Law Day is an important annual celebration of the rule of law in a free society. This year is an equally important year for the Puerto Rican Bar Association.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our organization, founded in 1994 to address issues of diversity and equality in the Latino community in Chicago. 

This year, the theme of Law Day, “Free Speech, Free Press and Free Society,” is particularly important to all lawyers and members of the bar.

The PRBA holds dearly the tenets of a free and just society, and we are committed to encouraging equal accessibility to the courts and legal aid and continuing our plight to diversity on the bench, the bar, in the legislature and in our law schools.

The PRBA has provided assistance and support not only to members of our community here in Chicago, but also the people of Puerto Rico. Since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017, we have organized and participated in several fundraisers and events that provided financial and medical aid — including hiring attorneys to assist with Federal Emergency and Management Agency applications onsite.

In the spirit of educating our community on our legal system, we partner each year with the Cook County Circuit Court for an annual Puerto Rican Heritage Day courthouse tour, which combines public education activities and national and local observances marking racial and ethnic diversity.

The PRBA is also proud to be continuously involved in the Alliance of Bar Associations in the screening and rating of judicial candidates, furthering our commitment to the Latino community with collaborations with Chicago Public Schools’ Lawyers in the Classroom Mock Trial Program and our continuing support of Latino law students through our Foundation Scholarship Program.

This year, our 25-year anniversary annual scholarship banquet will be held in October. We hope to give away thousands of dollars in scholarships for law students.

As we consider this year’s Law Day theme of “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society,” the PRBA is committed to continuing our efforts of advocating for diversity in our legal profession and on the bench and standing up against injustice for all people in need.