Every year the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington celebrates the dedicated members of the community that have helped us fulfill our mission. Please join us for the 21st Annual Awards Gala on January 18, 2013. Visit our Events page to save your seat at this exciting event! If you would like to be a sponsor for this event, please visit our Sponsorship Registration and Sponsorship Information pages.
LBAW is pleased to announce that the Keynote Speaker this year is Professor Joaquin Avila. Joaquin Avila is a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Seattle University School of Law. He is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School. Avila is the founding Director of the National Voting Rights Advocacy Initiative.
Professor Avila has focused his professional endeavors on ensuring equal representation for minorities. He first developed this passion in the 1970s while working for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (“MALDEF”). During his tenure with MALDEF, he filed actions challenging discriminatory at-large elections, gerrymandered election districts, violations of the “one person, one vote” principle, and noncompliance with the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. In 1985, Professor Avila established a private practice, which continued his focus on protecting minority voting rights. He was actively involved in efforts to dismantle many discriminatory methods of election throughout California and parts of the Southwest. He also successfully argued two appeals in the United States Supreme Court, which involved enforcement of the special provisions of the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 - one decision was unanimous and the other was 8-1.