HNBA Latina Commission Leadership Academy

Location: Intercontinental Chicago, IL

The Latina Commission was created in 2008 to study, and remedy, the status of Latinas in the legal profession who then, as now, suffer the lowest representation of any racial or ethnic group as compared to their overall presence in the nation. Since conducting its ground-breaking national studies,“Few and Far Between: The Reality of Latina Lawyers” (September 2009) and“La Voz de la Abogada Latina: Challenges and Rewards in Serving the Public Interest” (September 2010), the Latina Commission has implemented the recommendations of those studies (which confirmed Latina lawyers encounter, and must overcome, a multi-layered ceiling based on the intersection of gender, ethnicity and race, coupled with family obligations and discrimination) via annual programming that couples education, executive leadership training, mentorship and sponsorship. The main goal of the program is to assist Latina lawyers in developing a strong managerial skill set that includes: developing a personal leadership persona, business development skills, negotiating and managing relationships, navigating organizational power and politics, and effective succession planning. The Leadership Training Programs are presented during the HNBA Annual Convention and the HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference.


The 2016 Latina Leadership Academy was be divided into two sessions.

The morning session, based on the ABA Grit project, provided useful insight and skills on how Latina attorneys’ attitudes and behaviors about their own abilities and potential affect career outcomes even more so than intelligence, raw talent, and other “fixed” attributes.  Audience members learned skills to develop a grit and growth mindset that can enhance their effectiveness, retention, and career advancement.

The afternoon session focused on how to be your own career advocate.  This leadership training program provided an overview of the key issues Latina attorneys encounter in their careers related to compensation, promotion decisions, and other aspects of their employment in the legal profession. This program included an overview of the related research, policies and practices affecting compensation and promotion decisions across the legal profession, as well as important insight and skills to enhance Latina attorneys’ effectiveness in advocating and negotiating for themselves in these decisions.


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