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Richard Peña, Texas Bar Leader, Is Elected President Of The American Bar Foundation

September 8, 2008, Press releases


CHICAGO – SEPTEMBER 8  – Richard Peña, of Austin, Texas, has been elected President of the American Bar Foundation, and will a serve two-year term.  Long active in the Texas bar, Mr. Peña is past President of the State Bar of Texas and of the Travis County Bar Association, and served as Chair of the Texas Bar Foundation. The American Bar Foundation is the nation’s leading research institute for the empirical study of law, and Mr. Pena has served with distinction as a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He has been a key figure in the ongoing expansion of the ABF’s profile in the legal community and on the national scene. The Foundation’s membership body, The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, is an honorary organization of lawyers, judges, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.  Membership is limited to the top 1/3 of 1 percent of practitioners in each state. Fellows are nominated to membership by their peers.

Mr. Peña recently said, “The American Bar Foundation was established in 1952 by the American Bar Association (ABA) to study, improve, and facilitate the administration of justice. He added, “As the preeminent research center for the empirical study of law in America and throughout the world, it has a responsibility to speak the truth on important issues through its research.”

Mr. Peña has received three Presidential Citations from the State Bar of Texas for his meritorious service to the profession and has been selected a member of the prestigious American Inns of Court.   He received the Distinguished Lawyer Award presented by the Austin Bar Association in 2007.   He received his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Texas where the law school faculty awarded him an honorary membership in the Order of the Coif.

At the national level, Mr. Peña currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and led the Texas delegation to the ABA. He also served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, and was chair of the ABA’s Commission on Immigration. He is on the Advisory Board of People to People Ambassador Programs and has led delegations of Texas and U.S lawyers to China, Tibet, South Africa, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, and Russia. Mr. Pena is listed in numerous Who’s Who publications, including Who’s Who in American Law and Who’s Who in the World.

The American Bar Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, and for more than fifty years has advanced the understanding and improvement of law through research projects of unmatched scale and quality on the most pressing issues facing the legal system in the United States and the world.


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