HNBA Immediate Past President, Benny Agosto, Jr.
Benny Agosto Jr., a partner with Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend of Houston, Texas was born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico. From a young age, Mr. Agosto was taught by his parents that through hard work and determination, anything was possible – a principle he has applied throughout his life, in school, on the soccer field, and in the courtroom. “Both of my parents have a sixth-grade education,” Agosto shares, “and every day they would tell my siblings and me to be sure to get an education. I remember my father telling me that no one can ever take that away from you. My parents knew the struggles of being a migrant family without a formal education.” Hard work on the soccer field and in school paid off for Agosto. An avid soccer player in San Juan, Agosto was recruited by Houston Baptist University to attend and play NCAA Division I soccer. He went on to the University of Houston to work on his graduate degree in microbiology and taught high school and college students for six years. Agosto realized that although he loved teaching and coaching soccer, he needed more. He was accepted to South Texas College of Law, where he excelled in mock trial and academics and is now a board certified trial lawyer.
As the Hispanic National Bar Association National President, Agosto brings many important issues to the forefront of the national debate. Although those issues are voiced throughout the duration of the year, there is also a specific day that HNBA members travel to Washington, DC, and speak to legislators about issues pertinent to all Hispanics. “The HNBA Legislative Day is paramount for us,” Agosto says. “It is an important day to advocate for Hispanics in regards to the fair and equitable administration of justice.” Another important HNBA event is the Mid-Year Corporate Counsel Conference. “It brings together general counsels and is an excellent opportunity for young Hispanic lawyers to participate in the job fair, attend seminars on promoting favorable minority hiring practices, and, most importantly, to make connections between members to continue the advancement of all Hispanics in the national legal community.”
Deeply committed to community, scholarship, and making a difference, Agosto is a member of many bar associations throughout Texas and sits on the board of directors for a handful as well. Mr. Agosto is the founder of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas (MABATx) Foundation. With the support and help of his family and his staff, Agosto built the MABATx Foundation to benefit young, Hispanic, Houston-area law students through scholarships. To date, the MABATx Foundation has raised over $100,000. The Foundation also sponsors a Law Student Conference and corresponding reception, where scholarships are awarded to young, aspiring attorneys to help handle the foundation,” Agosto acknowledges. “It was a personal endeavor, and I am committed to the students who benefit from these scholarships.”
Agosto is also a cofounder of the HNBA’s Legal Education Fund along with his peers Roman Hernandez and Omar Vargas. The Legal Education Fund is the HNBA’s only 501(c)(3) charitable group that raises money to give 100 percent of its contributions toward minority scholarships. As an advocate for gender fairness, Agosto works with programs to promote flexible and sustaining practices that help women attorneys balance a family and a demanding career. “Females account for 50% of law-school enrollment,” Agosto shares, “which is good and long overdue. But the fact remains that the percentage of women in corporate law remains relatively low and the percentage of Hispanic women in corporate law even lower.”
The President’s Corner
- Apr. 23, 2012: “Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend” | Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers (2012 Edition)
- Apr. 17, 2012: “HNBA President Benny Agosto, Jr. Speaks at Harvard Latino Law, Policy and Business Conference” | Hispanic National Bar Association
- Mar. 9, 2012: “Serving Clients and Community” | Texas’ Top Rated Lawyers
- Jan./Feb. 2012: “A Profile in Professionalism: Benny Agosto, Jr.” | The Houston Lawyer
- Dec. 19, 2011: “Meet Benny Agosto, President, Hispanic National Bar Association” | The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
- Oct. 6, 2011: “Houston Texans Honor Benny Agosto, Jr. Through the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards Presented by Bud Light“
- Sep. 28, 2011: “NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Bud Light Launch NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards”
Swearing-In and Address to Membership
“Tonight in this hall, I want us to resolve to be the HNBA not of repose, but the HNBA of action and reform. We will write not footnotes, but chapters in the HNBA story. We will leave this organization greater than we found it.”
2011-2012 President’s Letter to the Membership
“The HNBA is the voice of the Hispanic community and as such, we are advocates for those we represent. During the “Year of the Advocate,” the HNBA will provide leadership, education, advocacy, and guidance to three essential areas of our population. We will be advocates for the profession, the community, and the children.”
|HNBA’s New “Feed the Children Initiative” to Give Back to Host CommunitiesThe 36th Annual Convention served as the forum for the kick-off of HNBA’s new Feed the Children Initiative (FTCI), an initiative aimed at giving back to the host cities of future HNBA conventions and events. The FTCI will donate at least $10,000 to a local charity in each host city, to go towards fostering education and community enrichment.This year, HNBA gave $10,000 to Dallas’ Mercy Street, a local children’s group that seeks to foster leadership and community change by providing area children with volunteer mentors and coaches.Read more…Watch the announcement|
A postcard from the volunteers and kids in the Mercy Street program in Dallas.
October 9th, 2011: In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Benny Agosto Jr. was a recipent of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award at the Houston Texans football game. Click here to watch President Agosto receive his award!
As President of the HNBA and as Co-Chair of the Houston Bar Association (HBA) Law Day Committee, Benny volunteered on Saturday, February 25th at the Community Family Centers in Houston. Benny helped lead discussions, contests, and various activities for participating children of this organization in honor of Law Day. Read more… (The Cypress Times)