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Ravi K. Sandill is a Texan, husband, dad, and cancer survivor who has served as judge of the 127th Civil District Court in Harris County since 2009. He is the first ever district court judge in Texas of South Asian descent. 


Judge Sandill works incredibly hard for the people of Harris County. In his time on the bench, he has resolved more than 21,000 matters and tried over 1600 cases. He is the only civil district court judge in Harris County who adjudicates all cases filed in his court, including seizure/forfeiture and tax cases.

First judge of South Asian descent elected in Texas
First judge in the nation to sign a standing order establishing parental leave for counsel
First judge in Harris County to establish cost-saving process for expediting discovery disputes
First judge in Harris County to require implicit bias training for all those seeking court appointments
First judge in Texas to move to an on-line platform for court hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic
First judge in Harris County to conduct a remote jury trial during the COVID-19 pandemic
First judge in Texas to utilize a digital questionnaire for jury selection

Judge Sandill is from a military family. His father, Retired Lt. Col. Brij Sandill, served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force for 28 years. Judge Sandill spent most of his childhood in Texas - at the Cavazos (formerly Fort Hood) and Shepherd military bases - and graduated from high school at U.S. Royal Air Force Base Lakenheath in England, where his father was stationed. Judge Sandill then returned to Texas and earned a degree in government from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a founding member of the Central Texas Model United Nations. During his time at UT, Judge Sandill served as a summer intern for President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors and as an intern for then-Senator John Kerry, who later went on to become Secretary of State under President Obama. 


After completing his undergraduate studies, Judge Sandill earned his law degree from the University of Houston’s Law Center, where he was an active participant in UH’s Moot Court team and an editor on the Houston Journal of International Law. Throughout law school, Judge Sandill continued his public service by traveling extensively for the Clinton White House Advance Office and the Office of the First Lady, a volunteer position he had originally begun while at UT.



As Judge of the 127th, which handles civil cases, Judge Sandill has tried over 1600 cases and resolved more than 21,000 matters. He has consistently received high ratings from lawyers in Harris County and was easily reelected to a fourth term as judge in November 2020. Judge Sandill is the only civil district court judge who handles all the cases filed in his Court, including seizure/forfeiture cases and tax cases.


Before serving on the bench, Judge Sandill worked as a briefing attorney for Murry Cohen, Senior Justice on Texas’s First District Court of Appeals. Judge Sandill also spent a number of years in private practice, where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants in civil commercial and trade secret litigation and appeals.  ​


Soon after entering private practice, Judge Sandill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood cells. After initial chemotherapy, the cancer returned six months later and Judge Sandill underwent additional chemotherapy, radiation and a stem-cell transplant at age 27.  Judge Sandill has been cancer free for over nineteen years and is forever grateful to the doctors and nurses who treated him in the Texas Medical Center.


Judge Sandill is aware of the privilege and honor of serving the public in a judicial position and works to give back to the legal community and to the people of Harris County in every way possible. He is a frequent speaker on legal topics at conferences throughout Texas and the nation, has published numerous articles on legal issues, and has testified before the Texas House Committee on the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence.


Judge Sandill is also focused on providing opportunities for young people and law students, particularly those from underserved communities. He has served as an adjunct professor of trial skills at the University of Houston Law Center and currently serves on the Alumni Board. And he is an active participant in the Indian Culture Center’s Youth Leadership Program, which places two high school students every year into an internship program with Judge Sandill’s court. Judge Sandill has also been active in the Houston Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities in the Legal Profession Committee for over a decade and regularly provides internships for law students from that program.


Judge Sandill is deeply committed to the principle that all systems and people benefit from greater diversity of thought and experience, and he has been leading the charge in Harris County to achieve greater equity and inclusion in the courtroom and across the legal community. He was the first judge in the nation to enter an order establishing a system of parental leave for attorneys. He is also the first judge in Texas to require all court appointees to certify participation in approved implicit bias training, and has written an open letter calling upon the Texas Supreme Court to make bias training mandatory for all judges in the state.


Judge Sandill has also served on the Houston Bar Association’s Implicit Bias Task Force, and in 2023 he co-sponsored with the Houston Bar Association’s Gender Fairness Committee a film screening of Balancing the Scales, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker about the challenges and biases that women lawyers face in their careers. In honor of his work on equity and inclusion, Judge Sandill was named a “Trailblazer of the Year” by the Texas State Bar’s Minority Counsel Program in 2021. That same year, he also received the Distinguished Jurist Award from the African-American Lawyer’s Section of the State Bar of Texas and the Justice David Wellington Chew Award from the Asian Pacific Interest Section of the State Bar of Texas.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Judge Sandill was determined that it not delay the administration of justice in Harris County, and he developed innovative solutions to keep cases moving. He was the first judge in Texas to move to an on-line platform for court hearings during the pandemic and the first judge in Harris County to conduct a remote jury trial. Similarly, Judge Sandill was the first judge in Texas to utilize a digital questionnaire for jury selection. These innovations are consistent with Judge Sandill’s long-standing dedication to ensuring efficient and cost-saving methods for managing his caseload.  Long before the Covid-19 pandemic, Judge Sandill became the first judge in Harris County to establish a cost-saving process for resolving discovery disputes through expedited telephone and on-line conferences with the court. And he was the second judge in Texas to adopt a process for e-filing of documents back in 2009. Finally, he was the first judge in Harris County to adopt an online calendaring system allowing attorneys to set their own hearing dates.


Judge Sandill and his wife Kelly, a partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP, are also active in their community. Both the product of public schools, they frequently volunteer with the PTO and the football program at Lamar High School, where their son is a student. As adoptive parents, they are dedicated to reproductive freedom and have been strong supporters of Planned Parenthood for over two decades. The Sandills are also deeply committed to the advancement of women in leadership, and have been Annie’s List supporters for many years, with Kelly co-chairing the Houston Chapter’s Annie’s List luncheon in 2020.



Judge Ravi Sandill family photo

They are also dedicated to protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ persons, as long-time members of the Human Rights Campaign’s Federal Club and the Houston GLBTQ Political Caucus. Judge Sandill and his wife are also strong supporters - and regular volunteers with - the Houston Food Bank, as well as the United Way of Greater Houston. Ever grateful for the miracles of modern medicine and dedicated healthcare workers, Judge Sandill has also served as a Board Trustee for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Gulf Coast Chapter. 

Ravi, Kelly, and their son Asher live in central Houston with their two dogs, Bleu and Jules.

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Judge Sandill Campaign   P.O. Box 56386, Houston, TX, 77256

Pol. Adv paid for by the Judge R.K. Sandill Campaign, Mary Shannon Santee, Treasurer, who subscribes to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices. 

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