SAN ANTONIO — Attorneys and legal professionals met to discuss helpful resources and topics including diversity and lawyers’ health at the Hispanic National Bar Association’s sixth annual Corporate Counsel Conference and 20th annual Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition.
The conference was held March 18-21 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter.
The HNBA Latina Commission hosted a plenary session on how Latinas can address gender bias in the legal profession.
Latinas represent approximately 0.54 percent of partners in U.S. law firms, behind African-American women, at 0.6 percent; Asian women, at 0.91 percent; and white women, at 18 percent, according to statistics from the National Association for Law Placement. The panel discussed reasons why gender bias still exists, potential avenues for reform, and how to empower women to achieve their potential.
The conference also focused on the health and mental wellness of minority attorneys. State Bar of Texas President-elect Allan K. DuBois and Bree Buchanan, executive director of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program, shared their personal stories and the importance of achieving success without compromising well-being.
“At the time, I never heard of TLAP or knew it existed,” DuBois said. “But I know that it works because it helped me. I have been sober for 21 years.”
DuBois and Buchanan were accompanied by Eduardo Juárez, president-elect of the National LGBT Bar Association in Washington, D.C., and Rául Ayala, chair of the HNBA Lawyer Assistance Committee. The panel discussed how mental health issues and substance abuse affect the legal community, sources of treatment for legal professionals and their family members including state bar lawyers’ assistance programs, healthy lifestyle choices, and cultural impediments to detection and treatment.
For more information on HNBA, visit hnba.com.
Pictured, from left: Eduardo Juárez, president-elect of the National LGBT Bar Association; Bree Buchanan, director of Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program; Allan K. DuBois, State Bar of Texas president-elect; and Rául Ayala, chair of the HNBA Lawyer Assistance Committee.