Teresita Chávez Pedrosa for HNBA Region VIII (FL) President
Not too long ago, I was at a products liability conference in Texas, and had a conversation with a local lawyer about bar associations. I asked him if he was involved in the HNBA. He said that he wasn’t, and that although he would generally tell his associates that it was good to get involved in local bar groups, it was important to be involved where the real power was – he meant the ABA. Obviously this lawyer was mistaken, for the HNBA is neither powerless nor a regional organization. However our exchange left me wondering about perceptions, and thinking about the potential of the HNBA. Why should the HNBA be, or be perceived as being, in a role so junior to the ABA – particularly given the powerhouse that Latinos (especially in numbers) represent in this country?
All of the attorneys with whom I have had the privilege of working in the HNBA (and those who came before, I’m certain) give their best to enrich this organization. Yet as we toil to fight the battles of Hispanics, we must continue building up the HNBA itself, for it will be our rock. In the Region that is Florida, there are powerful, well-organized and well-respected Hispanic organizations. Yet their influence is local. My goal as Regional president of District VIII is to dispel any erroneous perceptions, and expose these organizations (and all the great Hispanic lawyers in our State) to the advantages and opportunities only available in a national organization. Moreover, as a very proud member of the HNBA’s Latina Commission, it is also my goal to introduce and support programs in this Region that address the needs and desires of Latina lawyers.
I look forward to continued involvement with an organization, in which it has been my privilege to serve – as Deputy Regional President of District VIII and again, as a Latina Commissioner. I have enjoyed attending the conventions and meeting so many of you. For those of you who I haven’t yet met however, I am in partner with Adorno & Yoss – the largest certified-minority law firm in the Country. Although we are a national, full-service firm, I mostly practice in the area of premise and products liability. I have been a lawyer for 13 years, and am licensed to practice in Florida. I am Cuban, and came to this country in the 1980 Mariel Boatlift, at the age of eight. Finally, I am mom to two boys – Brandon (ten) and Dean (six). Thank you for your support!