The New Mexico Women's Bar Association (NMWBA) presented Mary T. Torres with the 2012 Henrietta Pettijohn Award at a reception on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the Hotel Albuquerque. Ms. Torres was honored for her outstanding achievements advancing women in the legal profession.
Mary Torres recently began a three-year term as Chair of the ABA’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and continues to be very active in bar activities on the state as well as the national level. She was New Mexico’s Outstanding Young Lawyer in 1995 and a past recipient of the UNM Zia Award. Ms. Torres was State Bar president in 2002, the first Latina to serve as president of any state bar association. She is currently the co-chair of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Committee on Diversity, is active in the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, and is currently serving as secretary of the Board. Ms. Torres has been the ABA state delegate since 2003 and serves on various House of Delegates committees. She currently serves as secretary of the ABA’s Minority Caucus to the House of Delegates. She served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents from 2002–2005 and as the first Latina president of that organization in 2010. Additionally, Ms. Torres was the only State Bar Leader to serve on the Steering Committee for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Dialogue on Freedom Program.
The Henrietta Pettijohn award was established by the board of the New Mexico Women's Bar Association in 1992 to honor an attorney who had, over the previous year, done an exemplary job of advancing the causes of women in the legal profession. The award is named in recognition of Pettijohn, who was the first woman to be licensed to practice law in the Territory of New Mexico.