The Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association’s (PBCHBA) mission is to assist and support the Hispanic community in South Florida through volunteer programs, as well as to stand behind Hispanics seeking a position in the judiciary in Palm Beach County. The PBCHBA also works to provide information to individuals who may be intimidated by the rules of the Small Claims, County and Circuit Courts due to language barriers and limited access to legal resources. We understand the Spanish-speaking population’s struggles and seek to provide assistance to those in need.

Upcoming Events

Pro Bono Awards Pinning Ceremony

Please join us in honoring those attorneys who went above and beyond in providing pro bono legal services to our community through the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.

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Palm Beach County Main Courthouse, 205 N Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach, FL, FL 33401 United States
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Cafe Con Lunch

Join us for our November lunch as we announce our 2020 HBA Board of Directors!

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Free
Palm Beach County Main Courthouse, 205 N Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach, FL, FL 33401 United States
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Charity/Community News

Wondering how you can help the immigrant families affected by the Mississippi Raids? Here is how!

You can make a monetary donations to the Mississippi Center for Justice here to provide legal assistance to the impacted families here.

or

Contact Catholic Charities in Jackson who is working as a hub for monetary donations for families. Contact Dorothy Balser.

Bond Screenings
If you are a Spanish-speaking immigration attorney and can help with screenings for bonds/motions to reopen at the Adams Co. Detention Facility in Natchez (either in person or remotely by phone), please email Amelia McGowan.  Please indicate whether you are available for in-person or remote screenings, and please include your time availability.  

Legal Clinics
We now have our fixed legal clinic schedule, beginning tomorrow at Sacred Heart Church in Canton, MS.  To view the schedule and sign up for a shift (or shifts), please visit this page or contact Amelia McGowan for future dates. 

Donate to our DREAMer Fund

HBA will award a charitable gift to DACA/TPS renewals for students needing to renew their work permits under the above listed humanitarian programs. If you would like to make a contribution to the the Dreamers Fund, click here. If you know a student who could qualify please have them contact the HBA here.

2020 Board Positions Now Open!

BOD Elections

Member Spotlight: September 2019

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Connie Peña

Connie Peña is the founder and lead attorney of Peña Law Office, P.A. representing clients in the areas of family law and immigration throughout the Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. Beginning her career as a public servant, Connie Peña has transitioned to representing clients start new chapters in their lives, understanding that every client is unique with different needs, backgrounds, and goals. Connie Peña has personally experienced the immigration system and understands what parents and children go through in divorce, in trying financial times, and in bringing together blended families. She understands these changes and experiences cause a series of emotions, like anxiousness, fear, and excitement for the future. Connie Peña is dedicated to fight for your right to lead the life you deserve, and has the knowledge and experience to maneuver the legal system to accomplish your goals. 

As to her professional background, Connie Peña obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Criminology and French and a minor in Portuguese from the University of Miami. She earned her Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. While in law school, Connie Peña interned at the Office of the State Attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of Florida. She began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender, where her proficiency in numerous languages lead her to assist many non-U.S. Citizen clients. The collateral consequences of criminal convictions, as explained in her published research article "Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel: Broaden the Scope, Decriminalize, and Ensure Indigents a Fair Chance in Court and in Life" motivated Connie Peña to look deeper into her clients lives. She decided to transition to the private sector and focus on families and children, assisting them in family law, domestic violence, and family-based immigration with the hope of helping people build better lives to give them a chance to succeed in the future. In the community, Connie Peña has served as President of the Broward County Hispanic Bar Association, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and member of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. She has also mentored law students and new attorneys, and volunteered in numerous events and workshops for low-income individuals. 

In Memoriam - Judge Meenu Sasser

Nov. 5, 1970 - Jul. 6, 2019

Message from the President

Victoria Mesa-Estrada- headshot

I am honored to serve as this year’s President of the Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association and am very excited about all the projects we plan to pursue this year!

This year’s theme is: “Paying it forward” and will be focused on supporting programs, organizations and individuals around our community for their growth, success, and leadership development. Whether you decide to volunteer at a legal clinic or Court self-help center assisting the Hispanic community with their legal issues, or mentoring a minority student or law graduate, or donating funds to help Dreamers renew their work permits or receive scholarships, you will be

doing an extraordinary deed for our community! As you can see, there are infinite possibilities to pay it forward and we hope we can count on you! I encourage everyone to actively participate this year in any way you can and share with us how you are committing to paying it forward!

We will also continue promoting some great events and activities this year, starting with our free monthly luncheons (generally the first Monday or Tuesday of every month in the judicial dining room on the first floor of the main courthouse), with speakers who will inspire our members about the many ways we can assist our community or how we can be better advocates and legal professionals. There will also be opportunities for our members to attend CLE courses, connect with other local attorneys and the Hispanic community at our networking events, including a diversity and inclusion summit in partnership with our friends at FAWL and F. Cunningham Bar Association in March, and our annual pig roast in April in conjunction with our friends from the Guild of Catholic Lawyers and our Hispanic heritage celebration in September. As we continue with tradition, we will host the Ninth Annual Chief Justice Labarga Luncheon in August and will honor two extraordinary members of our legal community. Finally, we will continue to expand our member benefits —including a monthly e-newsletter, which will provide updates on upcoming events and volunteer opportunities as well as news relevant to the Hispanic community and its attorneys, and a newly redesigned website to be published very soon (courtesy of our annual sponsor Nucleus Marketing Agency) which will allow our members to stay involved and gain the most out of our Association.

I encourage all of you to get involved with our Association and its committees this year, and I look forward to getting to know each of you in person at one of our events. I am committed to all your successes and truly hope we can provide you with the tools you need to succeed in your career. Lastly, I want to recognize our annual supporters and family. First, to our annual sponsors: Visual Evidence, US Legal Support, Nucleus Marketing Agency, Searcy Denney, Lytal Reiter, Scott Smith Personal Injury, Northwestern Mutual, and Delray Beach Surgery Center- thank you so much for believing in the HBA and allowing us to operate every year! To my HBA family, thank you for entrusting me this year to lead this amazing organization, and to my husband Luis, thank you for supporting me and encouraging me to join and actively participate with the HBA, and for allowing me to pursue my goals and dreams every day in support of the Hispanic and immigrant communities!

If you have any questions about our Association, membership, upcoming events, or how to get involved, or have suggestions on how we can do things better, please feel free to contact me at victoria@mesaestradalaw.com. I look forward to serving all of you. Gracias por su apoyo!

Sincerely,
Victoria Mesa-Estrada
Victoria Mesa-Estrada
2019 President, Palm Beach County Hispanic Bar Association