What a year this has been. Although the experience on the Board, and the year as President-Elect, does provide a sense of what a year as National President would be like, there is never a way to predict what the future will bring. I started the year with a number of assumptions of what my term would be like, and focus on certain areas.
Then, the election happened. And with the election of President Trump, those assumptions disappeared. Focus needed to be shifted. And like I said to many of you on November 9, there was no time to waste. As leaders of the HNBA, we had been elected to office to accomplish our mission, regardless of the outcome of the elections. And it was our duty to accomplish that mission.
Advocacy and relationship building became the primary focus. Many of our contacts in the executive and legislative offices in Washington D.C. were no longer there. Our mission cannot be accomplished effectively without those contacts.
Despite this and many other difficulties encountered along the way, the HNBA familia persevered, and here we are, I believe, in a very good place. Thanks to the efforts of every one of you around the country, the HNBA has thrived this year. Taking the lead from my predecessors, we were able to build upon those successes, and today we are more visible, more far reaching, and more efficient. And what better place than to celebrate those successes, and plan for the road ahead, than our 42nd Annual Convention in Kansas City. The programming and networking opportunities that our team has put together, from the Corporate Board Training, the Latina Leadership Academy, the LGBT Division Summit, to our Gala Dinner, are simply extraordinary, and a prime example of the value we bring to our members and the community. Thank you to the team, both locally and nationally, for your tireless efforts in organizing this Convention!
To steal a line from my distinguished colleague and Immediate Past President, Robert Maldonado, this is by far the hardest and most rewarding task I have ever done in my life. The Presidency comes at a great cost: sleepless nights; thousands of miles of travel away from family and loved ones; difficult and sometimes seemingly insolvable issues; clients, colleagues, and even significant others who not always understood what you were doing, or the importance of our mission. But with every difficult turn, I always encountered a helping hand, a listening ear, a word of encouragement, and yes, sometimes even a shoulder to cry on. I received all of that from all of you. That, right there, is what makes this organization stand above any other: our ability to come together in times of adversity, and always look out for each other. So for that, I thank you all. You made the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so much easier, and so much more rewarding and energizing.
To our President-Elect, Erica Mason, I say this: you are an incredibly talented, driven, compassionate, intelligent leader, who always had my back during this past year. I cannot thank you enough for your support when I needed your help. The HNBA is in very good hands under your leadership, and I was honored to have you as my President-Elect.
To Alba, Erika, Darcy and Michelle: you are the heart of this organization, and you too were instrumental in the success of this past year. From late night conversations about multiple issues, to responding to last minute requests (often because of procrastination), your patience and dedication helped me navigate the difficulties of this past year. Mil Gracias.
To the Executive Committee, and members of the Board of Governors – I found great support and friendship in each and every one of you. Always responsive, always available, always saying “presente” to do whatever was needed to accomplish our mission. You are true leaders of this community. It was an honor to serve with you. Thank you for your leadership and friendship.
To the members of this organization, from all across the country, I say this: The recent events in Charlottesville and elsewhere are further proof of the need for us lawyers to act. We must rise and persevere. Do not let setbacks keep you down. Never lose sight of the ultimate goal. Don’t get distracted by the noise. Rise up, speak up, and most importantly, DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE COMMUNITY. You will be rewarded in unimaginable ways. I know I have been.
I now of course look forward to what lies ahead (and yes, that includes sleeping a little more, reading a book, spending more time with my kids and loved ones, and returning to my law practice). But even as I look ahead, I will never forget this time as President of this organization, which has given me so much, in so many ways. And I am not going away: like I always say, it is my moral obligation to give back, and make sure those who follow can achieve the success that I have achieved. I promise that I will continue to remain involved, and be a friend, a resource and helping hand to each and every one of you. I look forward to working closely with President Mason and her Board in continuing the mission of the Hispanic National Bar Association.
From where I am sitting, the Future of Law looks very strong.
Thank you all for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime, for your trust, confidence, and most importantly, your friendship. I am forever grateful, and at your disposal.
PA’ LANTE SIEMPRE. FUERTE ABRAZO…
HNBA/MassMutual "Su Negocio" on August 17
Los Angeles, CA
REGISTER ONLINE BY TOMORROW, 3:00 PM EDT
Assisting Latino small business owners.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM (PDT)
Registration at 5:00 pm.
