Edward Torpoco for HNBA Vice President of Membership

My name is Edward Torpoco.  I humbly request your vote for HNBA Vice President of Membership.

REASON FOR RUNNING

I am running for this office for a simple reason: our membership numbers are not good enough.  I want to help bring renewed vitality to the HNBA’s motto—“The National Voice of the Hispanic Legal Community”—through fresh leadership and energized outreach that embraces technology.  Our ability to shape the public discourse—in vital areas such as judicial appointments and immigration reform—depends on having a broad, vibrant membership base that enables us to transform our national “voice” into a loud “shout” on issues of importance to the HNBA membership.

ABOUT ME

I am the son of immigrants and currently have the privilege of serving as Senior Litigation Counsel at eBay Inc., in California.  It’s a terrific company to work for—empowering millions of people every day to engage in online commerce.  I am a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.   Prior to eBay, I worked for several years as a federal prosecutor.  These vastly different professional experiences enable me to identify with the perspectives and concerns of both public and private sector attorneys.

PROVEN RECORD OF LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE

I have a clear track record of commitment to the Hispanic legal community.  I have been a Board Member of the San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association—the HNBA’s parent and original affiliate—for about 6 years.  In fact, in 2006, as Board President and convention Vice-Chair, I had the honor of hosting the HNBA’s national convention in San Francisco.  I currently serve as the Board Secretary and Membership Chair of the Santa Clara La Raza Lawyers Association.  With your support, I want to bring the same energy and commitment that I have demonstrated locally to the national level.

MY GOALS AND PLAN FOR INCREASING MEMBERSHIP

I applaud prior HNBA leaders for their efforts in building a truly phenomenal association.  But we can and must do more to improve our membership roster, through common sense initiatives like the following:

  • Greater Outreach to Our Local Affiliates: I pledge to work more actively with our Regional Presidents to engage our affiliates and spread the word about our discounted $20 affiliate member rate.   Year-after-year, members of local affiliates tell me that they did not sign up for the HNBA because they believed, erroneously, that it was too expensive.  Better outreach with our affiliates could easily triple our membership size—and influence.
  • Partnering with Law School Faculty: As recognized in past HNBA strategic plans, students are our future.  We need to sell the value of membership to them and engage them early.  I therefore pledge to lead a national Latino law professor committee, which apart from offering mentorship, will work with HNBA staff to send every graduating Latino law student a letter of congratulations and free first year membership.
  • Making Membership Renewal Easier: I think everyone will agree that the current website renewal process is a great achievement due to significant financial investments undertaken by the HNBA.  However, every year, many members simply fail to renew their dues.   We should explore additional ways to make membership renewal faster, easier, and more reliable including, for example, by offering automatic renewal.
  • Embracing Technology to Sell the Value of Membership: Apart from improving our recruitment efforts, we need to do a better job of selling the value of membership.  Every year, I hear from members who failed to renew because, apart from receiving an occasional newsletter, they just didn’t feel like they got much out of membership.  Sure, we can try to match the ABA’s Hertz discounts.  But I propose making the importance of what the HNBA does for the Latino legal community the chief value proposition of the HNBA.  To this end, I would leverage my technology-sector background to bring the HNBA into the 21st century, by using websites such as Facebook and Twitter to keep members apprised, in real time, of fun and interesting news and opportunities.

Through initiatives such as the above, I am confident that we can achieve a substantial increase in our membership roster and make more effective use of our membership in support of the HNBA’s objectives.  I ask for your support in this effort.

Thanks for your consideration.

/s/ Edward Torpoco

I have been a member in good standing of the California Bar, since 1998, with no record of discipline.

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