She attended Barnard College of Columbia University in New York, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 1954. She attended Saint Mary"s University School of Law, one of only a few women in her law school class, receiving her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in 1965 and was admitted to the Texas Barometer
She became a judge on the Municipal Court of the city of Olmos Park, Texas, in 1969 and of the Bexar County Court of Law in 1975. She served as District Judge of the 131st Judicial District of Texas from 1981 to 1992. She was elected Justice of the Texas Supreme Court in 1992 and served from 1993 to until 1998.
She was the first woman to be elected to the state"s highest court.
She served until 1998, when she lost her re-election during a sweep of judicial elections in Texas by Republican candidates. Among her many judicial opinions, her dissent in Twyman v.
Twyman is often studied in family law.