On March 28 through March 31, the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and its affiliate, the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (HBA-NJ), presented the 3rd Annual Midyear Corporate Counsel Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey.
“The HNBA’s 2012 Midyear Conference was a landmark event that exceeded all of our already high expectations,” said Benny Agosto, Jr., HNBA national president. “We were particularly excited to usher in our 40th anniversary year with an event that truly shows the wonderful growth and accomplishments of the HNBA, and I think the Midyear Conference did just that. The HNBA Board of Governors and I applaud Miguel Alexander Pozo, Nuris E. Portuondo, and the entire New Jersey Midyear Conference Leadership Team for their efforts and thank them for their extremely hard work to make this special event possible. From the outset, Miguel and the team had a well-thought plan and a vision. They have delivered, and we all benefited from the results.”
Among the numerous highlights, the HNBA offered a robust lineup of CLE programs on top-of-mind legal topics featuring some of New Jersey's and the nation's top leaders and policy makers. Also integral to the success of the Midyear Conference were the abundant networking opportunities throughout the week. Other highlights included the HNBA Corporate Speed Networking and Corporate Connection Pilot Program; the General Counsel Discussion; a panel on federal law enforcement priorities with three current U.S. attorneys; the HNBA & HBA-NJ Women’s Leadership Conference, co-sponsored by the Latina Commission; and the announcement of the 2012 HNBA Top Lawyers Under 40.
“We wish to thank all of our sponsors, but in particular our Platinum Sponsors, AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, Prudential Financial, Lowenstein Sandler PC, Walmart, and Wells Fargo for their leadership and tremendous support,” said Miguel Alexander Pozo, HNBA national finance director and 2012 HNBA Midyear Conference co-chair. The agenda also featured a reception at the historic Ellis Island Immigration Museum, with a keynote speech by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was the keynote speaker at the gala dinner at the conclusion of the conference.
Other accomplished speakers throughout the conference included Susan Blount, senior vice president and general counsel of Prudential Financial; Carlos G. Ortiz, general counsel of Goya Foods, Inc.; Sam Reeves, senior vice president and division general counsel of Walmart; SEC commissioner Troy Paredes; U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida Wifredo Ferrer; U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul Fishman; U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen Ortiz; and many others.
In conjunction with the Midyear Conference, the HNBA and The HNBA Legal Education Fund (The Fund) also hosted the 17th Annual Uvaldo Herrera National Moot Court Competition, offering law students the opportunity to brief and argue a case pending in the U.S. Supreme Court before panels of distinguished federal and state court judges and experienced attorneys. The HNBA and The Fund awarded $20,000 in scholarships to the winners of the competition.
Finally, the conference served as a platform for several community service and pro bono initiatives. First, as part of a “Year of the Advocate” initiative to give back to HNBA events’ host communities, the HNBA led a volunteer community service project in the Jersey City Public Schools to promote careers in the law. A group of lawyer volunteers from the Young Lawyers Division of the HNBA and the Young Lawyers Committee of the HBA-NJ spent the afternoon with students, discussing education and career paths and teaching students about the legal profession. Following the program, at a press conference in the Westin hotel attended by members of the Jersey City School Board, the HNBA awarded a $10,000 check to the Jersey City Public Schools to assist with their pipeline initiatives. The HNBA, in partnership with Chase, also unveiled the “Su Casa” Program, an initiative to provide pro bono legal clinics themed around homeowner education for the Latino community.
The HNBA Advocacy Summit and Legislative Day in Washington, DC, takes place May 8-10, 2012, and the 37th Annual Convention will be held in Seattle, Washington, August 22-25, 2012. Please visit hnba.com for more information.