By Archives of the Women of the Southwest intern Melissa Calderon.

In today’s world, women are seen more in the law community either by being attorneys or judges. It is fair to say that women have been committed to making their presence known in the male dominated field that is law. Paula Sue Waddle, a Dallas native born on November 9, 1947, was one of many women who was determined to change the norm within the law field.

Paula Waddle photograph, undated

Paula Waddle photograph, undated

Paula Waddle in judge's robes on stage in Austin

Paula Waddle in judge’s robes on stage in Austin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As an aspiring attorney myself, I was excited to come across Ms. Waddle’s collection. She was an attorney and judge who actively participated in making her community better. By graduating from the University of Texas at Austin law school, she took the first step towards a road that would lead her to making history. The year was 1982 and Ms. Waddle became the first woman to be appointed municipal court judge in Corpus Christi.

Headline Corpus Christi Times, October 20, 1982

Headline Corpus Christi Times, October 20, 1982

The Paula S. Waddle collection consists of ephemera, correspondence, letters, newspaper clippings, court case materials and photographs that document her personal life and extensive professional career. Ms. Waddle’s documents show how important her law career was to her and why she was always looking for ways to better herself. She was a leader who made the change she wanted and inspired others to the same.

Paula Waddle Polaroid photograph, undated

Paula Waddle Polaroid photograph, undated

 

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections.

For access to these collections or to learn more about the adventurous women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.