The St. Mary’s University School of Law, in partnership with the Lawtina Network student organization and title sponsor Helix Bar Review by AccessLex, will host the inaugural Lawtina Network Summit on campus on Saturday, Aug. 6.

The national event will celebrate and support Latinas at all stages of their legal careers — from pre-law to practice.

Brianna Chapa
Brianna Chapa

The summit will include info sessions, relationship-building activities and networking opportunities. Attendees will enjoy a welcome dinner on Friday, Aug. 5. Sessions will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at the School of Law and online. Registration for the event is open to all Latina pre-law, law students and lawyers as well as allies of Latinas in the legal profession. 

“Some people are fortunate to come from a family of lawyers. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for most Latina lawyers,” said third-year J.D. student Brianna Chapa, who is the founder and president of the Lawtina Network registered student organization at St. Mary’s Law. “Although Latinas have been part of the largest racial minority group in the country for nearly the last two decades, they make up a very small percentage of all U.S. attorneys. The Lawtina Network Summit will create a community of Latina pre-law students, law students and members of the bench and bar. This network will enable Latinas to thrive, find a community and, ultimately, increase Latina representation across all legal sectors.”

Chapa spearheaded the event after the success of the Lawtina in Training 1L Bootcamp in Summer 2021, which focused on similar topics.

St. Mary’s Law is among the most diverse law schools in the nation. In Fall 2021, nearly 51% of incoming J.D. students identified as Hispanic and 57% identified as female.

“St. Mary’s Law is privileged to be the southern-most law school in Texas and is proud to serve a student body that is reflective of our region,” said Patricia Roberts, J.D., St. Mary’s Law Dean and Charles E. Cantú Distinguished Professor of Law. “The Lawtina Network is helping to provide access, opportunity, academic success and a sense of belonging to our students, the majority of whom identify as both Hispanic and female. The Lawtina Summit, along with expanded mentoring and pipeline programs, and our First-Generation Law Student Pre-1L Boot Camp, help level the playing field for all our students.”

Paulina Vera stands in a red suit.
Paulina Vera

Highlighted speakers for the Lawtina Network Summit include GW Law’s Professorial Lecturer in Law Paulina Vera, J.D., who supervises the GW Law Immigration Clinic students and provides legal representation to asylum-seekers and those facing deportation. 

The event will also feature a panel of judges sharing their experiences including the Hon. Marina Garcia Marmolejo (M.A. ’96, J.D. ’96) of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; the Hon. Antonia “Toni” Arteaga (J.D. ’00) the 57th District Court of Bexar County; Chief Justice Rebeca C. Martinez, J.D., of the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals; and Chief Justice Dori Contreras, J.D., of the Texas 13th Court of Appeals.

Because of the generosity of the event’s sponsors, 100 students are receiving scholarships to attend the conference.

Registration is closed for the 2022 Summit. Those who would like more information can visit the Lawtina Network Summit webpage.

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