ABOUT US

The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) was founded in 1991 to organize Hispanic attorneys, judges, law students and other concerned members of the Hispanic community into a force for professional and community benefit. The MHBA mission is to unify and organize all members of the Hispanic legal community, to promote legal professionals, and to serve as an advocate for the Hispanic community in Minnesota. The MHBA strives to promote professional growth and opportunity for Latino law students and attorneys, to provide community service and to ensure access to justice for all.

In 1993, the MHBA began a scholarship fund with contributions from members and a matching gift from Mr. Cliff Whitehall, former President of the General Mills Foundation. In 1998, the MHBA established an endowment fund in partnership with El Fondo de Nuestra Comunidad and under the administration of The St. Paul Foundation. The MHBA Endowment Fund serves as a source of funding for law student interns working at non-profit organizations serving the Latino/a community. Each year MHBA hosts a fundraising gala event to continue to grow the fund to benefit the Latino/a community.

In 2004, the MHBA began its Law Student Mentorship Program to mentor the next generation of attorneys in Minnesota. Every year the program kicks off with a reception, where law students are matched with attorneys to provide guidance and an introduction into the legal community in Minnesota.

 

 

 

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Statement

The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association is committed to building a more just and equitable legal environment in Minnesota. We recognize the history of oppression that has resulted in ongoing disparities for some communities, as well as the limitations of a nonprofit framework to address them. Yet, we have a powerful network of organizations and change agents with an opportunity to create positive systemic change. We believe that nonprofits that engage diverse perspectives and evolve to be inclusive and behave equitably, can and do have profound impacts on society. We are therefore committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture where all individuals feel valued and respected regardless of their race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, education, marital status, veteran status,  disability, or other protected characteristic. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for involvement and advancement in all of our committees, programs, and initiatives. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

Strategic Plan

In addition, the MHBA has awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards to Manuel Guerrero and Judge Salvador Rosas for their lifetime of commitment to the Minnesota Hispanic legal community.

Today, the MHBA has approximately 400 members representing all sectors of the legal community. MHBA’s members are leaders in the state judiciary, local and state government, private law firms, multinational corporations, public interest organizations and more. In addition, some of MHBA’s members are active on the Board of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) based in Washington, DC, which serves as the national voice of the Hispanic legal community, representing the interests of more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories. The MHBA is also affiliated with the HNBA, and has voting representation on the HNBA Board of Directors.

Some of MHBA’s most recent accomplishments include co-hosting the Latino Legal Experience Event that brought Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Minnesota and recently landing the bid to host the 2020 Hispanic National Bar Association Annual Convention in Minneapolis.

2020-2021 Board of Directors

Board meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of each month at 6pm, with some exceptions. Board meetings are open to all members, please confirm the date and location with the Secretary if you plan to attend. Any items members would like to the board to consider for discussion or vote must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of the board meeting.

				<![CDATA[]]>

Zuri Balmakund Santiago – President

Please direct all inquiries regarding the organization’s opinion on the George Floyd matter to President-Elect, Richard Greiffenstein, or Vice President, Roxanna Gonzalez.
 
Zuri Balmakund Santiago, is an Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General. She practices both criminal and civil law, and is currently assigned to the Human Services Division, where she represents the Department of Human Services on a variety of litigation matters including civil lawsuits, reductions in commitment, and fraud and abuse appeals.
Before joining the Attorney General's Office, Zuri was an Assistant County Attorney at the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, where she prosecuted drug and firearm crimes, and litigated child protection cases. Zuri's experience includes numerous criminal and administrative trials along with hundreds of contested hearings, making her a skilled advocate that is comfortable in the courtroom.
 

				<![CDATA[]]>

Richard Greiffenstein – President - Elect

Richard Greiffenstein
 
 

				<![CDATA[]]>

Roxy Gonzalez – Vice President

Roxy Gonzalez is an associate in Dorsey’s Trial group where she represents clients involved in complex business litigation and bankruptcy matters.

Before joining Dorsey, Roxy was a law clerk to the Honorable Justice David L. Lillehaug on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Roxy has dedicated a portion of her practice to pro bono work.

 

				<![CDATA[]]>

Kelvin Collado - Treasurer

Kelvin Collado is a litigation associate at Robins Kaplan in the Business Litigation Group. 
 

Kelvin Collado handles a wide range of legal matters, including appeals, for corporations, small businesses, and individuals. Kelvin is passionate about the law and committed to providing the best possible representation.

Kelvin began his career as a prosecutor at the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. As a prosecutor, Kelvin handled hundreds of cases, performed over a dozen evidentiary hearings, and a number of trials. He then moved to Minnesota and clerked for the Honorable Peter M. Reyes, Jr. of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, where he was exposed to a wide range of civil and criminal state appeals.

