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Denisse I. Peña Vela Associate

Denisse Peña Vela is an attorney with Sprott Newsom Quattlebaum Messenger, focusing her practice on representing healthcare providers in litigation and regulatory board matters. Denisse began working in the legal industry in 2014 when she was a college student and has experience in multiple practice areas, such as general civil litigation, healthcare litigation, commercial litigation, transactional law, and criminal defense.

Denisse earned her Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law Houston and became a licensed attorney in 2021. While in law school, she participated in mock trial and moot court competitions, gaining valuable courtroom experience. After competing in an intramural mock trial tournament, she was selected for inclusion in the Advocacy Program’s Board of Advocates, which allowed her to participate in mock trial competitions against other law schools. She also served as President of the Environmental Law Society and worked as a law clerk, and subsequently as an attorney, in the litigation and transactional law departments of a Houston law firm.

Prior to attending law school, Denisse graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from The University of Texas at Dallas, where she was also a member of the mock trial team. During her undergraduate career she interned for the Office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson TX 30th, as well as two Dallas law firms, gaining experience in both civil litigation and criminal defense. Upon graduating, she worked as a paralegal for a Houston law firm before attending law school.

She is admitted to practice in all Texas state courts, as well as the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. She is also a certified mediator.

Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Personal Injury Defense
  • General Healthcare

South Texas College of Law Houston, Juris Doctor, 2021

  • Dean’s List
  • Environmental Law Society, President
  • Board of Advocates
  • Justice Sharon McCally Intramural Moot Court Competition, Quarterfinalists
  • Summer Mock Trial Academy, Finalists

The University of Texas at Dallas, Bachelor of Arts in Criminology, cum laude, 2016

  • Mock Trial Team, Member

University of Houston Main Campus

  • Dean’s List
  • Phi Alpha Delta, Social & Finance Committee Co-Chair
  • Texas, 2021
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, 2021
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, 2021
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit