The e-Newsletter from the Hispanic National Bar Association
May 15, 2017 Edition

HNBA National President, Pedro J. Torres-Díaz continues to advance the mission of the Hispanic National Bar Association while also planning for the upcoming
HNBA 2017 Annual Convention.  

Some highlights from the President's schedule the past few weeks:

Washington, D.C. -He attended the outstanding and timely forum on Puerto Rico issues put on by Mary Ann Gomez Orta and Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI).
Detroit, MI - President Torres-Díaz attended the HACR - Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility25th Annual Symposium in Detroit where best practices of advancing Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America were shared.

During the Symposium, Cid Wilson, President and CEO of HACR had a fireside chat with Mary Barra, Chairman & CEO of General Motors. She is a history-making executive as the first woman ever to lead a major automotive company.

Charlotte, NC -President Torres-Díaz attended an incredible General Counsel Forum organized by our very own Gonzalo Frias, Hispanic National Bar Association Regional President for Region VI. 

May 16-18, 2017
Washington, DC

Members of the HNBA and the Leadership Team will be meeting with Congressional leaders, staffers, and White House officials this week during our annual Advocacy Day to advance our legislative priorities and advocate on behalf of Latinos/as in the United States.

Region I
(CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)

On Saturday, April 8, Region I held its first ever region-wide reception at the magnificent and historic Rhode Island Statehouse in Providence.  Members from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island gathered to socialize, network and hear from Rhode Island’s Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea – the first Latina to win a statewide elective office in all of New England – Mayor of Providence, Jorge Elorza, the first Latino mayor in the history of Providence, and Judge Luis Matos.  The event coincided with the Providence’s annual “fire show” in the water basin near the Statehouse and marked the first of what will likely be an annual Region I event.

(Jose Sierra, former HNBA Region I President, Mayor Jorge Elorza, Judge Luis Matos, and RIHBA Board Members Al Cardona (President) (far right), and Diony Garcia (VP) second from right.)

(Jose Sierra, former HNBA Region I  President, Migdalia Nalls, MAHA President (far right), MAHA Board Member Roland Hughes (far left), and Karen Dayton of Provisors, Inc.)

Rhode Island Hispanic Bar Association (RIHBA)
Recent Citizenship Drive Event

(On the right: HNBA Region I President, Javier Flores, Alison Flores and Judge Luis Matos)

Region III

HNBA Region III proudly sponsored the HBA-NJ’s 2017 Women’s Empowerment Leadership and Law Conference.  Approximately 200 attendees attended the annual event which took place on March 18, 2017 at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.  This year’s theme was “Raising Our Voices – Increasing Visibility through Leadership.” The day-long conference featured insightful and dynamic panels addressing topics affecting women in the legal profession.  Mari Carmen Aponte, Former Acting Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Former Ambassador to El Salvador delivered a keynote address.
HBA-NJ Members Attend the HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference- A record number of New Jersey attorneys and students participated and attended the HNBA’s Corporate Counsel Conference in Miami, Florida.  We appreciate the HNBA’s continued support and were excited to have four (4) Top Lawyers Under 40 from New Jersey including Jason Gavejian, Matt Konigsberg-Fernandez (HNBA Region II President), Lillian Plata, and Julia Lopez. 

HBA-NJ Pipeline Program- On April 5, 2017, students from the HBA-NJ Pipeline Program for Passaic and Union City High School visited the chambers of the Honorable Esther Salas, U.S.D.J. and observed a revocation of probation hearing at the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Judge Salas, her law clerks, and other attorneys addressed the students and held an informal lunch and educational session.  Created by HBA-NJ Past President and current HNBA Region III President Anna María Tejada, this program has helped high school students navigate their inner-city high school to college transition.  This year, the students reported that they were all attending universities and a few reported that they were accepted to various Ivy League schools.
Diversifying the Bench and Executive Branch-  HBA-NJ presented the Nuts and Bolts of the Judicial and NJ State Appointments Process on April 12, 2017 in New Brunswick, NJ, followed by networking reception.  Over eighty attorneys attended the panel discussion on “How To Become a Judge, Commissioner or Board Member: Nuts and Bolts of the Judicial and New Jersey State Appointments Process.”  Panelists included Michellene Davis, Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs, RWJBarnabas Health, Susan A. Feeney, Partner, McCarter & English, LLP, Tara Dowdell, President of TDG Speakers & Tara Dowdell Group and Ivette Ramos Alvarez, Partner, Einhorn Harris Ascher Barbarito & Frost.  The moderators were Kirsten S. Branigan, Founder of the Law Office of Kirsten Scheurer Branigan, P.C. and Arlene Quiñones Perez, Partner at DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP and HBA-NJ President. 

