Drinker Biddle senior associate Nicolas Guzman, together with Antonio Tijerino of the National Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Estuardo Rodriguez of the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, was host for a Feb. 25 event featuring Raúl Lomelí-Azoubel, the recently installed chair of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Set in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, and billed a “tertulia,” a Spanish term for an informal meeting of people to talk about current affairs, the invitation-only luncheon encouraged conversation about issues impacting the Latino community. MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization, committed to protecting and defending the rights of all Latinos living in the United States and the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Partners Antonio Pozos, Nate Bolin and Mary Devlin Capizzi also took part.

A broad range of bipartisan Latino leaders, including representatives of current and past government administrations, contributed to a lively discussion of pressing issues, including the 2020 U.S. census and a historic problem of underreporting of Latino households. The group also explored methods to increase the pipeline of Latino lawyers, with a particular focus on the need for more general counsel that are Latino. The participants came away committed to continuing the discussion on both fronts.

“This was a great opportunity to bring together diverse voices in the Latino community, sharing perspectives on important issues of the day and the role we can play from our various positions to move the community forward” said Guzman.

Mary Devlin Capizzi, one of Drinker Biddle’s managing partners, worked with Guzman to coordinate the event and noted that, “Drinker Biddle has a proud history of helping underserved communities and bringing stakeholders together to address common concerns.”

The discussion and energy generated from the event has already led to follow-on discussions regarding the type of engagement the group can undertake to address challenges facing Latinos in the U.S. Drinker Biddle was proud to sponsor the event and to foster ongoing discussions regarding empowerment and representation of Latinos in the U.S.