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  • Friday, February 10, 2023 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    Serving Our Community

    By Elsa Manzanares. Featured in LATINA Style Magazine 

    November 16, 2022

    It has been an honor serving as the 2022 President of the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association (DHBA).  We are a volunteer organization supporting Hispanic attorneys and the greater Hispanic community in Dallas for more than 50 years. As we emerged from almost two years of lockdowns at the beginning of 2022, our Board of Directors sought to ensure that this year’s initiatives and programming would be relevant and responsive to the needs of our most important constituents – our members. We agreed that our affection for DHBA was a primary factor behind our decision to take on a leadership role within the organization and that one of our goals would include fostering that same enthusiasm in all of our members.

    We began the year by surveying our members on activities and programming they enjoyed most in the past year as well as how our organization can provide more value to members. In February, we invited Liz Cedillo, Assistant City Manager for the City of Dallas, to provide inspiring words to our members on the importance of volunteerism.

    Recognizing the potential to expand our reach to members and the community through social media, we appointed a professional marketing consultant to serve as chair of our communications committee. It made sense that a former corporate relations manager for LATINA Style, Diana Maltez, would answer the call to serve our organization and do so in a transformational way. With her support, we have also taken our non-profit to a new level by optimizing our member experience, and, according to our members, our communications have never looked better.

    As a leading Hispanic bar association in the country, we continued fostering ties with the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) in 2022 for the benefit of our members and to ensure that our work on the ground in Dallas is visible to other HNBA affiliates in Texas and nationwide.

    Every year, the DHBA in coordination with our affiliate, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Foundation, welcomes our members and the greater Dallas community to support the worthy causes our work makes possible through our annual fundraising gala, Noche de Luz. This event benefits various DHBA pipeline initiatives, including law student scholarships at the three Dallas-area law schools: SMU Dedman School of Law, University of North Texas Dallas College of Law, and Texas A&M University School of Law. This event also supports our annual Dallas Latina Leadership Program, which focuses on the professional development needs of our Latina attorneys and law students. Finally, our Judicial Externship Program seeks to increase access by Hispanic law students to judicial externships in the federal district courts and state appellate courts of Dallas.

    We are grateful to the numerous law firms, companies, and individuals who supported Noche de Luz this year. The community’s response to our call for support was unprecedented and heartwarming. We raised more funds for Noche de Luz this year than ever before.

    Noche de Luz was also noteworthy this year because of our special partnership with LATINA Style to recognize additional outstanding member-leaders of our DHBA familia. This year’s special recognition “DHBA Women of Distinction” spotlighted 10 members who selflessly give to our bar association and community, paving the way for others to succeed. Robert Bard, CEO of LATINA Style, joined us in Dallas to present this recognition to our honorees. It was an unforgettable evening and DHBA looks forward to our continued partnership with LATINA Style!

     - Elsa Manzanares

  • Friday, February 10, 2023 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    DHBA Familia,

    We are officially off to a new year and I am truly honored to be serving as President of the DHBA in 2023!

    I want to start by saying that I know I have some big shoes to fill following Elsa Manzanares, our 2022 fearless, hard-working President. Elsa’s dedication to the DHBA has been an inspiration and I hope to carry on and grow the already wonderful momentum, initiatives, and support Elsa was able to garner for the DHBA this past year. I am thankful Elsa will continue to serve on our Board as Immediate-Past President and we look forward to working with her. I also want to acknowledge and give many thanks to some of our outgoing Board members that have given their service and (for some) several years of their time—many thanks to Jake Torres, Tyrone Valdivia, Fabiola Segovia, and Javier Perez. I want our members to know that the DHBA would not be the organization that it is without you. Without your support, your time, and yes, even your donations—the DHBA would not be able to accomplish the wonderful work that it does. We are grateful for each of you and encourage you to participate, become involved, and socialize with your familia. The DHBA is only growing, getting stronger—we’re excited that we’ve seen substantial increases in our membership numbers, we’ve raised record-setting donations for our incredible initiatives, including for the DHBA’s pipeline initiative, the Dallas Latina Leadership Program, and our Judicial Externship Program.

