Latina Commission



The “Primera Abogada” Award, given by the Commission on Latinas in the Profession, recognizes and honors trailblazing Latina lawyers for their unique and lifetime contributions to the legal profession. Every year the Commission bestows the award to a Latina lawyer who: has been a trailblazer, achieved great distinction by opening-up opportunities historically closed to Latinas, and has been licensed for 25 years or more. Retired attorneys are eligible for nomination. The award will be presented at the 2021 HNBA/VIA Annual Convention.

Nomination Deadline: June 30,2022

Eligibility Criteria

The Latina has practiced law for a minimum of twenty five (25) years; and

The Latina: (i) is a pioneer in her field; (ii) has achieved professional excellence in her field; or (iii) has a demonstrable record of contributing to or assisting members of her community; and (at least one of the following):

  • The Latina has influenced other Latinas to pursue legal careers.
  • The Latina has opened doors for Latina lawyers in a variety of job settings historically closed to them.
  • The Latina has advanced opportunities for Latinas within a practice area or segment of the profession.
  • The Latina has made significant contributions to the legal profession.
  • The Latina has made significant contributions to the Latino community as a direct result of her legal work.

*NOTE: The nominee is not required to be an active member of the HNBA or be actively practicing law. Retired attorneys are eligible for nomination. 

Submission Requirements
Required Submissions
Nomination Form: Complete and submit the online nomination form.

Nominee’s Resume: Include the nominee’s resume or biography, describing her background and contributions.

Description of how Nominee meets eligibility criteria: In no more than two typed, double-spaced pages, in 12-pt font, please provide concrete examples of how the nominee meets the criteria detailed above.

Optional Submissions
Articles/Letters: Up to 10 news or magazine articles written by or about the candidate and no more than five letters of support from individuals or organizations may be submitted in support of a nominee.

Submission Procedures
The nomination online form and your supporting materials constitute the sole basis for the nomination. Materials will not be returned.

The limitation on letters of support will be observed. If more than five letters are submitted, Commission staff will determine which letters will be included with the final nomination packet under consideration by Commission members.

Nominations can be submitted online at:

Articles are to be uploaded with your online nomination form at the time of submission.

Current Commission members or liaisons are not eligible for the Award for the duration of their terms and for three years following service.


The Academy has a long-standing tradition of providing practicing Latina lawyers with leadership training to advance their careers. Open to all self-declared Latina lawyers who have been practicing less than 10 years. The Academy explores topics such as Grit and Growth Mindset, Imposter Syndrome, Mindfulness and Negotiation Skills. Programming consists of half day and full day modules. Highlight: Over 300 women participated in Latina Leadership Academies in 2021.

To apply for the 2022 Latina Leadership Academy




This highly competitive training program has helped Latinas practicing at least 10 years to develop executive level leadership and presentation skills. This 6-month executive training program combines large group and small group settings to prepare Latina lawyers to take on senior leadership roles in their organizations. Due to the personalized nature of the program, only 15 Latina Lawyers are selected per session.

Highlight: Several participants (3) of the LELD either received promotions or began new leadership roles within 6 months of completing the course.




Pearls of Wisdom was designed to introduce the practice of law to younger generations, with the goal of expanding the pipeline. Practicing Latina lawyers host groups of students ranging from middle schoolers through college students in small panel discussion settings. The practicing lawyers talk about the struggles, tribulations and triumphs of becoming and being Latina lawyers. We discuss our personal experiences and nothing about our practice is off limits.

Highlights: Over 2000 students participated in a Pearls of Wisdom session in 2021, including the Boys & Girls Club of Puerto Rico and the Kansas City Middle School System.




In collaboration with other members of the HNBA, the Latina Commission hosts monthly webinars on topics of interest including salary negotiations, imposter syndrome, health and mindfulness, leveraging being the only one in the room and making the ask.

Highlights: In collaboration with regional and local affiliates, the Latina Commission hosted programs on mental health, imposter syndrome, DEI programming and Cafecito chats.