Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association
The Connecticut Hispanic Bar Association (CHBA) is an independent, non-partisan professional membership organization founded in 1993 to strengthen the Hispanic legal community, to help public and private institutions become more diverse, and to advance equality and justice. In addition, the CHBA addresses policy issues impacting the Hispanic community, such as the treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, the provision of court interpreter services, and the denial of services to immigrants or others in our community.
CHBA members—who include attorneys, state and federal judges, paralegals, law office administrators and law students—have a tremendous breadth and depth of experience, and a commitment to their communities through pro bono work and other service activities. Our slate of 22 officers and directors reflects the diversity of the CHBA. Members of the board represent all geographic areas of the state and practice in various capacities, including at large firms, small firms, as in-house attorneys, as solo practitioners, in the public sector and in academia, in areas as diverse as immigration, real estate, complex financial restructuring, public housing, family, and insurance law.
The CHBA has had a very successful year, expanding on a number of the organization’s initiatives, including efforts in Student Outreach, Judicial Diversity, and Member Development. Most notably, the CHBA was honored at the 36th Annual Convention of the Hispanic National Bar Association where it received the 2011 Affiliate Organization of the Year Award.
Judicial Diversity: Over the past five years, the CHBA has actively strived to ensure that diverse, high-qualified applicants consider, and are considered for, federal and state judicial positions. To improve the number of Hispanic judges in our state, we have participated in a series of roundtables discussions with the Judiciary; planned and co-sponsored several panels aimed at encouraging attorneys of color to apply for judicial positions; and helped candidates by providing mock interviews, writing letters of recommendation, and connecting applicants with judges familiar with the process.
Student Outreach: Over the last year, the CHBA has involved area students in CHBA events, provided mentorship and career programming opportunities, and supported scholarships to those who have demonstrated a commitment to the Latino community. Law students enjoy free associate membership in the CHBA, a seat on the CHBA board of directors, the ability to participate in our mentorship program, and invitations to career development events and programs.
Member Development: Past and current CHBA members represent the highest levels of achievement in the bar and in service to the community. To support our members, we have focused this year on developing the following benefits:
- 40% discount on Lexis/Nexis services
- Discounted membership with the HNBA
- Our website—www.ct-hba.org—includes a fully integrated membership platform, where members may choose to make their profile public via our “Find a Member” page.
- CHBA sponsors and co-sponsors events such as the Annual Awards Dinner, the CHBA Summer Social, and regular receptions and networking events throughout the state.
- CHBA organizes panels that focus on employment opportunities in the judiciary, the public sector, private practice, and corporate work. During the school year, the CHBA sponsors law student programming (such as educational panels and mentoring activities), an important part of the CHBA mission.