HNBA Su Negocio Program with Mass Mutual- The second “Su Negocio” Program was held April 20, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey, 2 Gateway Center, Newark, NJ.  It was a well-attended networking event with DJ and appetizer.  There was a panel and two breakout sessions (one for start-ups presented by HNBA attorneys and the other for growth was handled by Mass Mutual). 

HBA-NJ 16th Annual Sun, Surf & Seminars- The HBA-NJ held its 16th Annual Sun, Surf & Seminars at the Sofitel Santa Clara Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia from April 19 to April 23, 2017.  Mystified in romance, legends and beautiful colonial era, this city captured the eyes of over 60 participants with its cobbled alleys, colorful balconies and horse-drawn carriages, while also drawing their attention to its modern architecture, exotic gastronomy and active nightlife.  Our successful conference provided its participants with the opportunity to enjoy paradise in style, while socializing with old and new friends and earning up to 10.8 CLE credits.  We provided CLEs on family law, municipal practice, immigration law, financial planning, and employment law. Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF delivered
a powerful keynote speech to the attendees. 

The Annual HBA-NJ 36th Annual Scholarship Gala and Awards Dinner will be held at the Park Chateau Estate & Gardens located at 679 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, New Jersey on May 20, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 12:00 am.  This year's dinner will be a Masquerade, and will include great networking, a cocktail hour and cigar lounge, a silent auction and a presentation of scholarships to deserving law school students.  All proceeds from the silent auction will go towards funding future scholarships and various HBA-NJ events.  The HBA-NJ will be honoring and recognizing (i) Archer & Greiner, as the HBA-NJ Corporate Partner of the Year; (ii) Carmen M. Garcia, Esq., Associate Board Member of the New Jersey State Parole Board, with the Margarita Echevarria Trailblazer Award; (iii) Ivette Alvarez, Esq., Partner at Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, PC, with an Amigo Award; (iv) George Rios, Esq., Founder and Partner of the Law Offices of George Rios, with an Amigo Award; and, (iv) keynote speaker, Camelia M. Valdes, Esq., the Honorable County Passaic Prosecutor.

For additional information, sponsorship and marketing opportunities, and to register, please visit HERE

Region IX
 (IL, IN, MI, WI)

HNBA Region IX was a proud supporter and sponsor of the 2017 Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois Annual Gala.  A special congratulations to HNBA member, Jesse Ruiz, on receiving the HLAI Aguila Award  for demonstrating a unique blend of professional accomplishment, community service, and dedication to the Latino Community.

(L. Photo: Past President Robert Maldonado, Region IX President Sulema Medrano Novak, HNBA Member Abe Sandoval, and Latina Commissioner Karina Ayala.  R. Photo:  Past Region IX President Luis Avila, Region IX President Sulema Medrano Novak and HNBA member/award recipient Jesse Ruiz)


Region XI
(IA, MN, MO, ND, SD)

On May 11th, Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City (HBAGKC) celebrated its 25th anniversary with an event that recognized its founders and also served as a chance to highlight the HNBA’s Annual Convention in September.

