Gilberto Hinojosa was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley, attended public schools, and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Returning to Texas, he became the managing attorney for the Brownsville office of Texas Rural Legal Aid. Governor Ann Richards appointed Gilberto to the Texas Board of Criminal Justice, overseeing the Texas prison and parole system. He has served his fellow Texans as a county, district court, and court of appeals judge in both appointed and elected capacities. Gilberto is currently in private practice in Brownsville. Since 2012, Gilberto has served as the chair of the Texas Democratic Party.