The second highest-ranking state senator, Judith Zaffirini has passed 1,024 bills (more than any legislator in the state’s history); cast 60,000 consecutive votes since 1987; and received more than 950 honors for her legislative, professional, and civic accomplishments. Also a member of the Texas Judicial Council, she champions preventing cronyism and corruption in the legal system, protecting persons under guardianship and/or with intellectual and emotional disabilities, and increasing access to justice. Her legislation includes creating legal self-help centers; multi-county law libraries; standardized forms for landlord-tenant disputes, wills, and other basic legal matters for low-income Texans; and eliminating "debtors' prisons." Her son, Carlos Jr., a member of the Access to Justice Foundation, established the Carlos Sr. and Senator Judith Zaffirini Access to Justice Initiative, which pays bar review and exam costs for low-income UT law graduates who will represent low-income clients.
Senator Zaffirini holds B.S., M.A., and PhD degrees from UT-Austin.