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association Annual Meeting (MHBA)
The MHBA held its annual meeting on April 20th  and celebrated a very active and successful year of programming and accomplishments for MHBA.  Lariss Maldonado was installed as President, Aleida Ortega Connors moved into the role of President-Elect and Roger Maldonado was elected Vice President.  New board members were also elected and awards were bestowed.  Bryan Browning – a 2017 HNBA Top Lawyer Under 40 award winner – was lauded for his outstanding service as 2016-2017 MHBA President.  

Front: Zurizadai Balkamund (Treasurer), Aleida Ortega Conners (President Elect), Melissa Muro Lemere, Tracy Grundman, Priscila Barron Sánchez (Student Representative), Tamara Cabán-Ramirez (HNBA Deputy Regional President, Region XI). Back: Juventino Meza (Student Representative), Kelvin Collado, Roger Maldonado (Vice-President), Lariss Maldonado (President), Bryan Browning (Immediate Past-President and HNBA Nominations Committee Member), Angelita Hernandez (HNBA Deputy Regional President, Region XI) and Richard Greiffenstein.

MHBA bestowed Endowment Fund Awards to The Legal Rights Center and to Ignacio Sanz and the Advocates for Human Rights.  Both organizations are based in Minneapolis.  The mission of the Legal Rights Center is to provide the highest quality criminal defense and restorative justice services to low-income people, in particular people of color, in Hennepin County (Minneapolis and its suburban and exurban areas).  Its priority is juveniles and its services are at no cost.  The mission of Advocates for Human Rights is to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. By involving volunteers in research, education, and advocacy, AHR builds broad constituencies in the United States and select global communities. 
MHBA and 3M awarded the first MHBA/3M Scholarships to Juventino Meza (first place) of Hamline Mitchell School of Law and to Juana Cardenas (second place) of University of St. Thomas School of Law. 


Region XIV
(AZ, NV)

Arizona State Bar Board of Governors Elections
HNBA member and immediate past president of Los Abogados Jessica Sanchez is running for a position on the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors. Voting is now open to Arizona Attorneys who should have received their ballots via email.  You can read Jessica’s bio on the State Bar’s Website

Luncheon with Justice John Lopez – 5/18/17
Register now for Los Abogados May 18th Luncheon with special guest, Justice John R. Lopez IV. Details and registration are available HERE.  Justice Lopez is one of the newest Justices to join the Arizona Supreme Court, and is the first Hispanic on the Court.  Prior to joining the Court, Justice Lopez was the Solicitor General for the State of Arizona, and spent over 10 years in the U.S. Attorney's Office.  Please register today, and join us for this special event.

Region XV
(UT, NM)

HNBA Region XV (NM and UT) Deputy Regional President AMBER MACIAS-MAYO was named one of the 40 Under Forty by Albuquerque Business First and the Business Journals.  While a law student, Amber Macias-Mayo co-developed the animal right’s court for New Mexico, now known as PAW, or the Pre-Adjudication Animal Welfare Court. PAW was launched in 2016 to address misdemeanors involving cruelty to or neglect of animals. Now in a family law practice, Amber is a top attorney who not only supports the HNBA, but  is also on the board of directors and executive committee of NMHBA.  She was recently named a partner at Walther Bennett Mayo Honeycutt P.C in Santa Fe.   Amber and other HNBA members such as classmate, Laura Castille, were students in an Animal Law Seminar and before you knew it… New Mexico had a new court!  Amber is just one of the HNBA lawyers who inspire and do big things.
Congratulations, Amber!

Region XVIII
(Southern CA)

On April 8, 2017, HNBA Region XVIII hosted a Law Student Mixer in downtown Los Angeles at Pez Cantina.  The food was great and the company even better!  We received wonderful feedback from many attendees and quite a few “thank yous.”  Following the event, many law students expressed an interest in being more involved in the HNBA.  The event would not have been possible without the hard work of our Region XVIII law student Deputy Regional Presidents, Vincent Escoto and Ricardo Diaz and our Law Student Division Regional President, Linda Guzman.  Thank you to our Regional Team and also to the National Latina/o Law Student Association for their support.
The HNBA’s Latina Commission was created in 2008 to study, and remedy, the status of Latinas in the legal profession who then, as now, suffer the lowest representation of any racial or ethnic group as compared to their overall presence in the nation.  This term, the Latina Commission is led by co-chairs Carrie Ricci and Eneida Roman, and consists of 35 Latina lawyers from across the United States and Puerto Rico, who are active within their local communities furthering Commissions mission to increase the presence of Latinas in the legal profession.

