Hispanic Law Students Association (HLSA) president Amy Araya and officers Elsie Morales and Todd Friedman recently traveled to Dallas, Texas to attend the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Annual Convention.
"The convention offered me the unique opportunity to listen to and learn from the leaders of the national legal community," Friedman said. "I had the opportunity to network with other attorneys, judges, and judicial law clerks and become acquainted with the greater Hispanic legal community."
The HNBA and the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association hosted over 800 legal professionals during the course of the convention. The program included Continuing Legal Education programs, keynote addresses by important national figures, receptions, workshops, numerous networking opportunities, and the country's largest Hispanic Career Fair for law students and legal professionals.
"We heard Jose Baez – the attorney who represented Casey Anthony – remark on jury selection and due process; Janet Napolitano – the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security – discuss the Obama administration's new ruling on undocumented immigrants; and Silvia Mendez – a civil rights activist – tell us about her instrumental role in a landmark 1946 desegregation case that successfully ended de jure segregation in California and paved the way for the American civil rights movement," Araya said.
During the career fair, Morales, a 2L, had the opportunity to interview with two sought-after firms. Although she is juggling courses, extracurricular activities, an internship, and participating in 2L summer job interviews, Morales explains that there is no time more critical for the job search that the start of the second year of Law School. "These interviews alone would have been reason enough to attend the convention; you never know which interview will lead to the callback that will lead to the job offer," Morales said.
The convention also provided students the chance to put a face on the national Hispanic community and to their surprise, and delight, many of those faces are Miami Law alumni. "I got to know Miami Law alumni who worked in the military as a Judge advocate, a real estate and transactional layer, and an attorney who worked on international projects for oil companies," Friedman said.
"They say that it's not about what you know, but who you know, and the HNBA convention provided me with the people 'to know,' "Araya added.