545 South Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, California 90071
*View the keynote panelists, parking information, and more HERE.
HNBA Region II's Joint Latino Bar Mixer (NYC), TOMORROW
(click image above for more information)
HNBA Region X: Confronting and Challenging the Gavel Gap: Lessons from Ohio
Mon Aug 28th 2:45pm - 6:30pm
Bricker & Eckler, 100 S 3rd St, Columbus, OH 43215
Please join Bricker & Eckler, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Central Ohio, the John Mercer Langston Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association and the American Constitution Society for a discussion of " The Gavel Gap,” the label used to describe the differences between the race and gender composition of state courts and the communities they serve. The first panel will provide attendees with tools and strategies for running for elected office. Panelists will discuss registering as a candidate, seeking party endorsements, fundraising, campaigning, ethical constraints and election tools that are available locally.
The second panel session, featuring Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt and Judge Marie Hoover, will focus on how disparities in representation can impact the justice system.
For more information, contact Wynter Rose at 614.227.4855 or email@example.com.
(click image below to view agenda and learn more)
LATINA COMMISSIONER ON THE MOVE!
HNBA Latina Commissioner, Jill Lynch Cruz recently participated in a multi-city symposium that focuses on the works of the HNBA Latina Commission. The symposium is hosted by the Institute of Inclusion in the Legal Profession.
The symposium is presenting on the following dates and locations:
10/24/17: Houston, Baker Botts
10/25/17: Dallas, AT&T Corporate Headquarters
10/26/17: New York, Morgan Stanley
AS SEEN IN LAW PRACTICE TODAY
ABA Hispanic Commission: A Voice for the Underrepresented
By: Richard Pena, July 14, 2017
Timely and exciting projects are under way for the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities (Hispanic Commission). At a time when Mexicans, immigrants, and their children are being singled out, and Executive Orders issued by the Trump Administration on immigration, deportation, and travel have created unprecedented fear in the Hispanic community, the work of the Hispanic Commission could not be more relevant.
CONGRATS! HNBA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
HNBA Region V President-Ray Ramirez Received the 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyer Award
HNBA Regional President, Associate at Eversheds Sutherland, Raymond A. Ramirez has been recognized with the 2017 American Bar Association (ABA) On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyer Award.
Selected from a pool of nominations, the Top 40 Young Lawyer Award honors lawyers who exemplify a broad range of high achievement, innovation, vision, leadership, and legal and community service.
“We are very proud of Ray,” said Mark D. Wasserman, Eversheds Sutherland (US) Managing Partner and Co-CEO of Eversheds Sutherland Ltd. “He is very deserving of this honor as a result of his dedication to providing superior client service, combined with his commitment and hard work within our firm and the community.”
Marissa Montes has been named one of the ABA’s Top 40 Young Lawyers!
HNBA Member Marissa Montes has been named as one of the ABA's Top 40 Young Lawyers. Upon graduating from Loyola in 2012, Marissa co-founded the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic, where students provide direct legal services, education and empowerment to the Los Angeles immigrant community. As co-director, she gave her first law lecture at the age of 25 at the Clinic. Under Marissa's supervision, the Clinic has successfully provided consultations to more than 6,000 individuals and received numerous accolades, including the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers' Emil Gumpert Award.
This year, she spearheaded Loyola's first Alternative Spring Break to El Paso, Texas, where students represented immigrants in removal proceedings, changing lives in the process. Marissa has taught courses in Cross Cultural Competency and Trauma Informed Lawyering. She has testified before the California State Assembly and been highlighted on numerous media outlets including, the The Los Angeles Times and CNN en Español. Marissa is a member of various immigrant rights coalitions and is an HNBA Latina Commissioner.
LAST DAY TO BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM!
@ 2017 HNBA Annual Convention
Limited Rooms Available!
*RESERVATION CUT-OFF DEADLINE:
Wednesday, August 16th at 11:59 pm CDT
HNBA Group Rate: $155 (in-room wireless internet is included)
Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel
200 West 12th Street
Kansas City, MO 64105
T: 1 (877) 303-0104
View hotel’s website here.