Due to the generosity of Wal-Mart, the Latina Commission’s Premier Sponsor, the Commissioners are equipped with resources that match their dedication to hosting and partnering with local organizations and schools to offer educational training programs or workshops targeting Latinas from elementary school to law school who are interested in careers in law, and providing leadership training to Latina lawyers seeking to excel within their legal organizations and increasing their competitiveness in the market.  Here are just a few events where HNBA Latina Commissioners have been active in their respective communities. 

On October 18, 2016, the HNBA Latina Commission had a presence at the Latina Mentoring Project’s Fall Reception in October 2016. This is a mentoring program launched by Ninth Circuit Judge Mary Murguia in Phoenix, Arizona for Latina undergraduate students interested in law, law students, lawyers and judges.  

Latina Commissioner Jacqueline Romero was in attendance, and had an opportunity to speak with panel members and guests after the program.

The Latina Commission, along with the HBA of Pennsylvania, U.S. Legal, and Wework, cohosted an event entitled “Lessons from the Bench Judicial Panel,” showcasing the talents of Latina judges in Philadelphia.  Latina Commissioner Jacqueline C. Romero helped plan the event and was in attendance.  The panel of Latina judges included Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro, Judge Teresa Sarmina, and Judge Mia Perez, with remarks by Councilwoman Maria D. Quinones-Sanchez  The judges spoke about their respective jobs and gave  advice to the audience which was comprised of law students and lawyers.

On January 6, 2017, HNBA Latina Commission Co-Chair, Eneida Roman, attended “Three Kings’ Day Celebration & Latina Entrepreneur/ GP Solo Showcase” in Boston, Massachusetts.  This was a celebration of the New Year and Three Kings’ Day among Boston’s most influential Latina leaders.  Latina entrepreneurs, business owners and Boston Latina attorneys engaged in speed networking and business development opportunities.  It was a successful event where three Latina attorneys with business and employment law practices developed new business following the event networking.
On January 23, 2017, HNBA Latina Commissioner Mina Mendez represented the Commission at a luncheon with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, when Justice Sotemayor visited and gave a speech at Arizona State University. 
On February 8, 2016, Latina Commissioners Marissa Montes and Yesenia Gallegos volunteered as “mentors” at the Latina Lawyers Bar Association’s (LLBA) Speed Mentoring Program in Los Angeles, California.  The LLBA is an affiliate of the HNBA, and HNBA Regional President, Lindsay Holloman, also served as a volunteer “mentor” at the event.


HNBA VP of Regions & Affiliates

Maria Dantes Sanchez of Liberty Mutual is receiving the 2017 Lucero Award at LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s upcoming Second Annual Regional Awards Reception on May 31, 2017.

Maria has been a champion in the Latino legal community and her stellar mentoring work speaks directly to the LatinoJustice PRLDEF mission. She is the embodiment of a Wise Latina, to borrow a phrase from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in whose honor we established the Latina Trailblazers Breakfast eight years ago.
I hope you can join us May 31st to celebrate as Maria and her fellow honorees receive their well-deserved awards. Click the button below to read the invitation and view information about tickets and sponsorships.
Please note that we do offer limited special interest rate tickets and sponsorships for our nonprofit and government friends. Feel free to email me, Diana DeJesus-Medina, Director of Development at LatinoJustice PRLDEF at for additional information. 

HNBA Finance Director

Irene Oria had an op-ed published in the Miami Herald, "Hispanic Bar pushes for inclusion in the legal profession."

Read here (or click below)


Mara Kaplan

HNBA member Mara Kaplan was recently appointed as the Diversity Action Committee Co-Lead for Target’s Legal Department.

