McLean Peña serves as the Firm’s Deputy General Counsel. Ms. Peña is responsible for providing counsel and strategic advice with respect to the firm’s global legal affairs, including matters related to litigation, compliance, insurance, risk management, training, and ethics. Ms. Peña also serves as an appointed member of the State Bar of Texas standing committee on the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Prior to joining Akin Gump’s General Counsel office, Ms. Peña practiced in the Firm’s litigation section, focusing on insurance coverage and legal malpractice issues.
Ms. Peña has handled numerous matters on a pro bono basis. Ms. Peña successfully represented nearly a dozen petitioners for immigration relief before immigration courts and agencies, including asylum seekers, unaccompanied children seeking special immigrant juvenile status, and Violence Against Women Act self-petitioners. Ms. Peña also represented clients in impact litigation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and assisted in a constitutional challenge of the Texas prohibition of same-sex marriage. Ms. Peña received the 2009 San Antonio Pro Bono Associate of the Year and the 2014 Pro Bono Litigation Matter of the Year awards in recognition of these achievements.
Ms. Peña received her B.A. in English in 2001 from Davidson College. She received her J.D., magna cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2007, where she was editor-in-chief of the Inter-American Law Review, a clinical fellow in the Center for Ethics and Public Service, a teaching assistant in constitutional law, a Priscilla Schneller Scholar, and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
Ms. Peña has served on the Firm’s litigation training subcommittee, the San Antonio office pro bono committee, and the San Antonio office diversity committee.