When Jesus “Jesse” Nevarez Jr. decided to practice family law at age 40, his law school professors told him that he would be poor, broke and unappreciated.But after almost 15 years in the legal profession, Nevarez, 54, will soon become a family law judge, replacing Randy Catterton who retired in May. On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry announced Nevarez’s appointment to the 231st district court where he will serve until the next general election in 2014.“I’m excited; this is an opportunity that I needed to take,and I felt that now is the right time,” Nevarez said.Nevarez said he will likely start his new term on Sept. 1, because he has to close his solo practice. “I’m trying to figure out how to handle my cases,” he said.Nevarez is a member of the Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association, Parker County Bar Association, a former member of the American Payroll Association and a past member of the Mexican American Bar Association. Nevarez grew up in Sinton, in San Patricio County near Corpus Christi, where he worked with his parents in the cotton fields. His family moved north to the Dallas area in order to have a better life.Nevarez lived in Garland and, after graduating from high school there, joined the Air Force.He graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas where he majored in economics.Nevarez began his career in the corporate world, in charge of payroll for large corporations including TGI Fridays and Columbia Health Care. But when he turned 40, he decided to pursue his interest in law school. Nevarez attended the Texas Wesleyan University Law School where he toyed with going into international or corporate law. But during his last semester, Nevarez said he mentored children in an English-as-a-second-language program and knew that family law was his calling. “The reason that I am taking this post is that I feel that I can inspire another minority in the community to do something who came from nowhere,” he said.
Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696 Twitter: @fwstliz