Congratulations Mara!


To submit articles, announcements, and upcoming events for publication in the HNBA's E-Noticias,
please e-mail

Submission: 10th of the month
Publication: 15th of the month

Read our latest issue of Noticias!



*THIS Friday
May 19, 2017
Washington, DC

Thank you to Eversheds Sutherland LLP for hosting us!

July 14-15, 2016
San Juan, Puerto Rico


Please take some time to acquaint yourself with our Board of Governors.

Thank you for your service as a member of this prestigious leadership team.



Are you considering running for a position?

Members interested in serving on the 2017-2018 HNBA Board of Governors are invited to submit materials to the HNBA Nominations Committee by
June 1, 2017.

Pursuant to Article XI, Section 5(a) of the Bylaws, adopted by the HNBA Board of Governors on December 5, 2015, notice is hereby given to the HNBA membership that the period for self-nominations for election of Officer or Regional President for Regions I, III, V, VII, IX, XI, XIII, XV, XVII, and XIX is open. Self-nominations must be submitted to the Nominations Committee at, by June 1, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. EST.

For more information about the HNBA elections process, please review the 2017-2018 Elections Guidelines, please click HERE.

Call for Candidates
The HNBA is seeking candidates to stand for election by the HNBA membership to the offices specified below. Unless otherwise stated, the term of each office is one year, beginning at the conclusion of the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 8, 2017.

Each candidate shall provide a self-nomination statement. Please refer to the Elections Guidelines Article II Section A HERE.
If you have not paid your HNBA dues, please visit and pay them immediately to ensure you are an HNBA member in good standing.

Self-Nomination Statement must be sent to the HNBA Nominations Committee, at, no later than 5:00 pm (EST) on June 1, 2017.  

Open Positions
VP of Membership
VP of Regions & Affiliates
VP of External Affairs
VP of Programs
VP of Sections & Committees
Regional Presidents

For more information on any particular position please read the HNBA bylaws HERE.

Voting Eligibility
To be eligible to vote in the 2017 Election, you must pay your HNBA dues by June 30, 2017 at 11:59 pm (EST). Please visit us at to renew!

September 6-9, 2017
Kansas City, MO

Early Bird Registration ends June 3 by 11:59 PM. Register HERE.

PLEASE NOTE: In order to register for the Convention, you must be an active, dues paid HNBA Member.

Theme: "Our Future Knows No Bounds"

Submit your CLE proposal for the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention HERE.

HNBA Awards

Every year the HNBA recognizes a talented group of lawyers and institutions that are making a difference in the legal profession and in our communities.

Deadline for nominations is June 16, 2017.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Latino Judge of the Year
Latina Judge of the Year
Latino Attorney of the Year
Latina Attorney of the Year
Regional President of the Year
HNBA Affiliate Organization of the Year
Law Student Organization of the Year
Corporate Partner of the Year
Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year

Please click HERE to access the nomination form and view the criteria for each award category.

2017 Latina Leadership Academy


The HNBA Latina Commission will host the 2017 Latina Leadership Academy (sponsored by Wal-Mart) on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, prior to the start of the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention.

The cost of attendance for this program is paid for through the generous support of the Latina Commission’s sponsor, Wal-Mart.
(Travel and hotel accommodations are not included).

VIEW the program schedule and apply today!

Deadline to apply is June 9, 2017.

HNBA Career Fair
Friday, September 8,2017

The HNBA Career Fair is the nation’s largest career fair for Hispanic law students and legal professionals. One of the HNBA’s many institutional objectives is to assist our members during our National Convention in obtaining gainful employment and/or furthering their career goals.

The HNBA Career Fair will provide your company/organization an opportunity to meet with and interview some of the best and brightest law students and attorneys from across the country. It will also provide your organization with a unique and cost-effective way to meet your recruiting goals and promote your visibility among this important segment of the legal profession.

Deadline to apply for employers and students is August 11, 2017.

