Rehan Alimohammad, partner at Wong Fleming in Sugar Land, Texas.
Rehan Alimohammad, partner at Wong Fleming in Sugar Land, Texas. (Courtesy photo)

The State Bar of Texas’ board of directors accomplished a “first” recently by electing Rehan Alimohammad as its chairman of the board.

Alimohammad is the first person of Asian descent and the first immigration attorney to hold the post, which he said is important.

“I hope that the election shows that no matter what a person’s background is—what a person’s practice area is, where they are from, things like that—I hope people realize if they want to help the state bar, if they want to help everything it represents—the public and attorneys—then none of those things should hold you back,” he said.

Alimohammad, partner in Wong Fleming in Sugar Land, focuses his immigration practice on representing companies who need workers from other countries and individuals who are immigrating into the U.S. He earned his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001 and was licensed to practice the same year. He started out as an international tax consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers for about a year and a half, and then ran a solo practice for more than nine years. Next, he was a partner in Alimohammad & Zafar from 2012 to earlier this month, when his firm merged with Wong Fleming, a 36-lawyer firm with offices in 17 states, as well as Washington, D.C.

He first got into volunteering with the State Bar when he applied and interviewed to be a minority director on the bar’s board of directors, a position he’s held for two years. He’s also serving as a member of the bar’s executive committee, adviser to the bar’s Immigration and Nationality Law Section and as a member on the Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality.

Alimohammad said he has a desire to help attorneys who can’t find jobs, which motivated him to seek the minority director position in the first place and also pushed him to become chairman. He said as chairman he’ll dedicate himself to running board meetings in a way that ensures anyone who wants his or her voice heard will be recognized. During his term, he expects to tackle projects to address the problem of young attorneys starting solo practices with a lack of experience and mentorship. He also expects to handle matters related to the state bar’s review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which reviews state agencies and recommends changes to lawmakers.

He added that his background might allow him to stay more neutral as chairman, a one-year position he’ll begin in late June.

“There’s a lot of board members in a certain practice area. Me being the only immigration attorney, the only Asian, that would allow me to be completely neutral. I’m not going to be leaning a certain way,” he said, noting that many board members practice either family law or commercial litigation.