 
Robins Kaplan LLP
800 LaSalle Avenue Suite 2800
Minneapolis, MN 55402
 
 
Braynell headshot LowRes

Braynell Estrada Britton – Secretary

Braynell is a procurement Contract Consultant for U.S. Bank since 2018. Braynell draft and negotiate national and international contracts with vendors from different industries for the support of U.S. Bank´s internal business and launch of new business services. He is a licensed attorney in Nicaragua, his home country, and in Minnesota. Braynell likes to play soccer, reading books, cooking and volunteer.

 

U.S. Bank

612.973.8549 | braynell.estradabritton@usbank.com

 

				<![CDATA[]]>

Roger Maldonado – Past President

Roger is an Associate at Faegre Baker Daniels. He helps clients find effective, efficient solutions to complex finance and restructuring issues by providing strategic legal counsel on a full range of financial matters.
 
Roger represents trustees, creditors, equipment lease lenders, investment firms, and financial institutions in state and federal courts. He is an experienced navigator of complex issues in bankruptcy law, equipment leasing issues, receiverships and related commercial and financial litigation. 
 
Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
2200 Wells Fargo Center
90 S. Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN, 55402-4662
Phone: (612) 766-7642
 
 

Board Members

				<![CDATA[]]>

Pablo Orozco

Pablo Orozco has extensive experience litigating class and collective actions in federal and state courts across the country—particularly in California, where he started his career. He understands the intricacies and nuances of complex litigation and is adept at navigating through the processes and strategies involved in class and collective actions. Pablo also has experience counseling technology startups and emerging business on how to develop a lean, flexible, and cost-effective workforce.
 
Nilan Johnson Lewis
120 South Sixth Street, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55402
HEAD SHOT.jpg filardo

Sandra Filardo

Sandra Filardo is an Assistant County Attorney for Hennepin County.  She was raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the United States when she was 16 years old.  Her parents were undocumented immigrants who worked very hard to ensure her success in the United States. Sandra was an English as a Second Language student throughout high school.  Sandra received a Sociology Degree from Florida Atlantic University and her law degree from University of Miami School of Law. Sandra practiced immigration law at Centro Legal, Inc., where she represented battered Latina women process their V.A.W.A. (Violence Against Women Act) applications. Sandra has been an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney since 2001.  There, she has worked in the Child Support and Community Prosecution Division. She is now the Director of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Community Engagement Unit.Sandra volunteers in her community, speaking to high school students about being an attorney and following their dreams regardless of their obstacles.
headshot-small

Andrea Mejia

Andrea Mejia is an Associate attorney at Pfefferle Kane LLP. Andrea’s practice areas include subrogation, insurance defense, and construction law litigation. Andrea is also a licensed attorney in Colombia.

Pfefferle Kane LLP

600A Butler Square Building

100 North Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Direct 612 573-3017

Amejia@pfefferlekane.com

 

 
Marcelino

Lyndsey M. Marcelino

Lyndsey M. Marcelino is an employment lawyer at Littler Mendelson P.C. She provides advice and counsel to clients on a variety of employment issues relating to wage and hour law including pay practices and worker classification issues, as well as sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, and breach of contract issues. Lyndsey also has significant experience counseling gig economy companies on how to properly classify workers, avoid litigation, and develop policies and practices consistent with state and federal law.
Lyndsey is a first-generation college student and because of that, is passionate about helping other first-generation students find their footing and achieve their professional goals through informal engagement and formal mentorship programs and professional development workshops.  Lyndsey also has an active pro bono practice that focuses on helping non-profits with employment-related issues.
 
 

Student Representatives

Camila Pacheco

Camila Pacheco-Flores

Camila is a 3L at the University of Minnesota Law School who is primarily interested in immigration law and workers rights. She is a student director of the Detainee Rights Clinic in the Binger Center for New Americans and works part time at Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha in South Minneapolis. She is a transplant to Minnesota, having grown up in Texas but lived on the East and West Coasts for several years, but is ready to make Minneapolis her permanent home.
 
University of Minnesota Law School
Email: pache074@umn.edu
 
Yastril 2

Yastril Nañez

Yastril was born and raised in Dallas, TX and moved to MN in 2013 to pursue her B.A. in Women's Studies at the University of St. Thomas. She has worked as a legal advocate for Casa de Esperanza and as a bilingual Case Management Assistant for the Hennepin County Attorney's Office. Yastril is a rising second-year law student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law where she is the Co-President of the Latinx Law Student Association and the student representative for the MHBA.
 
University of St. Thomas School of Law