Mary T. Torres

Mary T. Torres of Albuquerque, N.M., an attorney in the firm of Beall and Biehler, today became the secretary of the American Bar Association at the organization’s Annual Meeting in Boston.

The ABA Secretary is one of five officers on the Board of Governors. The Board performs, in between meetings of the House of Delegates, the functions that the House itself might perform. The Board develops methods and plans for making the Association and its activities useful to the members, administers the facilities and staff of the Association, and formulates and administers the Association's budget and reimbursement policies.

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Torres primarily handles civil litigation matters, and has extensive experience in civil rights, employment, insurance, premises liability and governmental liability related matters. She has jury and bench trial experience in both state and federal courts.


Torres is a 13th generation native New Mexican who received her bachelor’s degree from New Mexico Tech in 1983. She was an educator in her hometown of Socorro, N.M., at Socorro High School for six years before attending law school at the University of New Mexico, where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 1992. She is the first Hispanic woman to be elected as an ABA officer.


Previously, she was New Mexico's elected state delegate to the ABA House of Delegates for nine years and was secretary of the House of Delegates Minority Caucus for three years. Torres served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity, the ABA Bar Activities and Services Committee and the ABA Standing Committee on Public Education.


She was New Mexico’s Outstanding Young Lawyer in 1995 and a past recipient of the UNM Zia Award. Torres was State Bar president in 2002, the first Latina to serve as president of any state bar association and was also the first Latina president for the National Conference of Bar Presidents.  She is the co-chair of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Committee on Diversity, is active in the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, and serves as secretary of the Board. She has served on the UNM Law School Board of Visitors, UNM Law School Alumni/ae Board of Directors, New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, the Defense Research Institute and the State and National Hispanic Bar. She was the recipient of the 2012 New Mexico Women's Bar Association Henrietta Pettijohn Award.