Equal Justice Awards

Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia



The Equal Justice Awards Reception is HBA-DC’s annual gala where we recognize individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to achieving equal justice in the District of Columbia. 


Net proceeds from the event allow the HBA-DC to continue serving its members through professional development events, mentoring programs, judicial and other endorsements, job referrals, policy advocacy, and supporting the community through legal clinics, education and many other activities.

Online Tickets are Closed. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $150. Please bring a check made out to HBA-DC or cash. To reserve your ticket or for questions, please email Shirley Diaz, HBA-DC Secretary at shirley.diaz@skadden.com.

DATE:  Friday, November 1, 2019 
LOCATION:      Park Hyatt Hotel, 1201 24th Street, NW
TIME: Reception 6:30 p.m., Awards Program 8:00 p.m.




 Dress code is black tie optional. We will be celebrating Día de los Muertos so festive attire is encouraged! 


2019 Equal Justice Awards!


HBA-DC announces the individuals and organizations that will be honored at the Equal Justice Awards Reception on November 1, 2019:


Judge Ricardo M. Urbina Lifetime Achievement Award:
Ramona Romero, Vice President and General Counsel, Princeton University

  • This award recognizes a member of the Washington, DC legal profession, with 20 or more years of principled service in the legal profession or a related field, and outstanding contributions to the Hispanic community in the areas of equality, fairness, and social justice.

Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. Memorial Awards (2 Awards - organization and individual):


Legal Counsel for the Elderly

Maria Gomez, CEO and President, Mary's Center

  • These awards recognize a community organization and an individual with visible ties to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, especially its Hispanic community, that demonstrate unwavering commitment and achievement to public service and dedication to the principles of equality, cultural respect, and social justice.

New for 2019 - Hispanic Attorney of the Year Award:

Juan M. Sempertegui, Assistant General Counsel & Vice President, Bank of America, NA.

  • This award recognizes an active member of the legal profession with more than 10 and less than 20 years of experience, principled service in the legal profession, outstanding contributions to the legal profession, and gives preference to leadership service in local or Hispanic affinity bar associations.

Rising Star Award:

Lillian F. Cardona, Special Counsel, Commodity Futures Trading Commission,

Paulina N. Vera, Professorial Lecturer in Law, The George Washington Law School Immigration Clinic

  • This award recognizes two active members of the legal profession with 10 years or less experience for principled service, outstanding contributions to the legal profession, and gives preference to leadership service in local or Hispanic affinity bar associations.   


The Equal Justice Awards reception provides you with an opportunity to honor the exceptional accomplishments of Hispanic lawyers in our community and to encourage others to continue providing much needed legal support.


For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact HBA-DC President-Elect Ruben Reyna or download the Sponsorship Invitation.



To make your sponsorship contribution online, please visit the HBA-DC Online Store at hbadc.org/store. Sponsors will be announced at the event and will receive special acknowledgement in the printed program for the event.

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