Catherine Tobin Hilliard is a native of San Diego, Duval County, Texas and a proud Vaquero. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas-Austin in 1996 and her Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s Law School in 1999, where she was a member of the St. Mary’s Law Review. After law school, Mrs. Hilliard spent ten years working as a litigation defense attorney with Gonzales Hoblit Ferguson LLP, one of the largest litigation defense firms in South Texas. In 2005, she became the first female Hispanic partner and served as managing partner of the firm.
In 2010, Mrs. Hilliard joined forces with her husband at Hilliard Martinez Gonzales, LLP, a highly successful and internationally recognized plaintiffs’ law firm. Mrs. Hilliard has been selected as a Texas Super Lawyers Rising Star several times during her career. Mrs. Hilliard is a member of the American Bar Association, Corpus Christi Bar Association and Coastal Bend Women Lawyer’s Association. Mrs. Hilliard was also a member of the State Bar of Texas – Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession Committee from 2000-2003 and taught Legal Research and Writing as an Adjunct Professor at Del Mar College in the Fall 2001.
Mrs. Hilliard’s service to the community is extensive. She became a Trustee for St. Edward’s University in 2016 and currently serves as Treasurer. She is Past Chair of the Incarnate Word Academy’s School Board of Directors and Vice-President of the Elementary PTO. She currently serves on the boards of the Texas State Aquarium, United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation, Art Museum of South Texas, United Way of the Coastal Bend, Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas and the Bailando International Dance Festival. In 2019, Mrs. Hilliard was appointed by Nueces County to serve as a Port of Corpus Christi Commissioner, only the fifth woman to serve in this role.