Celebrating Our Hispanic-Latino Heritage: Perspectives on Using Our Legal Skills to Promote, Protect, Defend, and Enhance Community Culture and Values in Difficult Times

By Hector A. Chichoni

Many of us, Latino members of the legal profession, just like anyone else, have different reasons as to why we decided to go to law school. However, for us the decision to become lawyers has always included a deep desire of being involved in work that helped improve our community and our people. For some, this desire has led them to work in the more “traditional” ways by pursuing and advocating for social justice, or in public defense, or in community advocacy to promote, protect, defend, and enhance our community.

However, Latino lawyers today should also consider that it is possible to use a law degree to promote, protect, defend, and enhance our Latino community by being involved in alternative ways other than the traditional ones. Consider the following:

A) A recent study conducted in 2019 by the Peterson Institute of International Economics, which found that:

“…Latinos are twice as likely to start a new business as the rest of the US population and between 2019 and 2048, Hispanics will account for 85% of new job holders in the US workforce. These findings and others support the notion that the Hispanic population plays a disproportionately large role in US economic growth, through expanding the economy by creating new businesses and jobs for all Americans, driving new demand for US companies’ goods and services and replenishing an aging workforce with young, well-educated and entrepreneurial workers.”

and

B) Karyn Twaronite, Global Vice Chair, Diversity & Inclusiveness at EY, wrote an article entitled: “How The Latinx Community Drives US Economic Growth” in which she provides five corporate imperatives that businesses should consider “taking…actions to leverage the economic growth potential of the Latino community.”

As the Latino community expands and growths, and US corporations and businesses follow imperatives that leverage the economic growth potential of the community, which will continue for the next 10 to 20 years, there will be incredible opportunities for Latino lawyers to promote, protect, defend, and enhance our community by participating in alternative paths, other than the traditional ways.

This blog post was created in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.