The MHBA Access to Justice Award

The MHBA Access to Justice Award recognizes a Minnesota attorney who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to defending and improving access to legal services, the Courts, and the broader justice system for Latinos in Minnesota and across the country. The award is for an attorney whose work goes beyond personal achievement and has a broad impact on the ability of Latinos to access accurate and reliable information about the law and the legal system, to defend their civil and legal rights, to access legal remedies, and to effect positive change in the law and public policy that impacts the Latino community.

Applications and nominations for the 2023 Access to Justice Award are not open yet.

MHBA Access to Justice Award Nomination Form.docx

The Manuel Cervantes Endowment Fund Award

The 2023 award application deadline is Friday, April 14, 2023.

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 who work at non-profit organizations serving the Latino/a community.

Organizations meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply for a grant:

  • Is organized as a Minnesota non-profit corporation and has obtained tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
  • Predominantly serves the Latino/a community;
  • Is committed to using the MHBA Endowment Fund grant to fund a law student intern with a demonstrated interest in serving the Latino/a community.

Past Recipients of the MHBA Endowment Fund Award:

  • 2022 – Juvenil Justice Advocates International
  • 2021 – Juvenile Justice Advocates International
  • 2020 – Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
  • 2019 – Juvenile Justice Advocates International and the Latino Lawyer Camp
  • 2017 – Legal Rights Center and The Advocates for Human Rights
  • 2016 – Latino Economic Development Center and Juvenile Justice Advocates International
  • 2015 – Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
  • 2014 -Volunteer Lawyers Network
  • 2013 – Volunteer Lawyers Network, Neighborhood Justice Center, and The Minneapolis Foundation
  • 2012 – Volunteer Lawyers Network and Neighborhood Justice Center
  • 2011 – Neighborhood Justice Center
  • 2010 – Volunteer Lawyers Network and Immigrant Law Center
  • 2009 – Neighborhood Justice Center and Volunteer Lawyer’s Network
  • 2008 – Neighborhood Justice Center and Centro Legal
  • 2007 – Volunteer Lawyer’s Network
  • 2006 – Centro Legal
  • 2005 – Immigrant Law Center of Minensota
  • 2003 – Neighborhood Justice Center and Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
  • 2001 – Centro Legal
  • 2000 – Centro Legal
  • 1999 – Oficina Legal
  • 1998 – Neighborhood Justice Center

For Students

For Organizations

Please contact us at if your organization would like to be placed on the mailing list to receive an MHBA Endowment Fund application.

The 2018-2019 update the to Endowment Fund Agreement is available here.

The Manuel Guerrero Courage in Leadership Award

The Manuel Guerrero Courage In Leadership honors the legacy of one of the co-founders and the first President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association. Manuel Guerrero served as an attorney in a remarkable career spanning more than half a century. Manuel became a District Court Judge at age 29, was a candidate for the United States Congress, a Bush Foundation Fellowship Recipient, the Director of the Chicano/Latino Resource Center and the Chair of the Chicano Studies Department at the University of Minnesota, and he was a respected practicing criminal defense attorney who continued to represent Latinos until his death in 2014. As an attorney, Manuel taught us about courage, compassion and leadership by sometimes taking the more difficult path. Manuel was unfazed by the controversy and public opinion that surrounded some of the high profile cases he took on. His focus was always on reaching out to the accused and providing them with zealous representation and the feeling that they were not alone. Manuel will be remembered for his vision for the Latino community, his friendship, his mentorship, and his desire to help others succeed.  Since the MHBA was founded in 1991, Manuel was a constant presence in the organization. The spirit of this award memorializes the legacy of Manuel’s lifetime of work as a friend, mentor, community leader, and advocate for justice. The Manuel Guerrero Courage in Leadership Award recognizes a visionary community leader whose work is transformative and has broad impact in the State of Minnesota and beyond. A leader who mobilizes and unifies the community around causes that improve people’s lives. The award is for leaders that go beyond personal achievement and strive to empower the community, strengthen community participation, and advance social change and the capacity of others to improve the wellbeing and prosperity of the Latino community.

Please send your nominations for the award to, for consideration. Include a brief nomination statement about your nominee and the nominee’s CV.

The MHBA Lifetime Achievement Award

The MHBA Lifetime Achievement Award is to recognize and honor a person who:

·         has made substantial contributions over an extended period of time to the practice and administration of law;

·         has achieved high status in the legal community;

·         has made outstanding contributions to the legal profession;

·         has demonstrated service to the Hispanic and legal communities;

·         is held in high esteem and regard by clients, colleagues, and the judiciary; and

·         practices with the highest ethical and professional standards.

Other criteria for evaluating nominees can include the following:
·    Service to the MHBA;
·    Professional achievements as a practicing attorney or judge;
·    Providing consistent leadership;
·    Achieved excellence in the practice of law;

This award is not given out every year. The award is only given out when appropriate, and only for a lifetime of positive achievements.  It is to recognize those who have demonstrated a lifetime of work, not for a one-time achievement or success.  The first set of criteria are required; the second set can also be considered and can contribute to the decision, but are not required.

The two recipients for the MHBA Lifetime Achievement Award are: Manuel Guerrero (2012) and the Honorable Salvador Rosas (2016).