HNBA Career Fair Travel Stipend

Law Student Career Fair Participants may apply for a Career Fair Travel Stipend, geared towards reimbursing expenses for travel and lodging for out-of-state students. Learn more and apply today!

Deadline to submit application is July 14, 2017.

HNBA/NACD Corporate Board Training
In partnership with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the HNBA will offer a Corporate Board Training Program during the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention in Kansas City, MO.

Learn more and sign up HERE.

Exhibit at the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention

Meet and interact with hundreds of attorneys, judges, and legal professionals from across the country in one central location Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel.


Thursday, September 7th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Friday, September 8th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Please fill out the
 application to exhibit and submit payment by August 23, 2017.
**Exhibit space is limited.

Law Student Volunteers

You can be part of the HNBA mission by volunteering your time and energy during the HNBA 42nd Annual Convention in Kansas City, MO. We ask for a minimum commitment of 10 hours in exchange for the ability to attend the continuing legal education (CLE) sessions and the convention events at no charge.

To learn more and apply visit our website HERE.

Book Your Hotel
Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel
View hotel’s website HERE.

*Reservation Cut-off Deadline: August 16, 2017
*HNBA Group Rate: $155 (in-room wireless internet is included)

The HNBA has set aside a block of rooms for students at a reduced rate of $105. Please contact Michelle C. Avelino, HNBA Programs Manager, at for instructions on how to reserve a room at the student rate.



Thank you for being a valuable member of the HNBA Familia!

Download our new Member Packet to view all of your benefits, learn more about the HNBA, and discover how you can get involved TODAY!


Not a Member? Don't miss out on great member only benefits.  Click here to learn more and  join!
The work of the HNBA remains critical to the continued growth and development of our members and the Hispanic community, and we ask that you partner with us in these efforts. To view sponsorship opportunities, click here.



We are pleased to present Reed Smith’s Deborah J. Broyles Diverse Scholars Program for 2017.  Reed Smith has a strong commitment to diversity which has resulted in a firm in which diversity and inclusion permeate the culture.  Rewarding young future leaders for their efforts in the area of diversity and introducing them to the Reed Smith culture are two important goals of this program. 
The Deborah J. Broyles Diverse Scholars Program provides two $20,000 awards to be used to defray necessary expenditures related to her/his legal education for the second year of law school, as well as a paid summer associate position after completion of the second year of law school.  The program is open to first-year law students who have demonstrated excellent academic scholarship and a commitment to diversity and  inclusion.
Scholarship applicants must submit a resume, a completed application, a personal statement, law school transcript, undergraduate transcript and a legal writing sample to:
Summer associate positions in 2018 are available in:  Chicago; Los Angeles; San Francisco; New York City; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Houston, and Washington, D.C.  Applications must be submitted on or before July 24, 2017.
For your convenience we have attached a copy of the application.   Students may also visit the Diverse Scholars page located within the law students section HERE
 for more information about our program and to download an application. 
To learn more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion, please visit our website HERE

Please contact Julia Lopez at if you have any questions about The Deborah J. Broyles Diverse Scholars Program.


The HNBA Immigrant Legal Defense Fund provides grants for low-cost legal representation to assist in the defense of select immigration cases.  We  encourage all HNBA members and supporters, as well as the general public, to consider donating to this important fund.  Every single donation will make a difference!

Apply for a grant, find resources, training courses, and more!


As part of its mission to advance Latinos in every area of the legal profession, the HNBA supports those interested in applying for a nomination to the federal bench and those interested in a federal political appointment to the new administration.

To that end, the HNBA has developed a clearinghouse of information about the ins-and-outs of presidential appointments, including the types of positions likely to be available, how to find out about positions, and how to go about applying for them.  Find out more!



This service aims to assist our members with their business development needs. HNBA MEMBERS please update your extended member profile today and see your business grow.

The NLRS also aims to help our sponsors and the general public with their hiring/recruiting needs. Take advantage of this great platform and search for an attorney by areas of practice, location, states of admission, name, and more.

Start today!

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