The Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County (HBA) advocates for a legal community that reflects the true diversity of Orange County and ensures access to justice for all. At its core, the HBA’s mission is to increase: (1) the number of Latinos pursuing a law school education; (2) the number of Latino attorneys practicing in Orange County; and (3) the number of Latinos serving on the bench.
The HBA encourages law school enrollment with its Wally Davis Scholarships, awarded to deserving law students every year since 1995. Wally Davis scholars have gone on to work at large and small firms, in both public and private service, and many have joined the leadership ranks of the HBA, including three who have taken its helm as president.
Every year, the HBA’s scholarship fundraiser and installation dinner draws hundreds of leaders of the local legal community. This year’s theme, Honoring Our Trailblazers by Advancing Our Dreamers, was showcased at all levels; we honored the creators of the Wally Davis Fund by awarding an unprecedented $40,000 in scholarships to four excellent local, Latino law students. We honored the First Latino State Bar President, Luis Rodriguez, a true trailblazer, as Attorney of the Year. We also honored the HBA’s first female President, Diane Nordby, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 20+ years of service to the HBA. Our guest speaker, Sergio Garcia, Esq., won a five-year legal battle to become licensed after the California Supreme Court granted him a license to practice law, notwithstanding his legal status in the country. Our Guardian De Justicia, Fishkin & Slatter, LLP, took on Sergio’s case pro bono for over four years.
In addition to uniting and inspiring, the HBA provides professional and networking opportunities for its members, including the 2014 Memorial Day MCLE travel seminar to Belize. The HBA’s de barranda mixers throughout the year have become a staple of the social life of the local legal community.
In short, the HBA is a great place to give back to the community, empower the next generation of Latino lawyers and leaders, meet new friends, see old faces, and share good memories. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more about the HBA, its Committees, its scholarships, or how to get involved, please visit www.ochba.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.