El Paso

221 N. Kansas, Suite 1700
El Paso, TX 79901
Phone: 915.533.4424
Fax: 915.546.5360


919 Congress Ave., Suite 1305
Austin, TX 78701
Phone: 512.320.5466
Fax: 512.320.5431

Las Cruces

3800 E. Lohman Ave., Suite C
Las Cruces, NM 88011
Phone: 575.527.0023
Fax: 915.546.5360

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Monica D. Cunningham

Email: monica.cunningham@kempsmith.com
Telephone: 512.320.5466 / Fax: 512.320.5431

Monica Cunningham practices Of Counsel in the Austin office where her years of municipal law and administrative experience serve the firm’s clients.

Ms. Cunningham’s municipal experience began with 4 years in County government as Legal and Executive Assistant to the County Judge and Commissioners Court. Cunningham then served as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of El Paso, advising every City department, and serving as attorney for the Civil Service Commission, the El Paso City-County Health District, and the Civic, Convention and Tourist Center Board of Directors. Cunningham was on the legal team which worked with a Charter Commission to completely redraft the City of El Paso Charter, and became chief labor negotiator, successfully negotiating collective bargaining agreements with both the Police and Fire Unions.

In 1996, Cunningham was appointed by Mayor and City Council to be the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, administering the day to day operation of a City government with over 6,000 employees and an over $500 million annual budget. In 2001, Cunningham joined Kemp Smith, first in the El Paso office, and currently in the Austin office.




  • Washington College of Law, American University, J.D., 1973
  • Russell Sage College, B.A., with honors, 1970


  • State Bar of Texas


  • Texas, 1974
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Professional & Civic Involvement

In Austin, Ms. Cunningham is active in the Austin Bar Association, serving on its Women’s Resource Fair, Animal Welfare, and Continuing Legal Education committees. As a member of the Travis County Women Lawyers, Ms. Cunningham works in the mentoring program and chairs the annual “Food from the Bar” food bank drive. She has also worked pro bono at the Veterans Assistance Clinic, People’s Law School and Austin Humane Society.

Cunningham is the 2015 Recipient of the Travis County Womens’ Bar Association Pathfinder Award, which recognizes women who have been Trailblazers in the legal profession.  In 2012, Ms. Cunningham was awarded the “Woman of Influence” recognition by her alma mater, Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. Cunningham then served on The Sage Colleges Board of Trustees for 1 year.

Ms. Cunningham was one of the founding members of the El Paso Women’s Bar Association, serving as one of its early Presidents. She was also a Representative to the State Bar of Texas’ Effective Representation of Women in the Bar Committee, the group who wrote the by-laws for, and was the precursor to, the now established Women and the Law State Bar Section.