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

See where HNBA National President, Pedro J. Torres-Díaz has been the past few weeks while advancing the mission of the HNBA!

2017 CBLA
Minneapolis, MN-
Kickoff to the 2017 CBLA - Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy, at a St. Paul Saints Game!

Day one of the CBLA - Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy saw inspirational presentations by Don Liu of Target, President Linda Klein and President-Elect Hilarie Bass of the American Bar Association, and so many others. Commenting on the first day, President Torres-Díaz said, "Thank you to Dorsey & Whitney LLP for hosting us! This is collaboration at its best. I am proud of the work that the Hispanic National Bar Association does with the ABA, NAPABA - National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, National LGBT Bar Association, National Bar Association, and National Native American Bar Association
to Strengthen the Future of Law."

Los Angeles, CA-Visit with Region XVIII and the Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County!
"Thank you HNBA National VP-Sections and Committees, Jennifer Trusso Salinas, Javier García and Region XVIII President Lindsay Holloman for organizing the visit! And thank you Perkins Coie LLP and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP for your generous support!"

Coral Gables, FL-President, Torres-Díaz supported Annie Hernández and Javy López of Hispanic National Bar Association affiliate, Cuban American Bar Association during their Annual Scholarship Awards Reception.

A Brave New World: Exploring The State of Latinas in 2017

On April 1, 2017, the HNBA Commission on Latinas in the Legal Profession convened a plenary at the 2017 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference.  The panel, “A Brave New World: Exploring ‘The State of Latinas’ in 2007,” was an opportunity to take stock of the changed social, political, and economic landscape of the United States and its impact on Latinas after the 2016 election. Latinas represent one in five women in the United States today. However, Latinas still lag in all critical measures of health, economic affluence, and political impact.  The panel included speakers who addressed Latina health and reproductive justice, voting rights and civic engagement, immigration and education, and Latinas in the legal profession and what Latina/o attorneys can do to help improve the forecast for Latinas.  The panel, moderated by Commissioner Aracely Muñoz, included Nina Perales, Vice President of Litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Suzette Recinos, Legal Senior Director – Global Procurement for PepsiCo, Inc.; Jessica Reeves, Chief Operating Officer for Voto Latino; and Lourdes Rivera, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs for the Center for Reproductive Rights. This lively discussion was the start of an on-going conversation that the Commission seeks to continue through a three-part series of articles in E-Noticias focusing on critical issues impacting Latinas today.

This, the second in the series, is a discussion of Latinas in law firms.   


Mark Your Calendars for the Second Annual LGBT Summit!

The Summit serves HNBA members and the profession by (1) advocating for and monitoring legal issues affecting the Hispanic LGBT community, (2) educating the HNBA and others on the legal issues facing the Hispanic LGBT community, and (3) promoting the expertise, advancement, and empowerment of Hispanic LGBT legal professionals.

This year's summit will be held on September 6th from 12PM to 5PM. 
The summit will begin with a discussion on professional development and move on to our Human Rights CLE and a discussion on the effects of the Trump Administration on the LGBT community. 
The day will end with a speed mentoring session to help build long lasting relationships with our LGBT professionals. 

Registration will be available soon. 

Don't forget to like the LGBT Division on Facebook!


HNBA National Secretary, Elia Diaz-Yaeger
Won Chambers USA Women in Law Award
Future Leader-Gender Diversity
Congratulations to HNBA National Secretary and Lugenbuhl shareholder Elia Diaz-Yaeger for her selection as the Chambers USA 2017 Women in Law Future Leader - Gender Diversity award winner! Elia's primary areas of practice are industrial employment/long-latency lung disease litigation, insurance defense and coverage, environmental law, and commercial litigation. In the last eighteen years, Elia has successfully defended thousands of occupational exposure claims, including exposure to asbestos and silica-containing products. Elia focuses her practice on insurance coverage litigation and counseling, and has significant experience representing insurers as direct action defendants in litigation in Louisiana. Elia’s extensive experience defending mass tort claims enables her to provide clients with an early strategic plan, vigorous defense, and efficient litigation.
Read more about Elia's recent honor here.

Sonia Miller Van Oort
FIRST Hispanic President of the Minnesota
State Bar Association

Congratulations to Sonia Miller Van Oort, Minnesota based attorney, who has become the FIRST Hispanic President of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Sonia’s expertise both inside and outside of the courtroom have long been recognized by both her peers and adversaries. In 2002, Sonia was selected as one of only ten attorneys in Minnesota to be recognized as an “Up and Coming Attorney.” Later, she was named a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law and Politics in 2005, 2006, 2008, and a “Super Lawyer” in 2013, 2014, and 2015. And in 2007–2008, Sonia had the distinguished honor of being elected the 89th President of the Hennepin County Bar Association (one of the 15 largest county bar associations in the country), serving as the Association’s first Hispanic President and the second youngest President in its history. Sonia is currently an officer of the Minnesota State Bar Association and will be the state’s first Hispanic Bar President in 2017.
Read her full bio here.

