a second consecutive term as Fort Bend County Judge in Texas, USA, she now feels that it is the best job she has ever had and she loves the profession the most.

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A resident of Thiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district, Mathew took oath as a county court judge in Texas from her husband’s village home in this north Kerala district on Monday through video conferencing.

“This time it was my desire to take the oath from my husband’s house. Otherwise my in-laws could not have participated in the ceremony. I am very happy that he and other family members could attend the oath-taking ceremony,” she said. told PTI on Tuesday.

Mathew said that when she first became a judge four years ago, her parents were there to witness the ceremony and bless her.

“It was such a beautiful memory,” said the woman, who is in her mid-forties.

He also recalled how his parents once tried to discourage him from studying law because it was a “stressful” field.

This time his parents and elder daughter could not participate in the ceremony as they were in America.

Earlier, Mathew shared on Facebook a video of the swearing-in before Judge Christian Becerra and a brief prayer meeting held on the verandah of the house led by a local priest, attended by her husband, two young daughters. -laws and other family members.

In one video, she can be seen taking the oath by raising her right hand and placing her left hand on the Bible, which her husband is holding.

Mathew, a mother of three girls, said she could not go to her home village Venikulam in Tiruvalla due to her other commitments.

She still remembers the day she left her fifth grade at a local English medium school and moved to America with her parents.

Matthew has been a resident of Fort Bend, Texas for many years.

Asked how she still maintains a good fluency in Malayalam, Mathew smiled and said that she almost forgot the mother tongue at some point but successfully revived it through constant interaction with community members.

Her husband is a businessman in America.

“My family–husband and parents are my pillars of support. I do all the household chores alone, including taking care of my children. With the immense support of my family, I have been able to do both personally and professionally without fail. Managing both cases,” she added. .

Judge and family will leave for America on January 5.

Matthew was re-elected for a second term after defeating his Republican challenger, Andrew Dornberg. She will serve as the presiding judge for a term of four years.

She was voted by her peers as administrative judge for the county courts and also heads the first Juvenile Intervention and Mental Health Court.

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