    Throughout my years of service on the DHBA Board, I’ve had the honor of meeting and having long discussions with our DHBA members. In those discussions, I often hear about how the DHBA has impacted our members, many times in different ways. For some, the DHBA has been an organization that has introduced them to other attorneys with similar backgrounds that have resulted in long-lasting, inspiring friendships/mentorships. For others, the DHBA is an organization that has rallied behind causes and initiatives that inspired our members to participate and become more involved in our Dallas-Hispanic community.

    For me, the DHBA has always felt like home, like family. My first introduction to the DHBA was in law school when I attended Texas A&M University of Law. I was a single mother, juggling raising an 8-year-old son, trying to get through my law school courses, and keeping up a comfortable household for the both of us. Scholarships were game-changers. The DHBA awarded me one of my first scholarships in law school—and to this day—I remember how excited I was to receive those funds. It was a relief. I needed and the DHBA responded. That’s familia. After graduating and moving to Dallas, the DHBA became an organization of support and comfort. I’ve met so many life-long friends/colleagues through this organization that I consider familia.

    It is truly inspirational to hear (and experience) how the DHBA has impacted our members’ law practice and lives. We want to continue to do so. So, join us! Come celebrate with us! We are excited about this upcoming year and look forward to working with our members to reach our goals and continue our mission.

    Carla Green 

    2023 DHBA President

  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 2:30 PM | Matthew Phillips

    Dear DHBA Familia,

    Happy New Year!  Welcome to the kick-off of a new DHBA year.  I look forward to serving as President of your DHBA in 2022. 

    It was a pleasure serving as President-Elect in 2021 in support of our President and my good friend, Javier Perez. Thank you Javier for all of your hard work in 2021, and we look forward to your contributions in 2022 as Immediate Past President!  We also applaud the outstanding years of service of outgoing Board veterans, Immediate Past President Isaac Faz and Treasurer Claudia Guerrero. 

    Our 2022 Board members have already rolled up their sleeves to brainstorm ideas that will make this year a success.  But an organization cannot accomplish its mission without the active support and participation of its very foundation – the members.  Like everything else, the pandemic has placed significant restrictions on our ability to engage with our members over the last few years.  Whatever this year may bring, I plan to prioritize my efforts on increasing engagement by our members.  What can DHBA do to better serve our members?  What do they need from DHBA?  What do we do well, and where do we have opportunities to grow?  How can we make participation even more meaningful to our members so that they feel invested and motivated to advance the mission of DHBA?  We have so much important work to do, and we need all of our members to help us carry it out.  I look forward to working with all of you on this important task ahead to make DHBA an even stronger organization.  To kick off 2022, we would appreciate your feedback to our first member survey here.  It will take less than 5 minutes to complete!

    If you want to get more involved with DHBA, please come forward.  Don't be shy!  We need ALL of our members fully engaged and active.  Reach out to me or one of our board members.  Sign up for a committee.  Take us up on our request for volunteers.  Make new friends at the social events.  This is your organization and its success is completely dependent on you.  And don't forget our responsibility to our community.  I recently returned from an HNBA board meeting in Houston.  As part of our trip, we were invited to visit Wesley Community Center to talk with elementary school students about our careers as lawyers.  When I entered the room, I saw a little girl with glasses seated at a picnic table by herself.  My colleague and I walked past her to take our seats at the front of the room.  She immediately looked up and practically jumped out of her chair with excitement.  She could not wait to start asking questions.  The center's director told us the kids were excited to see us, but I was not expecting that kind of reception.  Are you ready to share your inspiring story with young Latino students in Dallas?  While we go about our daily lives in the practice of law, it is easy to forget the impact our very presence can have in their lives.  If we don't show up, then who will?      

    Looking forward to seeing you all in 2022!

    Un fuerte abrazo,


  • Tuesday, January 25, 2022 2:27 PM | Matthew Phillips

    Hasta Pronto – See You Soon!

    Many of you have heard me refer to DHBA as a family.  Like so many, I am the first lawyer in mine and many of you have stepped in to fill out that family tree.  I remember in one of my first depositions, a former DHBA president sat across the table from me; I felt moved to be one of those who got to sit in one of these hard-fought roles - an advocate.  When the lawyer went out of his way to pronounce my name correctly on the record, it was an affirmation that my presence there was legitimate and that I was worthy to be there.  Thinking it was merely incidental, I shared this with him years later and he confirmed that was in fact his intent.  Thank you, Rudy.

