Committees

HLAI derives its strength from active committees and encourages your participation. HLAI strives to continually involve its members in its various committees depending on the organization's ever-changing needs. Please check back for new committee information or contact us to learn how you can get involved.

Communications Committee

The Communications Committee will provide information on the events, promotions, news, job announcements, and volunteer opportunities that are of interest to HLAI members. We will do this through the quarterly publication of our newsletter "Noticias", the HLAI website and our HLAI Facebook page.

For information on joining the committee or if you have information that is of interest to the membership, please contact Luana Montoya at communications@hlai.org.

Community Outreach Committee

The Community Outreach Committee strives to provide members with opportunities to interact and serve the Latino Community throughout Illinois. Given the ever increasing Latino community in Illinois there is a tremendous need for bilingual attorneys who are able to provide legal services in civil, criminal and quasi-criminal matters. The Community Outreach Committee facilitates in connecting attorneys with a desire to serve the community and individuals in need of legal services.

Another critical opportunity for involvement is the mentoring of students. The Community Outreach Committee concentrates its efforts in mentoring students interested in entering the legal profession. However, the Community Outreach Committee also recognizes that the diversity of backgrounds in HLAI's membership is one of its strengths. Therefore, the Community Outreach Committee also provides mentoring opportunities in other areas of educational interest per request.

For more information contact Salvador Cicero at community@hlai.org.

JD Mentors Program Committee "Juntos Destacando"

The HLAI JD Mentors Program Committee was formalized last year to solidify HLAI's commitment to student mentorship by creating a program that pairs the experience of a practicing attorneys with the on-going journey of undergraduate college students and a current law students in developing their careers. Juntos Destacando provides an opportunity for students to find a mentor with similar career goals or interests who is available to answer their questions. The program also gives attorneys an opportunity to provide a much needed service to those who are now walking the path they once tread. The purpose behind Juntos Destacando is to increase the number of Hispanic students entering law school and to ensure the success of current Hispanic law students in their transition from student to professional. Juntos Destacando fosters this "Three-tiered Team" approach because it has proven to be far more effective than the traditional one-on-one mentor relationship. Juntos Destacando allows each of the participants.

Should you be interested in participating, please contact the JD Mentors Committee at jdmentors@hlai.org.

Latina Lawyers Committee

The Latina Lawyers' Committee ("LLC") provides practicing Latina lawyers and Latina law students with guidance, mentoring, empowerment, and networking opportunities.

To join the LLC, please contact Rosa M. Silva at latina.lawyers@hlai.org.

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee provides benefits of membership information to members. The committee also develops and maintains a listing of all member attorneys and their area of practice.

For more information please contact the Membership Secretary, Elizabeth Ribbeck, at membership@hlai.org.

Judiciary Committee

HLAI is a member of the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening, which includes the ISBA and HLAI’s sister organization, the Puerto Rican Bar Association of Illinois. Through the Alliance, HLAI evaluates and rates the qualifications of sitting and perspective Illinois judges at the Circuit, Appellate and Supreme Court levels. The evaluations are conducted at the request of the Illinois Supreme Court, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, or for upcoming elections. Evaluation results concerning elections are posted at www.voteforjudges.org. HLAI members who are interested in participating in these evaluations must complete the investigator training at the ISBA. Training dates differ.

For more information, contact the Committee Chair, Federico M. Rodriguez.

Public Protection Committee

HLAI is gravely concerned about abuses by unscrupulous attorneys inflicted upon the Latino community, particularly its most vulnerable members. Likewise, the unauthorized practice of law through “notarios” and persons pretending to be licensed attorneys often goes unnoticed, harming persons who depended and trusted in the legal services they believed were undertaken. For this reason, HLAI formed the Public Protection Committee whose goal is to work with the ARDC, the State Attorney's Office and the Attorney General to investigate and prosecute such instances where indicated.

For more information, contact the Committee Chair, Federico M. Rodriguez.

LGBT Rights Committee

HLAI understands that too often gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals are treated as second class citizens not afforded equal legal rights. This treatment does not distinguish between classes or professions thus, it also affects gay and lesbian members of the legal community. Through this Committee, HLAI seeks to broaden the conversation and, where possible, openly support laws that give equal protection to the LGBT community.

For more information, contact Roberto Romero Perez, or the Committee Chair Federico M. Rodriguez.

CLE Committee:

HLAI's CLE Committee programs or seeks out CLE opportunities, including free or discounted CLE's, for its members. If you have any ideas or would like to participate, please contact the CLE Committee Chair Ernesto Palomo at CLE@hlai.org.

Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

HLAI serves all of Illinois, including Chicago and all surrounding suburbs, including Aurora, Elgin, Naperville, Elmhurst, Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Evanston, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Chicago Heights, and more.