State Bar of Texas Blog

Attorney and civil rights activist Adelfa Callejo dies

Adelfa Callejo—the first Latina to graduate from Southern Methodist University School of Law—died Saturday morning from brain cancer. She was 90 years old.

One of the first Latinas nationwide to receive a law degree, Callejo represented the disadvantaged as an acclaimed civil rights lawyer. At the law firm of Callejo and Callejo, where she practiced for about 40 years, she advocated for immigrant rights and access to quality education for Dallas children. Callejo’s determination and strength shined as she fought through three previous bouts with cancer. 

Among her numerous accomplishments, Callejo served as regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, a director of the State Bar of Texas, and co-founder and past president of the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas. She lived to experience the naming of a school in her honor, the Adelfa Botello Callejo Elementary School in southeastern Dallas, which opened in the fall of 2012.

Memorial arrangements are pending. 

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