HNBA Member Raul R. Herrera Selected to Lead the Green Climate Fund's Legal Department
Congratulations to Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer partner Raul Herrera was selected to serve as Interim General Counsel of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a period of six months at the GCF headquarters in Songdo, Republic of Korea. Raul will remain a partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP throughout this period but will be based out of Seoul in this GC capacity at GCF.

Mr. Herrera concentrates his practice on international matters, with particular emphasis in international corporate and financing transactions. For more than 25 years, he has been involved in transactions in every country of Latin America and many of the Caribbean, as well as in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, on behalf of a wide variety of clients, including private, public, and multilateral entities. Notably, Mr. Herrera has served as the general counsel of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the private sector multilateral financial institution affiliated with the Inter-American Development Bank, and has represented the Caribbean Development Bank and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, among others. Read the press release here.

HNBA Member, Mara Garcia Kaplan named one of the Top Latino Leaders of 2017 by the Council for Latino Workplace Equity
Congratulations to Director Counsel, Target Corporation, Mara Garcia Kaplan for being named one of the Top Latino Leaders of 2017 by the Council for Latino Workplace Equity. At Target, Mara is responsible for the legal aspects of Target’s merger and acquisition activity. She provides strategic guidance and transactional support on M&A activity, including the recent sale of Target’s pharmacy and clinics business to CVS. Mara is also responsible for all legal aspects of, an online beauty retailer and a subsidiary of Target Corporation. Read her full bio here.

HNBA National VP of External Affairs, Juan M. Sempertegui Named One of El Tiempo Latino's 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the Nation's Capital
Congratulations to HNBA National VP of External Affairs, Juan M. Sempertegui for being named one of the Nation Capital's 100 Most Influential Hispanics by El Tiempo Latino. Juan is the Assistant General Counsel & Vice President for Bank of America N.A. A Bolivian immigrant, he has been president of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia, National VP of External Affairs for the Hispanic National Bar Association and Board Member of Proyecto Salud Clinic in Wheaton, MD. Sempertegui received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps as a Non-Commissioned Officer, holds a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Maryland, an MBA from The Johns Hopkins University, and a JD from American University Washington College of Law. Read more here.

HNBA Lifetime Member, Richard Graffam-Rodríguez Published in the Cambridge Press
Congratulations to HNBA Lifetime Member, Richard Graffam-Rodríguez for having a chapter on Puerto Rico published in the Cambridge Press as part of the book, Attorney-Client Privilege in the Americas. Read part of the description below and the rest here.
One of the major challenges facing the legal profession today is how to adapt and apply the concept of attorney-client privilege (or professional secrecy) in an increasingly globalised world. Rules on attorney-client privilege differ significantly from country to country. This book explores such differences within 32 jurisdictions in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

HNBA Member Richard Montes de Oca Elected to the Executive Council of the Florida Bar International Law Section (ILS)
Congratulations to HNBA Member and founder and Managing Partner of MDO Partners, Richard Montes de Oca, who was recently elected to the Executive Council of the Florida Bar International Law Section (ILS). Mr. Montes de Oca is responsible for his firm’s vision, strategic management, marketing and operations. He is an AV Preeminent-Rated attorney in Corporate, Contracts and International Law, which is the highest level of professional excellence ranking. He focuses on corporate governance, corporate finance, mergers and acquisition transactions, and securities, with representative transactions valued at over $5 Billion. He also has extensive experience representing clients in the areas of global compliance and business ethics. Read his full bio here, and the press release below.


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 previous issues of Noticias!



July 14-15, 2017
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Sept. 9, 2017
Kansas City, MO


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.

Unveiling the NEW HNBA Law Student Division (LSD) Career Opportunities Board!

Join the board for access to all of the opportunities heading your way and receive new postings straight to your inbox!

Do you know of an internship, scholarship, or clerkship in your area? Submit to:



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.



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!

September 6-9, 2017

Kansas City, MO

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


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 July 17, 2017.

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


The deadline for nominations has been extended to July 19, 2017.

This award is given annually to a Latina lawyer trailblazer who, licensed for 30 years or more, has achieved great distinction by opening up opportunities historically closed to Latinas.
Nominate someone HERE.

Friday, September 8,2017

The HNBA Career Fair is the nation’s largest career fair for Hispanic law students and legal professionals.

View employers

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

In partnership with the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the HNBA is offering a half-day Corporate Board Training Program during the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention in Kansas City, MO.

This valuable program is being offered to Convention attendees at an

82.5% discount!

Learn more and sign up


View who is exhibiting and sign up for a table here.

Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017

Don't miss the annual HNBA Youth Symposium on Saturday, September 9! Click
here to view the agenda.

Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel
View hotel’s website 

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

Reserve at the student 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.

Barbecue, fountains, baseball, jazz, and a whole lot more! Explore the city while you are there! Visit our website for a list of the best sights to see and best restaurants to try in Kansas City, MO.

Copyright © 2017 Hispanic National Bar Association, All rights reserved.