State Bar of Texas Seal

September 29, 2023
Contact: Rebecca Johnson
Public Affairs Director, State Bar of Texas


State Bar of Texas announces candidates for
2024-2025 president-elect

Denise Scofield and Santos Vargas press release headshots

AUSTIN — Today, at its quarterly board meeting, the State Bar of Texas voted to approve Denise Scofield and Santos Vargas as candidates for 2024-2025 president-elect. Scofield and Vargas will appear on the ballot in April 2024 along with any certified petition candidates. Presently there are no additional president-elect candidates, although members have until March 1 to submit their nominating petitions to the State Bar for certification.

Denise Scofield earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and her law degree from Southern Methodist University. A 32-year lawyer, she is the head of the litigation group in the Houston office of Winston & Strawn. She represents clients on both sides of the docket in complex business disputes and often assists in high-profile crisis situations.

Scofield has served as president of the Houston Bar Association and the Houston Young Lawyers Association, chair of the Houston Bar Foundation and Houston Young Lawyers Foundation, and as a board member of the State Bar of Texas. Currently, she is a board member of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and Houston Bar Foundation.

Scofield has been consistently recognized by many publications during her career, including The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, Lawdragon, and Super Lawyers. The National Law Journal named her a Crisis Leadership Trailblazer in 2020, and Texas Lawyer honored her as a Best Mentor in 2022. Scofield was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of Houston and Outstanding Young Lawyer of Texas in 2003 for her service to the profession.

Santos Vargas is a former chair of the State Bar of Texas Board of Directors, co-chair of the Texas Bar Journal Board of Editors, and past president of both the San Antonio Bar Association and the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association. Vargas has practiced for nearly 20 years and is an equity partner at Davis & Santos, PLLC, where he focuses on estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, and business litigation matters. Vargas has been honored as a top lawyer by Super Lawyers, Lawyers of Distinction, and by San Antonio Magazine.

Vargas earned his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law and his undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University. Vargas is also a member of the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association Board of Directors, a fellow of both the Texas Bar Foundation and the San Antonio Bar Foundation, and a member of the William S. Sessions American Inn of Court.

Santos Vargas is married to fellow lawyer Patricia Vargas and is father to Laura (13), Santos, Jr. (11), and Lucia (5).

Scofield and Vargas were recommended to the board by the Nominations and Elections Subcommittee. This year, the subcommittee considered candidates from the metropolitan counties of the state (Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Tarrant, and Travis), in compliance with State Bar rules.

Note to editors: Images of Denise Scofield and Santos Vargas are available on request.

The State Bar of Texas is a public corporation and an administrative agency of the judicial department of state government that provides educational programs for the legal profession and the public, administers the minimum continuing legal education program for attorneys, and manages the attorney discipline system. For more information, follow us on Twitter @statebarinoftexas and Instagram @statebaroftexas, like us on Facebook at, or visit

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