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Free CLE May 25 – Profiles in Excellence: Judge Juan F. Vasquez

The Hispanic Issues Section and the Hispanic National Bar Association are delighted to present a free CLE webinar scheduled for noon CDT on Tuesday, May 25 titled Profiles in Excellence: Judge Juan F. Vasquez.


This presentation is in partnership with the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, the Mexican-American Bar Association of San Antonio, the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, the El Paso Bar Association, and the Hidalgo County Bar Association.


It has been approved for one hour of MCLE credit.


Profiles in Excellence: Judge Juan F. Vasquez

Tuesday, May 25
Noon – 1 p.m. CDT

1 hour MCLE credit



Program Flyer

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Free CLE on Appellate Court Redistricting – March 31

The Hispanic Issues Section is pleased to present a CLE webinar scheduled for noon CDT on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 titled Changes to Appellate Courts? Know the History First.


This CLE is free for all and has been approved for one hour of MCLE credit.






Justice Linda Reyna Yañez (Retired)

Justice Yañez was the first Hispanic woman in Texas history to serve on a Texas appeals court and she is the first woman to serve as justice on the Texas Thirteenth Court of Appeals. She served as justice from 1993 until her retirement in 2010. Justice Yañez previously served as a Harvard Law School clinical instructor and regional counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.


Rolando L. Rios

Mr. Rios is a San Antonio-based attorney widely recognized for his experience in major voting rights and redistricting cases for over 20 years. He is a former general counsel for the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project and he frequently represents Hispanic advocacy groups in this type of litigation.


Carlos Soltero, moderator

Mr. Soltero is an Austin-based trial attorney and chair of the Hispanic Issues Section’ CLE committee. He is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.




Join our distinguished panel as they discuss the history and structure of Texas appellate courts and the gains that Hispanics have made on the judiciary in Texas. The panel will also analyze current proposals to “re-organize” appellate courts and the impact these proposals may have on the representation of Hispanics on the bench and on the voting rights of Hispanic citizens in Texas.  

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Hispanic Issues Section Announces Hardship Committee – Please Take Our Survey

The Hispanic Issues Section is announcing the creation of a Hardship Committee to identify needs of and to assist section members facing difficult issues in their lives and practices, whether or not related to the pandemic or recent winter crisis.


Please see this letter for more details. 


And please help us identify needs and useful resources by completing this survey. (We expect the survey to take on average 15 minutes to complete.)


With your help, we can support our colleagues when they need us most!

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Join Us for “LAW”teria on September 16!


DATE AND TIME: September 16, 2020, 5:00 – 6:30 pm

The Hispanic Issues Section is sponsoring a fun game night featuring a version of the popular loteria game benefiting legal aid.


The Texas Access to Justice Foundation and legal aid efforts throughout Texas.

Special Guests

Distinguished Guest: Justice Eva Guzman
Host: Sylvia Firth, SBOT President-elect
Retired Judge Elsa Alcala
Justice Leticia Hinojosa
Justice Rebeca Martinez
Amanda Arriaga
Pablo Almaguer
Domingo Garcia
Jim Harrington


The Zoom link will be sent to you upon registration. 

Door Prizes & Intermission Entertainment!


Flyer with More Information

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HIS Joins Affinity Sections and Committees Statement in Response to SBOT President Comments

The Hispanic Issues Section has proudly joined its colleagues in the African American Laywers Section, the Asian Pacific Interest Section, the LGBT Law Section, the Native American Bar Section, the Women in the Law Section, and the Texas Minority Counsel Program, in issuing a joint statement regarding recent comments by State Bar of Texas President Larry McDougal, and in support of the position taken by the African American Lawyers Section.

Read the entire statement here.

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2020 Hispanic Issues Section Awards and Video Presentation

View the video presentation here!

The Hispanic Issues Section gives out three named awards each year at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of Texas, along with several other awards.

This year our awards recipients are:

  • Reynaldo G Garza Lifetime Achievement Award: Roy R. Barrera, Sr.
  • Pete Torres Jr. Community Service Award: Jose Angel Gutierrez and Chris Luna
  • James W. Wray, Jr. Founder’s Award: Renato Santos, Jr.
  • Judge of the Year Award: Justice Gisela D. Triana
  • Legislator of the Year Award: Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia
  • Chair’s Award: Justice Gina M. Benavides
  • Access to Justice Award: El Paso Bar Association

You can learn more about our awards, and find a list of our past award recipients, by clicking this link.

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Nominate an Attorney for LeadershipSBOT!

The Hispanic Issues Section encourages all members to nominate attorneys to apply for the LeadershipSBOT program, a diversity initiative designed to recruit, train, and retain Texas lawyers for leadership positions in the legal community and the State Bar of Texas.  See the nomination form (click here) or the notice letter (click here) for more details!  The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, June 30.

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Upcoming Events

Here is a list of upcoming events involving the Hispanic Issues Section or local Hispanic bar associations, or other sections of the State Bar of Texas.  Click on event listings for registration information.

Special Events

Want your event on the list?  Email us!

  • June 25, 2020 – SBOT Virtual Annual Meeting (HIS programming is in the afternoon) – Details

Local Hispanic Bar Association Monthly Meetings

This list has information about regular monthly meetings for local associations around Texas.  If you have any updated information or want to add your group to the list, please email us!

Austin – Hispanic Bar Association of Austin

When held, monthly meetings typically are held on the second Friday of the month at noon at the offices of the Austin Bar Association, 816 Congress Avenue, 7th Floor.  Main websiteemail

Houston – Mexican-American Bar Association of Houston

Monthly meetings typically are held on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 (monthly CLE) and 6:45 (meeting) at Lupe Tortilla, 1511 Shepherd Drive.  Facebook pageemail

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Judge Timoteo (Tim) Gonzalez, 1950-2019

HIS was saddened to learn of the recent passing of Judge Timoteo (Tim) Gonzalez, an HIS Member, as well as a member of the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas and a former president of the Dallas Mexican American Bar Association.


A memorial mass for Judge Gonzalez will be held Wednesday, November 6, 2019, 6:30 pm at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 9643 Ferndale Road, Dallas, TX 75238.


You can read Judge Gonzalez’s obituary information here.  Our thoughts are with Judge Gonzalez’s family at this difficult time. 

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Legal Resources for El Paso Support; Texas Bar Journal Article

The Hispanic Issues Section and all of its members’ thoughts are with the citizens of El Paso following the tragedy that unfolded on August 3, 2019.

Attorneys from El Paso and throughout the state have mobilized to provide a variety of forms of assistance to survivors, their families, and others affected.

The State Bar of Texas has collected a list of resources that are available – please click here to review the list.

The Texas Bar Journal has published an article about El Paso and the El Paso Bar Association and the legal community’s tremendous response.

Click here for the Texas Bar Journal’s online version of the article.

Click here for a PDF of the article.

Article republished courtesy of the Texas Bar Journal and Amy Starnes.

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New 2018-2019 HIS Officers

The Hispanic Issues Section has selected its officers for the 2018-2019 bar year.  Your officers for 2018-2019 are:


  • Justice Gina M. Benavides, Chair
  • Valerie Carrillo, Chair-Elect
  • Larry Banda, Vice-Chair
  • Judge Victor Villareal, Secretary
  • Jamie Vasquez, Treasurer
  • Betty Balli Torres, Immediate Past Chair