News Column

HNBA Program Will Empower Latina Lawyers

February 1, 2013

Rebecca Villaneda -- HispanicBusiness

Yasmin Davidds is CEO and founder of the Women's Institute of Negotiation.

The Hispanic National Bar Association's (HNBA) Commission on the Status of Latinas in the Legal Profession will collaborate with Yasmin Davidds, CEO and founder of the Women's Institute of Negotiation, to develop and lead its Public Interest Latina Leadership Program.

The program will be held in Atlanta from March 13 - 16.

The commission seeks to provide intensive management skills training for female Hispanic professionals working in the public interest in order to develop the next generation of diverse leaders in public interest law.

"My goal is to help them build the skill set to claim their power," Davidds told The curriculum, developed and taught by Davidds, will assist public interest Latina lawyers in cultivating a strong managerial skill set that includes developing a personal leadership persona, negotiating and managing relationships, and navigating organizational power and politics.

"Latinas still have to fight and negotiate for raises and promotions," Davidd said. "It's a double issue and problem we have as Latinas. As women we're not supposed to highlight ourselves, and as Latinas we're supposed to be humble. So we are hurt twice."

In 2009, HNBA commissioned a national study, "Few and Far Between: The Reality of Latina Lawyers," to understand the barriers and issues Latinas face as a result of their status as ethnically and racially diverse females, and how this affects their experiences and career advancement, according to a press release.

A subsequent study, "La Voz de la Abogada Latina: Challenges and Rewards in Serving the Public Interest" was conducted in 2010. The research findings in both studies suggest that Hispanic women are underrepresented in leadership positions in the legal profession and that there is a need to create programs that can help Latinas bridge the achievement gap.

"I am deeply committed to the success of this program," Davidds said in a statement. "The dedication, loyalty and fierce tenacity Latina public interest attorneys have to the pursuit of social and economic justice on behalf of marginalized individuals and communities is something I truly believe in and a cause very close to my heart."

The Latina Leadership Program is accepting applications and is open to attorneys who have been in practice for five or more years at legal services, public interest nonprofit organizations and government positions. Acceptance offers will be made by Feb. 15. To apply for the Public Interest Latina Leadership Program, click here.

Source: (c) 2013. All rights reserved.

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