Former Judge Renée Yanta's legacy: Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.


Former Judge Renée Yanta has authorized the Eagle Pass News Leader to announce her candidacy for Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals.


Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. These six words serve as former Judge Renée Yanta’s foundation. All her life, she has served others. And serves without limits.


A Legacy of Service


Service is in Renée’s DNA. She grew up in a military family: her grandfather led his squadron into air combat on D-day; her father piloted a radar-jamming plane over Vietnam. Her mother volunteered 100s of hours with the Red Cross at Clark Air Force Base, writing letters for wounded warriors.


Raised on military bases, Renée has always found many ways to give back. As she collected toys for children in Vietnam, volunteered for Family Services on base and the Red Cross at Landstuhl Military Hospital. She was the first girl to serve as the student commander of the Junior ROTC unit at Judson High School. Renée grew up always looking for more ways to help and more people to assist. That’s what led her first to become a public school teacher.


The Call to Teach


After graduating from the University of Texas in just 3 years, Renée started her teaching career at an at-risk district, Del Valle ISD where she quickly develop into a master teacher.


With the birth of her daughter, Renée wanted to return home to San Antonio. She taught at MacArthur High School for 7 years, challenging her students to become critical thinkers.

From Teacher to Student

Renée loved teaching. But after 9 years, she decided to take a different path of service. And she went bold! She cashed in my teacher retirement, took out huge loans, and headed to St. Mary’s.


From day one, Renée loved the law. With her two children often in tow, she

spent long hours researching and writing about law—while Brandon and Jackie played and read books next to her.


Renée reveled in the study of law, leading her to serve as Editor in Chief of the Law Journal and graduate at the very top of her class.


A Trailblazing Noble Lawyer


After graduating, Renée dove into litigation—learning quickly that becoming a Noble Lawyer required a humble walk. She juggled motherhood with her professional growth. Many a supreme court brief was researched and written from the Little League stands.


For over 17 years, Renée continued to work 60+ hours a week handling all sorts of cases. She eventually built a nationwide reputation, became board certified in civil appellate law, was named a Super Lawyer, and was lauded as one of the top women lawyers in all of Texas. She started teaching law, became a prolific legal writer, even co-authoring a book used by every judge and lawyer at trial. Despite all her success, she never once lost sight of what called her to law in the first place: helping others.


A Woman Helping Her Community


Throughout her legal career, Renée invested her heart into San Antonio. She helped many non-profits, including the Rape Crisis Center and the Battered Women’s Shelter. When she became president of BCWB, Renée partnered with the San Antonio Sport Foundation to start a program mentoring at-risk middle school girls in Harlandale Independent School District. This program made a profound impact and helped to lower the teen pregnancy rate in San Antonio.


A Higher Calling and Innovative Solutions


It was no surprise when Renée was appointed to the 73rd District Court in January 2010. Handling from contested divorces and child protection cases to commercial litigation, former Judge Renée enjoyed the chance to use every legal resource and reasoning skill she had to protect children and heal families. She left the Bench in 2012 and then returned in 2015, as Judge of the 150th District Court.


Former Judge Renée saw a phenomenon from the bench that was dangerous and pervasive. Teen girls in foster care faced poverty, early pregnancy and educational challenges. Renée felt called to create positive change for these special young ladies.


So just 3 months after becoming judge of the 150th District Court in 2015, former Judge Renée launched PEARLS Court, with the funding help of her dear husband, Virgil Yanta. Under her leadership, PEARLS Court continues to work with 20-40 teen girls each year, providing healing from the trauma they’ve experienced, teaching of life skills, mentoring with strong women from every part of our community.


Her New Path

Former Judge Renée left the Bench of the 150th District Court on December 31, 2018, returning to the practice of law and her specialty as a civil appellate lawyer, Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She has also actively mediated and arbitrated cases. And former Judge Renée has been overwhelmingly blessed to continue working with PEARLS Court by leading the PEARLS Foundation.


Now a new opportunity is in her future--one that combines her deep knowledge and experience in appellate law, her gifted skill set as a proven leader, and her heart for services. She is seeking to serve again, now as Chief Justice of the Fourth Court of Appeals.


So after 7 years of judicial experience, 27 years as an attorney, 17 years as a Board Certified Appellate Lawyer, former Judge Yanta asks for your vote to return her to public service as your Chief Justice.


And former Judge Renée Yanta remains committed to continuing her life—as a mother, grandmother, wife, teacher, lawyer, judge and Chief Justice—in her family’s legacy to: Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.

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