The mission of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association is to serve Colorado and promote justice by advancing Hispanic interests and issues in the legal profession and seeking equal protection for the Hispanic Community before the law.
The Colorado Hispanic Bar Association was incorporated on February 23, 1977 as the Chicano Bar Association. Original incorporators, Robert Maes, Ruth Casarez, Linda Leon, Rod Deaguerro, Richard I. Gonzales, Dan Carillo, and Art Lesher, envisioned the organization as the legal advisor to the Hispanic community and a catalyst in expanding the number of Hispanics in the legal profession.
Over the past 45 years, CHBA has initiated projects designed to carry out the stated purposes of its founders. For example, CHBA members have worked diligently to expand the number of Latino and Hispanic* lawyers in the state. Today, there are more than 500 Latino and Hispanic attorneys in Colorado specializing in all facets of the law. CHBA is also committed to expanding legal opportunities for Latino attorneys within Colorado. It has worked to ensure the appointment of Latinos to the bench, district attorney offices, governmental entities, and private law firms.
CHBA is involved with other state and national bar associations, such as the Colorado Bar Association and other specialty bar associations. It is an affiliate of the Hispanic National Bar Association, and hosted the 1990, 2001, and 2013 national conventions in Denver. CHBA members have earned significant leadership positions within the national bar.
CHBA and its members actively serve the Latino community. CHBA members annually donate pro bono legal and community services to the Hispanic community, boards, and community programming. CHBA donates to numerous nonprofit organizations serving the Latino community throughout Colorado. CHBA is also a founding member of the Hispanic League.
Moreover, CHBA has been involved in significant issues affecting the Latino community, including opposition to the “English Only” amendment, and the reapportionment process. In 2011, CHBA participated as an intervenor, together with the Colorado Latino Forum, in a three week congressional redistricting trial before Denver District Chief Judge Robert Hyatt. The lawsuit was important to preserve historically underrepresented Latino communities and prevent dilution of Latino voting strength statewide. Through its Public Policy Committee, CHBA successfully assisted the Pueblo Chicano Democratic Caucus in securing, for the first time in Pueblo’s history, two majority Hispanic city council districts. More recently, in 2021 CHBA teamed up with the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) to challenge congressional and legislative redistricting maps in the Colorado Supreme Court as part of the Colorado Independent Redistricting Commission process.
The CHBA is comprised of dedicated lawyers committed to improving the life of Latinos in Colorado.