Hannah Chow was born in Canton, China, in 1948. She did not stay there long, however, because her father had Canadian citizenship and operated a café in Wainwright, Alberta Canada. She moved there with her mother and sister (eleven years older) in 1951, where she received Canadian citizenship as well. Upon her father's death, she and her mother moved down to Houston to be with her brother as per Chinese family custom. Here she attended Milby High School and later the University of Houston-Central Campus where she completed her Cultural Anthropology degree. During her time in college, she worked as a gopher and secretary in a law office owned by a fellow Asian American. It was with her boss's encouragement that she entered South Texas Law School. Since obtaining her law degree, she has practiced general law for nine years, served as the first Asian American County Judge for twelve years, and worked as a special assistant to Commissioner Lee for 10 years. During her time as Judge, she actively participated in several community service organizations and even took the role of a founding member of the Asian American Bar Association. She currently serves as the Public Services & Infrastructure Bureau Chief for the Harris County District Attorney's Office.