Marina Garcia Marmolejo is a United States district judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Marina was born in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas Mexico and is a native Spanish speaker. Marina lived in Nuevo Laredo for ten years prior to immigrating to the U.S. with her family. Upon graduating from the University of the Incarnate Word in 1992, she returned to Laredo and worked as a substitute teacher and volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of America. Marina became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1995.
In 1996, Marina received her J.D. cum laude from St. Mary's University School of Law. While at St. Mary's, she was an Associate Editor on the ST. MARY'S LAW REVIEW. She also worked as a Research Assistant for Prof. Raul M. Sanchez and tutored students in Property and Legal Methods and Writing. Marina also represented indigent defendants during her participation as a student-attorney in the St. Mary's Criminal Justice Clinic. Marina's commitment to public service and to the border region was further evidenced by her volunteer work in the St. Mary's School of Law Colonia EIC campaign, which assisted low-income individuals from the colonias with the preparation of tax returns.
In addition to her J.D., Marina received an M.A. (International Relations) from St. Mary's University in 1996, distinguished graduate, 4.0 G.P.A.
Before becoming a federal judge, Marina was a partner with the law firm of Reid Collins Tsai LLP from 2009-2011 where she used her Spanish skills to represent foreign sovereigns and individuals involved in U.S. litigation. Marina also served as Of Counsel with the international law firm of Thompson and Knight LLP from 2007-2009 and helped open the San Antonio office.
Marina has dedicated the vast majority of her legal career to public service, having worked as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Western and Southern Districts of Texas from 1996-1999. During her tenure as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, Marina worked in Del Rio and Laredo (both border offices) and represented hundreds of indigent defendants charged with federal criminal offenses ranging from immigration violations to drug trafficking offenses.
In 1999, Marina joined the United States Attorney's Office in Laredo, Texas and served as an Assistant United States Attorney for over 8 years. During this time, she handled hundreds of cases annually and tried over 30 cases to verdict. In one of several high profile public corruption cases, Marina, at age 29, prosecuted a complex public corruption case against several Laredo public officials and several family members. After a five-week jury trial in the defendants' home town, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts against all of the defendants. At age 31, the Executive Office of the Department of Justice awarded Marina one of its most prestigious awards-the Attorney General's Director's Award for her superior performance as an AUSA and her work on several public corruption cases.
During her tenure as an AUSA, Marina was often recruited by the Department of Justice's OPDAT (Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training) program to teach trial advocacy skills to foreign prosecutors and agents in Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
Marina is proud to be named Alumni of Distinction for Professional Achievement.