Judge manages family, volunteering and career

Judge Judy Parker is the newly appointed judge in County Court-at-Law No. 3. (Photo by Luke Backus)

Coordinating the schedules of three children in three different Frenship schools, managing a busy volunteer schedule and taking up public speaking engagements could be a full-time position.

Add to that a career of being a newly appointed judge in County Court-at-Law No. 3, and one might wonder how Judge Judy Parker does it all.

Parker said she is able to cope because her husband, Scott, a civil engineer, has a more flexible career and pitches in.

“I have a very supportive and helpful husband. He referred to it the other day; he’s the taxi driver and I’m the dispatch,” she said. “We try to coordinate that really well.”

Parker said she and Scott both love to cook, so they plan meals in advance for each week and both do duty in front of the stove.

With all three of her children involved in sports, Parker said she and her husband try to attend each event.

“When I’m not judging, I’m being a cheerleader,” Parker said of her participation at her children’s games.

Parker sings in the choir at First Baptist Church of Lubbock and is on the board of the Early Learning Centers and United Way. She is also on the Buckner Foster Care and Adoption Network Advisory Committee.

She said she also tries to keep family time sacred.

“I try not to take speaking engagements at night because that’s family time,” Parker said.

Other families are also important to her, she said. As an associate judge since December 1994, Parker heard a lot of family-related cases and has implemented mandatory parent education courses for parents going through divorce and a family recovery court for families who are going through child protective services.

“As associate judge, I’ve had a front-row seat to problems facing families in my courtroom,” Parker said. “I’m very passionate about families and about doing things to help strengthen families.”

Since she was appointed by the Lubbock County Commission to fill the term of retiring Judge Paula Lanehart in October, she hears about 30 percent of all family law cases in town, but she will also hear some misdemeanor criminal cases, civil lawsuits and probate hearings.

Parker said she will run for election to the County Court-at-Law No. 3 seat in 2010.

“At the appropriate time, I will gear up and be ready to run for election for a full term,” Parker said.

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