The HNBA Legal Education Fund Holds Inaugural Scholarship Luncheon and Announces National Scholarship Program for Hispanic Law Students

Contact: Emily Bengtson
E-mail: ebengtson@hnba.com
Phone: (202) 223-4777

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2012

The HNBA Legal Education Fund Holds Inaugural Scholarship Luncheon and Announces National Scholarship Program for Hispanic Law Students

Washington, DC – Yesterday, The HNBA Legal Education Fund (“The Fund”) held its Inaugural Scholarship Luncheon in Portland, Oregon where it announced the creation of a national scholarship program for Hispanic law students as part of The Fund’s various pipeline initiatives designed to increase diversity within the legal profession.  The Scholarship Luncheon, to be held annually in different cities across the country, is a special educational program designed to raise awareness of the need to increase diversity within the legal profession.

“The luncheon was well-received and well-attended by practitioners, members of the judiciary, law students, law professors and law school administrators, including many who traveled to the event from out of state.  This shows that there is a profound interest to facilitate the development of more Hispanic attorneys through various pipeline initiatives supported by The Fund,” said Román D. Hernández, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Fund.

The Fund supports the Hispanic National Bar Association’s (HNBA) educational and charitable missions, including identifying and providing financial assistance to worthy programs that address education and the law within the U.S. Hispanic community and the legal profession.

“This year, for the first time since The Fund’s creation a mere two years ago, we will provide $36,000.00 in scholarships for Hispanic law students who attend law schools throughout the country.  We are pleased that we are able to assist law students achieve their educational goals.  We expect that amount to grow in future years. Only by encouraging and assisting more Hispanic youth to consider a legal education and providing financial assistance to them will we be able to address the nation’s need for more Hispanic attorneys,” continued Chairman Hernández.

Keynote remarks during the luncheon were provided by The Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who addressed the need to increase diversity within the legal profession.  Judge Reyna’s comments moved the crowd in attendance by identifying his own personal experiences related to the need to educate and develop a diverse legal profession.  The event was strongly supported by the judiciary.  For example, judges in attendance at the luncheon included three judges from the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon including its Chief Judge, three justices from the Oregon Supreme Court including its Chief Justice, and various other state court judges from Oregon and Washington.

“We are so pleased that The Fund has been able to fill a need that continues to grow larger and larger in this downturn of the economy,” said Benny Agosto, Jr., HNBA National President and Fund Secretary. “The Fund’s national scholarship program for Hispanic law students is just another example of how The Fund is partnering with the HNBA for the betterment of our community.  Indeed, The Fund is essential to the success of the HNBA and its charitable and educational mission,” continued President Agosto.

During the luncheon, several corporations, law firms, bar associations, and bar association foundations were recognized for their generous contribution of scholarship monies to The Fund that will be dispersed to Hispanic law students through The Fund’s scholarship program in the coming months and in the following amounts:  DuPont, $5,000.00; Target Corporation, $5,000.00; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., $5,000.00; Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, P.C., $5,000.00; The Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Charitable Foundation, $5,000.00; Abraham Watkins Nichols Sorrels Agosto & Friend, $5,000.00; Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., $5,000.00; and The Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, $1,000.00.

About The HNBA Legal Education Fund:

The HNBA Legal Education Fund (the “Fund”), incorporated in April 2010, is an IRS Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable foundation dedicated to promoting and facilitating educational programs, exposing underrepresented students and professional to the benefits and opportunities in the legal profession, providing scholarship and financial support to individuals from underrepresented communities to pursue legal careers, and supporting the charitable and education mission of the Hispanic National Bar Association. The Fund is based in Washington, DC, and is the only charitable foundation that is affiliated with the Hispanic National Bar Association.  To learn more about The Fund and its charitable and educational programs, please visit its website:  www.hnbafund.org.

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, and law students of Hispanic descent in the United States, and its territories. For more information about the HNBA, please visit www.hnba.com.