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Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Scrapbook and Photographs


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

Professional Life

Personal Life

Contact us about this collection

Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Scrapbook and Photographs, 1930-1983 | University of Houston Libraries

By Sharleen Guide and Dick Dickerson

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Collection Overview

Title: Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Scrapbook and Photographs, 1930-1983

Predominant Dates:1982

ID: 02/2001-015

Primary Creator: Sondock, Ruby K.

Extent: 3.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/2001

Subjects: Judges - Texas, Sondock, Ruby K., Texas. Supreme Court, University of Houston. Law Center - Alumni and alumnae

Forms of Material: Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence, Invitations, Photographs, Programs (documents), Scrapbooks

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Housed in 2 boxes, this two-series collection primarily documents the year of Judge Sondock’s appointment to the Texas Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1982. Most notably, this collection includes a 25 in by 17 in, 96-page scrapbook consisting of clippings, photographs, invitations, programs, correspondence, and congratulatory notes regarding her 1982 appointment. Additionally, this collection contains childhood photographs of Judge Sondock from the 1930’s.

Biographical Note

Born April 26, 1926 in Houston, Texas, Ruby Kless Sondock attended Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri for two years before marrying Lt. Melvin A. Sondock in Houston, Texas in 1944. Years after having a family, Sondock attended the University of Houston Law Center and graduated as valedictorian of the 1962 law class. She was admitted to the Texas State Bar the year before her graduation from law school. Following law school, Sondock practiced law for seven years. Gov. Preston Smith appointed her judge of Harris County Domestic Relations Court No. 5 in 1973, making her the first woman in Harris County to hold a district level judgeship. She held the position for four years until Gov. Dolph Briscoe appointed her in 1977 to the 234th District Court; she became the first woman to hold that distinction in Harris County.

Sondock was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court by Gov. William P. Clements following the death of associate justice James G. Denton, who died of a heart attack on June 10, 1982. When the fifty-six year old Sondock was sworn in on June 25, she became the first woman justice on the court since 1925, when a special all-woman court served briefly to hear a single case involving the Woodmen of the World. Sondock completed Denton’s term, which ended December 31, 1982, and did not seek election. Instead she returned to the 234th District Court, to which she won reelection without opposition the following November.

Following her judicial service, Sondock began working as a private mediator in Houston. Her alma mater, the University of Houston Law Center, hosts a biennial lecture series in her name, "The Ruby Kless Sondock Lecture in Legal Ethics."

Subject/Index Terms

Judges - Texas
Sondock, Ruby K.
Texas. Supreme Court
University of Houston. Law Center - Alumni and alumnae

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions: Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.

Acquisition Source: Unknown

Preferred Citation: Judge Ruby Kless Sondock Scrapbook, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Professional Life],
[Series 2: Personal Life],

Series 1: Professional Life
Box 1
Item 1: Justice Ruby Kless Sondock Scrapbook, 1982-1983
Box 2
Folder 1: Supreme Court Induction, 1982
Folder 2: Miscellaneous Judiciary clippings, 1982
Series 2: Personal Life
Box 2
Folder 3: Photographs, undated, 1937-1938
Folder 4: Wedding invitation, 1944

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