    Another called me when he saw me show up on a case and told me he felt proud to see me on a panel for a State Bar CLE – to, in his words, “show these folks how to practice law.”  And in true big brother fashion, he then went on to tell me why my case was doomed.  I’ll spare your name, but I want you to know it meant a lot to be seen and validated.   

    One hermano we lost this year hit particularly me hard: Chris Montez.  For those of us that knew him, Chris’s big laugh and even bigger heart were unforgettable.  When I received the Estrella award, I invited Chris to sit at my table.  He had been a mentor to me since he introduced himself at a CLE, saying he recognized me from a law school newsletter.  He was generous with his time and advice; even when we had a case opposite each other, he was respectful and somehow still encouraging.  It meant everything to me, and he will be missed.

    I am so grateful to our membership, and in particular, our past presidents and those who have served on our Board of Directors.  It is truly a labor of love for our community, and you deserve our gratitude for the sacrifices you and your family have made to support this work.  We have a responsibility to lead and to serve and it has been an absolutely privilege to carry your mantle forward.

    To our 2021 Board, I know we went through it this last year.  Our monthly Zooms started to feel like family meetings around the kitchen table, just without the comidita.  But to Isaac, Elsa, Carla, Claudia, Jake, Eddie, Fabiola, and Berenice – I want to thank each of you for showing up when the world was burning around us, willing to work together to find a way to make a difference.

    And to our community, like siblings, or tias, or whatever role you’re assuming at the time – you have always shown up when we needed you.  We have been blessed to see so many of you step up when we needed your time or expertise, and yes, even your money.  Por todo su apoyo, we are so grateful.

    Speaking of apoyo, we know that family is uniquely positioned to bring out our best.  And I want to thank my own family who never faltered in believing in me and pushing me to “keep going.”  And with complete certainty, I can absolutely promise you that none of what I’ve been able to do would be possible without my wife, Caelie.  Those of you that know her understand why; those of you that don’t, you should Mi vida, thank you for everything.

    It has been a unique honor to lead this organization, for just two terms, and I am so grateful for the opportunity.  I look forward to the ways in which it will continue to grow in the more than capable hands who will guide it.  Thank you.

  • Tuesday, December 07, 2021 5:15 PM | Matthew Phillips

    The National Law Review highlighted Edward J. Loya, Jr.'s election to Vice President of the DHBA's Board of Directors and Epstein Becker & Green's role in sponsoring DHBA's Judicial Externship Program. Celebrating Edward's contributions to the DHBA and the creation of the Judicial Externship Program, Epstein Becker & Green's Managing Director, Jim Flynn, stated:

    "Edward has been a champion of diversity within the Dallas/Fort Worth legal community. In support of his efforts, EBG supported, financially and philosophically, the launch of DHBA's Judicial Externship Program, which will provide Texas law students interested in practicing in DFW the opportunity to extern in the chambers of local federal and state judges. We are proud to have Edward serve in such a respected role and to continue our support of the DHBA."

  • Friday, November 12, 2021 7:23 PM | Matthew Phillips

    DHBA is leading the way with back-to-back programming for our Latina lawyers and professionals. On October 6, for the sixth year in a row, the DHBA hosted the 2021 Latina Leadership Program. Latina attorneys and law students came together for a hybrid event to join Dr. Jill Lynch Cruz in a workshop on how impostor syndrome can show up in Latina attorneys’ careers and successful strategies for overcoming. Distinguished Latina trailblazers U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez, former DBA President Laura Benitez Geisler, and federal law clerk Brenda Balli lead an insightful panel discussion. The program ended with intimate small group discussions. This year’s program was a huge success!  Thank you to our generous co-sponsors HNBA, Jackson Walker, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C., and Cowles and Thompson.  DHBA Latina Leadership Committee members:  Maria Alonso, Erica Benites Giese, Ashley Aten, Laura Torres, Elizabeth Margolis, Lina Forero-Niño, Regina Montoya, Megan Flores, Elizabeth Ramirez-Washka, Norma Garcia, Liliana Sanchez, Angela Lopez, and Elsa Manzanares.

