Richard Pena is president and CEO of the firm. He was elected by his peers to serve as the President of the State Bar of Texas from 1998-1999. He served as President of the American Bar Foundation and was on the Board of Governors for the American Bar Association. He is also past president of the Travis County Bar Association, former Chair of the Texas Bar Foundation, and former Chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. He was a director to the State Bar of Texas and a State Delegate to the ABA. Richard 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 as well as receiving the Distinguished Lawyer Award presented by the Austin Bar Association in 2007. The Texas Bar Journal recognized him as 1 of 20 "trailblazers" in the February 2014 issue. He also was the recipient of the 2010 Difference Makers Award presented by the ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division. In early 2020, Richard received the Spirit of Excellence Award in the ABA Commission on racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.
Richard is a national leader in the legal field, and is active in the American Bar Association, where he led the Texas Delegation to the ABA. He has also been active in the American Bar Foundation, where he was previously on the Board of Directors. He served as Chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, which is the preeminent attorney group in the country with membership limited to one third of one percent (1/3 of 1%) of the lawyers in America. Richard has led Delegations of Texas and U.S. Lawyers to numerous countries including, Turkey, South Africa, China, Tibet, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Israel, and Brazil. He was also Chair of a U.S.-Russian Joint Conference on the Rule of Law in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2006 he received the Eisenhower Achievement Award from the program for being an outstanding leader. Richard's trip to Egypt was featured in an article in the Austin American-Statesman as well as in the Austin Business Journal. Richard continues to lead delegations abroad and has taken 19 trips with delegates to various parts of the world.
Richard graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where the law school faculty awarded him an honorary membership in the Order of the Coif. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, Illinois, and Colorado. Richard Pena and the Law Offices of Richard Pena are rated “AV” by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory indicating a “very High to Preeminent” reputation for legal ability and a “Very High” general recommendation. This is the highest rating in the legal field. Based on his AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Richard Pena has been selected as one of Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers. Click HERE to view his AVVO rating.
Richard is active in the ABA and has served as Chair of the Commission on Immigration and of the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. He is currently an officer in the Section of Civil Rights and Responsibilities-Immigration Committee. Active in planning and moderating webinars of critical importance.
Richard is a Vietnam veteran and left on the last day of American military involvement in that country in March 1973. He is co-author of the book, Last Plane Out of Saigon, which he wrote with award winning scholar John Hagan. Visit www.lastplaneoutofsaigon.com to learn more.
"Richard is a well respected lawyer throughout the state with roots in the community who advocates for his clients with the highest levels of competence, integrity and results." - Former Executive Director of the State Bar of Texas, Tony Alvarado
“I have known Richard Pena for over 25 years. I know him to be a great lawyer who is dedicated to providing excellent service and results for his clients, a well-known leader of our profession on the local, state and national level, and someone whose heart is always in the right place. It is an honor to call him a friend.” -Former President of the State Bar of Texas, Darrell Jordan