Category Archive: Uncategorized

  1. Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour – Support Local Charitable Organizations!

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    Join HLAI for some fun and help support local charitable organizations including Casa Central, La Casa Norte and more! These organizations keep our communities going, especially now. Let’s show our support!

    May 5, 2020 | 5 – 6 PM

    And, enjoy a mixologist-hosted demo for easy at-home beverages followed by raise-your-glass music with a spectacular DJ! Generously sponsored by Moe’s Cantina!

    Zoom party details to follow!

  2. Super Lawyers & Rising Stars Announced!

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    HLAI is proud of the following members who were recognized by Super Lawyers as either Super Lawyers or Rising Stars this year. Please join us in congratulating:

    Super Lawyers
    Marisel Hernandez, Labor & Employment
    Michael J. Hernandez, Education Attorney
    Jose Lopez, White Collar
    Joe Torres, Labor & Employment
    Steve Flores, ERISA and Benefits
    Miguel Ruiz, Litigation
    Jesse Ruiz, Corporate and Securities
    Sulema Medrano, Litigation

    Rising Stars
    HLAI President Leynee Cruz, Estate & Probate
    Marlen Cortez Morris, Franchise & Dealership
    Norma Manjarrez, Employment & Labor
    Karla Sanchez, Employment & Labor
    Esther Contreras, Immigration
    Scott Cruz, Clark Hill
    Daniel Hernandez, Family Law
    Diana Lopez, Family Law
    Moses Suarez, Litigation
    C. Matt Alva, Litigation

  3. JD Mentors Kick-off Reception

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    Join HLAI for our Annual JD Mentors Kick-off event. The JD Mentors Program pairs Latinx attorneys in Chicago with Latinx law students with the goal of creating mentoring relationships.

    The reception will take place on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Mayer Brown, 71 S. Wacker Drive, 32nd Floor, Chicago, Illinois.

    Please register HERE, and bring identification for security.

    Please contact with questions.

  4. WBAI & HLAI Present “Building Your Team In-House” CLE on February 19, 2020

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    The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (WBAI) and the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois (HLAI) invite you to join us for a lively and informative panel discussion on team building, including assessing experience and filling gaps, managing up and down, and building your own skills to achieve personal and team success.

    February 19, 2020
    5:30 PM: Registration and Networking
    6:00 PM: Panel Discussion
    7:00 PM: Wine, Appetizers and Networking
    Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, 155 N. Upper Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606

    This event is complimentary for Members & Non-Members, but registration is required at 1 Hour of Illinois CLE credit pending.

    Moderated by:
    Liz Winiarski, Deputy General Counsel – LAZ Parking

    Araceli De La Cruz, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer – Acero Schools Chicago
    Yolanda Gamboa, Associate General Counsel – Bank of America
    Deborah Solmor, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary – TCS Education System
    Susan Sneider, Founder and Principal – New Vistas Consulting

  5. Hon. Manuel Barbosa (ret.), a federal judiciary pioneer, has passed away

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    HLAI is deeply saddened by the passing of one our beloved members, the Hon. Judge Manuel Barbosa (Ret). Judge Barbosa was a long time public servant and the first Latino to serve as a bankruptcy judge in the Northern District of Illinois.  He was a member of the inaugural class of HLAI’s Lincoln Juarez Honor Society and a mentor to many of our members.  HLAI extends its deepest condolences to Judge Barbosa’s family during this difficult time.

    For more information about services, please visit

  6. Congratulations New Lawyers!

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    Yesterday, I was privileged to participate on behalf of HLAI with other bar leaders in the Bar Admission Ceremony for the new admittees to the Illinois bar.  Today, after years of hard work and sacrifice, is your first full day as a lawyer.  Enjoy every moment.

    We are so very proud of all the newly-minted Latinx attorneys, and extend our warmest congratulations to every attorney sworn in yesterday.  HLAI welcomes you to the venerable practice of law.


    Leynee A. Cruz

    President, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

  7. Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois – 2020 Scholarship Application Period Opens

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    The Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois has announced that the 2020 scholarship application period is now open!

    HLSF gives law firms, corporations, and individuals a vehicle for supporting Latino law students, providing both financial support and networking opportunities. Each year, HLSF awards scholarships ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to Latino law students. HLSF is especially proud of its past scholarship recipients who have gone on to become leaders of the organized Latino bar and in other organizations that help the Latino community.

    Students interested in applying must do so by January 31, 2020 via the online application at

  8. National Hispanic Heritage Month Profile – Hon. Rubén Castillo (ret.)

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    What service to the Latino community impassions you?

    I was very privileged to serve the Latino community for more than 25 years as a federal judge, including six years as Chief Judge. It is my fond hope that my service inspired members of our Latino community to enter the legal profession and adopt Cesar Chavez’s “Si Se Puede” mentality. During my judicial tenure, I tried to interact with as many Latino students as possible so that they could see that judges are just plain human beings. I have been blessed to have mentored many young Latino professionals throughout my forty-year legal career. This is a small repayment for the many Latino attorneys and judges—like Justice David Cerda—who mentored me as a young attorney.

    I also would like to pay homage to all our dedicated Latino law enforcement officers. Because of my good friend Felipe Sanchez, I was able to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for four years prior to becoming a judge. During those four years, and my entire judicial career, time and time again I saw dedicated Latinx law enforcement officers and prosecutors readily give their time and risk their lives for our community. These law enforcement professionals make us proud and thankful.

    During my next professional chapter, as a Big Law partner, I will continue to try to serve the Latino community by striving to consistently champion the twin goals of diversity in our legal profession and social justice.


    Rubén Castillo

    Akerman LLP