Bienvenidos and welcome to the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association.

It is truly an honor and privilege to become president. It is my honor to further the mission of the organization by advancing the status of Hispanics both in the community and the legal profession through mentorships, legal education, leadership, community outreach and promoting the proper administration of justice.   

I am very excited to work with the incoming board and I look forward to a very productive two years, full of creativity and fresh ideas.  I recognize that the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association’s membership is the heart of our organization.  It is my belief that nothing can be done without your support, so I look forward to collaborating with all of our members while serving as your president.  

We had a very successful 16th Annual Scholarship Gala, chaired by Frank Torres, which yielded its largest attendance and funds for scholarships.   Once again, I extend congratulations to the esteemed, Honorable Dora Irizarry and the Honorable Gail Prudenti on their awards.  I thank them for sharing in the festive night which was also was attended by the New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli.   The night was an inspiration for our young law students who attended as we also welcomed numerous law firms, law schools and federal and state judges.  The Board also thanks the sponsors for their support and those that made it all possible.   

Looking forward, it is my goal and mission to further strengthen our relationships, build on our foundation and provide a resource to all our members, young and old. We will collaborate with law firms, law schools, not-for-profit entities and government agencies to further our mission and increase inclusion.  Scholarship incentives will be enhanced and I will create a resourceful mentoring program for new lawyers and law students.  In addition to the sponsored internships provided at law firms and the District Attorney’s offices, we will assist our students in obtaining internships in the Court System.   

We will also be a resource to our established attorneys, providing informed educational seminars, continuing legal education courses, and networking opportunities to expand and enhance your business through our sponsorships, referrals and social media programs. In support of this, our first of many general meetings and mixers will take place on October 19th at Rivkin and Radler with esteemed Court of Claims Judge, Faviola Soto. Our other line up of events include a CLE program in November on “Inclusion and Diversion” and a Holiday Party scheduled for January 18, 2018 at The Cuban.   

We have established an Immigration Committee to address the many pressing issues affecting the Latino community and include a mechanism to foster the proper administration of justice. We have also established a Community Outreach Committee designed to give back to our community in need.  In the wake of the catastrophic hurricanes our association is partnering with numerous other associations to provide outreach to those affected.  The Nassau County Bar Association will serve as a drop off site to help those in need in Puerto Rico, and we are supporting a drop off location established by Governor Cuomo at Perry B Duryea State Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge. Moreover, we will be cohosting a fundraiser on October 26th at the Copacabana in support of victims of the hurricane in Puerto Rico.  LIHBA’s Community Outreach Committee will also organize a coat and toy drive for local communities in need so we may continue to serve as a resource.

These are my goals and my leadership will be inclusive and diversified. Therefore, I welcome your ideas and will have an inviting open door policy. We will work collectively and eagerly to accomplish our mission and attempt to answer the hard questions. As the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association, we will play a major role in promoting the American Dream. In fact, all of us – of every background – must stand together and uplift all facets of protective liberty as we all have a seat at the table.

As your president, I shall never forget who I am and that I stand uniquely equipped to view the world in the same way as the young Hispanic American.  I will use my life experiences to foster the goals and objectives of our Bar Association by beckoning hope, challenge and opportunities for every Hispanic American who loves their heritage, respects and cherishes the lofty principles that underlie America, is faced with obstacles and who aspires to lead and make this world a better place. Thank you.