Socorro native Mary T. Torres has been elected secretary of the American Bar Association for 2014, marking the first time in its history that a Hispanic woman has served as an officer of the ABA.
As the 2002 president of the State Bar of New Mexico, Torres was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a president of any state bar association in the country.
She has served on boards of or been active in the UNM School of Law, the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, the Defense Research Institute, and with state and national Hispanic Bar associations.
The ABA House of Delegates selected Torres at the ABA Midyear Meeting in February in Dallas. Her nomination will be confirmed at the August ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
She is expected to begin her three-year term as secretary in August 2014.
A thirteenth generation native New Mexican, Torres graduated from Socorro High School in 1977. Torres received her bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Tech in 1983 and was named a “Tech Scholar.” She was an educator in her hometown of Socorro, teaching Law and US History at Socorro High School before attending law school at the University Of New Mexico School Of Law, where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1992.
Torres primarily handles civil litigation matters at the Beall & Biehler Law Firm in Albuquerque. She has extensive experience in civil rights, employment, insurance, premises liability, and governmental liability-related matters, with jury and bench trial experience in both state and federal courts.
Torres is married to John T. Chavez of Albuquerque, and they have three children and 2 grandchildren.