President's Message

 

January 15, 2016


Dear HBA-DC Members:

 

It is an honor and humbling to serve you as the 37th President of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

 

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Annual Meeting & Elections to celebrate our many accomplishments of 2015 and to look towards 2016 with excitement and energy.  Please join me in congratulating our newly elected Board of Directors.  I am proud to have them as colleagues and friends and I thank them for their invaluable service to the bar.  Thanks also to my colleagues at Wiley Rein LLP for their steadfast support.

 

It is good to pause as we begin a new year to reflect on what a truly exceptional organization we are.  Undoubtedly, you are our single greatest asset and it is a privilege to work with you.  I am constantly amazed at your deep commitment to advancing and developing Hispanics in the legal profession and to putting the organization’s principles into action with pride, conviction and, not infrequently, at personal sacrifice.  Because of your efforts, HBA-DC is able to organize seminars on current legal issues, promote career opportunities, provide legal assistance to our community, educate the Hispanic community about their legal rights, support our student members, foster fellowship among us, and develop and encourage cooperation with other organizations of minority attorneys.  With your continued dedication, our commitment to and work in these areas will remain strong in 2016.

 

This year, I have two priorities that I want to share with you:

 

Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion.  I am sure I need not tell you that statistical data demonstrates that the legal profession is one of the least racially diverse.  In cooperation with legal employers and other bar associations, we are uniquely positioned to be a part of the solution.  I will make a concerted effort to engage employers, minority bar associations and other interested parties in a productive dialogue focused on effective practices designed to increase the recruitment, retention, and promotion of minority attorneys, as well as reducing the impact of affinity bias in the legal profession.


Increased Support for Law Students.  Law student members are the leaders of tomorrow.  Those of us privileged to be gainfully employed have an obligation to help those coming behind us.  We must mentor law students and ensure they are instilled with integrity, honor and professionalism.  While continuing to strengthen the successful Mentorship Program, we will work with the HBA-DC Foundation to increase financial support for scholarships and provide financial literacy training.


Your participation is critical to the success of the organization.  I encourage you to join one of the Committees.  Committees are the backbone of the organization.  Committees identify needs, give birth to creative solutions, and implement our goals. If you want to get involved, let me know.  If you are not familiar with our Committee structure, look for details about a Committee and Board Meet & Greet in February, where you will have an opportunity to learn about and become involved in a Committee, meet the new Board, and network with colleagues.  Become involved, share your ideas, and volunteer your talents.  Together, there is little we cannot accomplish!


Contact me with any suggestions, ideas or questions.  I may be reached at President@HBADC.org.

 

I look forward to working with you and to a great year!

 

Edgar Class
President
Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia

 

 

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