Sylvia Matthews
Judge, 281st District Court

Governor Perry first appointed Sylvia to serve as judge of the 281st District Court in December 2008. She was elected to a four-year term in 2010 and then re-elected for another term in 2014. Since taking the bench, Sylvia has presided over more than 160 jury trials and was elected by her peers to serve as the Administrative Judge of the Board of Civil District Judges. She was also appointed to preside over statewide multi-district litigation involving alleged underpayment of insurance claims. 

Sylvia is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, teaching law students how to try cases.  She also volunteers her time to plan legal education programs for judges and lawyers and is a frequent speaker at education programs. She is a 2005 alumna of Leadership Texas, the longest-running leadership program for women in the United States; a Fellow of the Houston Bar Foundation; a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation; and a member of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. Sylvia has served on the board of the Association of Women Attorneys and currently serves as president of the Texas Association of Civil and Appellate Specialists.   

When she took the bench, Sylvia had more than 20 years of trial experience and was a partner in one of the largest law firms in the state. She gained extensive experience in complex business litigation and cases involving person injury through her private practice. She served on the firm's Diversity Committee and Women’s Initiative Team.

She is a 1986 graduate of The University of South Carolina School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review, the Moot Court Bar, and the National Moot Court Team. She earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics, cum laude, from The College of Charleston. Sylvia enjoys theater, architecture, running, and spending time with her husband. 

Political advertising paid for by the Judge Sylvia Matthews Campaign in compliance with the voluntary limits of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.