    On October 7, DHBA joined forces with PwC and Bell Nunnally and Martin to co-sponsor the Latina Executive Summit at the offices of Bell Nunnally.  This first-ever program brought together senior Latina in-house counsel and Latina business executives in Dallas to discuss compensation and pay inequity for Latina professionals.  Dr. Jill Lynch Cruz opened the program over lunch with an overview of the pay disparity issues facing Latina professionals, followed by a moderated panel discussion featuring leading Dallas Latina luminaries Stephanie Zapata Moore (Vistra Energy), Maria Castañon Moats (PwC), Marisia Parra-Gaona (AT&T), and Dania Duncan Moreno (Bell Nunnally).  The inspiring afternoon ended with a networking happy hour.  A LinkedIn group has been created for attendees to continue the conversation.  Planning Committee:  Dania Duncan Moreno, Vanessa Salinas Beckstrom, and Elsa Manzanares.

  • Wednesday, October 14, 2020 4:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    DHBA is promoting the vote and celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a VIRTUAL 5K! Please join us virtually by walking, running, or biking with your friends, family, and pets!

    You can participate with these three easy steps below:

    1. Buy a T-Shirt for $20 each (proceeds will be donated to the Dallas Hispanic Bar Foundation);2. Complete your 5K, send us pictures, tag us on social media, use the hashtag #dhbavotes; and

    3. VOTE!!!

    Early voting runs from October 13th to October 30th.

    Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd.

    Make sure to follow us on Facebook at @DallasHBA; on Instagram at @dallashba; and on Twitter at @DallasHBA.

  • Thursday, June 18, 2020 1:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    For Immediate Release:
    June 18, 2020

    Dallas Hispanic Bar Association Releases Statement
    Supporting U.S. Supreme Court Decision

    Dallas, TX – Today the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Dreamers. In Department of Homeland Security et al. v. Regents of the University of California et al. the Court, in a major 5-4 decision, rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Specifically, the Court found that the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.”

    This is a great day for DACA recipients, Dreamers, families, and immigration advocates,” stated Dallas Hispanic Bar President Isaac Faz. “For many who benefit from DACA, this country is the only country they know, the only anthem they sing, the only place they call home. Texas has the second highest number of DACA recipients. They are our neighbors, our family, our essential workers including doctors and educators.”

    DACA is an Obama-era program that began in June of 2012 which provided work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation to eligible undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the United States as minors. To be eligible, these young immigrants needed to meet several requirements, including not being convicted of a felony, being currently enrolled, or having graduated from high school, or honorably discharged from the military. Applicants were also required to pay a $495 application fee, which the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association has sponsored in the past to support Dreamers.

    DACA recipients are contributing members in our society and have quite literally embodied the American Dream. These are hardworking individuals, including approximately 27,000 health workers fighting Covid-19, and over 450,000 undocumented students who are enrolled in higher education. They also contribute to our economy by paying federal, state, and local taxes,” added Faz.

    A Center for American Progress report found that DACA recipients and their households hold $24.1 billion in spending power and pay $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes annually. By any measure, Dreamers form a critical part of our society and support the communities they call home.

    This decision is only the beginning. We still need to find a permanent resolution to protect the 700,000 DACA recipients and the other individuals that were too young to apply. It’s time for Congress and this administration to act. We must continue to advocate, to educate and voice our opinions via the ballot box in local, state, and federal elections.”


    Contact: Mauricio Navarro

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 4:00 PM | Matthew Phillips

    The J.L. Turner Legal Association, working with the Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition and Dallas Office of Community Police Oversight, is creating a volunteer legal team to collect information about showing and use of force by the Dallas Police Department during the protests. The work will all be remote.

    They need attorneys to help work over phone/video chat with protest participants to collect a statement. Training for attorneys will be announced the week of 6/8.

    They also need help from paralegals, legal assistants, law students, and recent law grads to assist with screening phone calls to determine whether someone will receive a follow-up call to submit a statement. Training for screeners will be virtually, Friday 6/5 from 5:30-6:30 PM OR Saturday, 6/6 from 12:00-1:00 PM.

    If you can help, sign up here.

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:40 PM | Matthew Phillips
    The J.L. Turner Legal Association is signing up attorneys willing to provide pro bono and/or reduced rate legal services for individuals impacted by the social justice protest events. If you can help, sign up at
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