The State Bar of Texas Board of Directors voted unanimously September 20 to approve Pablo Almaguer of Edinburg and Sylvia Borunda Firth of El Paso as candidates for 2020-2021 president-elect.
Almaguer and Borunda Firth will appear on the ballot in April 2020 along with any certified petition candidates. There are currently no additional president-elect candidates, although members have until March 1 to submit their nominating petitions to the State Bar for certification.
Almaguer has worked at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) since earning his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1997. He held a number of positions at TRLA before being named director of private bar and government relations in 2018.
Almaguer served on the State Bar of Texas Commission for Lawyer Discipline from 2012 to 2018, including as chair (2017-2018) and vice chair (2015-2017). He served on the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011 and as board chair (2010-2011) and has been appointed to numerous State Bar committees and task forces over the years. He currently serves as a board trustee for the Texas Center for Legal Ethics.
Almaguer served on the Texas Civil Rights Project Board of Directors from 2001 to 2017 including as president from 2009 to 2017. He has been an active member of the Hidalgo County Bar Association and the Hidalgo County Bar Foundation, serving as a director from 2002 to 2009 and as president of the board (2007-2008).
Borunda Firth is a solo practitioner in El Paso. Prior to establishing her own firm, she was an associate in two local firms, general counsel for American Garment Finishers, Inc., and served the City of El Paso for 20 years. During her time with the city she was an assistant city attorney, director of intergovernmental affairs, chief of staff to the mayor, and ultimately the city attorney.
Borunda Firth was on the State Bar board from 2014 to 2018. She is currently vice chair of the State Bar of Texas Local Bar Services Committee and serves on the Government Law Council. She is the president of the Texas City Attorneys Association and on the El Paso Bar Association Board of Directors.
In 2017 she received the President’s Award for exemplary service to the bar. She is a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and served on the foundation’s Board of Trustees. Borunda Firth earned her J.D. from the University of Texas in 1984.
Almaguer and Borunda Firth were recommended to the board by the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee, which this year interviewed six potential nominees from any county in the state, according to State Bar election rules.