Judge Kara L. Darnell

Kara L. Darnell

Title: Associate Judge
Company: South Plains Foster Care Court
Location: Lubbock, Texas, United States

Judge Kara L. Darnell, Associate Judge at South Plains Foster Care Court, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in family law.

Desiring to become a judge since her youth, Judge Darnell was first exposed to the field by a mock trial at a courthouse field trip in elementary school. In college, she worked for a bail bond company and reveled at how the judge’s handled their courtroom, leading her to imagine herself sitting on the judge’s chair. From there, Judge Darnell received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Texas Tech University in 1998, as well as a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Texas Tech University School of Law in 2001. Shortly thereafter, she was admitted to the Texas State Bar Association and Lubbock State Bar Association, in which she remains an active member.

Since 2013, Judge Darnell has excelled as an associate judge of the South Plains Foster Care Court in Lubbock, Texas. Specializing in child protection, she oversees the welfare and interest of the children who come before her in court. Previously, she found success as an associate attorney at Fargason, Booth, St. Clair, Richards & Wilkins LLP in Lubbock from 2008 to 2013 and an associate attorney at Peterson, Farris, Pruitt & Parker, P.C. in Amarillo from 2003 to 2008. Judge Darnell commenced her impressive legal career as an assistant city attorney for the City of Midland, Texas from 2001 to 2003, where she prosecuted Class C misdemeanors and city code violations.

Finding great success throughout the course of her illustrious career, Judge Darnell was named to Women of Excellence by the YWCA of Lubbock in 2020. She attributes her success to the educators of Plainview, Texas who enlightened her and challenged her to do and be her best. Along with the many mentors who encouraged her throughout her schooling, she also credits her parents and her husband, Jim Bob, for their impactful influence. Civically engaged as well, Judge Darnell serves as a Master in the Texas Tech chapter of the American Inn of Court and as a Deacon for Second Baptist Church. In five years’ time, she envisions herself possibly serving as a different type of judge, as well as continuing to grow in her current role.

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