Dinsmore partner and board member Christian Gonzalez is the new executive vice president of membership of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). Christian officially took the reins of his position at the Hispanic National Bar Association’s National Conference held in New York City. As an executive officer at the HNBA, he also serves on the National Board of Governors for the organization. The following is a Q&A session with Christian.
How did you get your start with the Hispanic National Bar Association?
I started out as a member of the bar when I was a law student in New York on a grass roots level. The opportunity presented itself a few years ago for me to get the nomination and eventually elected to become president of HBNA’s Region 10, which includes Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. I made it a personal mission to reach out to the community and become heavily involved in outreach, which grew our region 10 chapter to multi-state membership.
How do you see your work with the Hispanic National Bar impacting your work at the firm?
I have an obvious personal connection. I have been able to come up through the ranks and find success, and we continue to work on improving our programs and support of the Hispanic legal community. The encouragement I’ve found here at Dinsmore has given me the confidence to pursue these types of opportunities. What I think I can bring to the firm relative to my role at the HNBA is additional perspective as to how issues of diversity and inclusion are needed and valued, not just at our firm, but across the country.
What are thoughts on the state of diversity as you work with the HNBA to broaden the legal field, particularly for Hispanics?
Attitudes have shifted and the culture of the country is rapidly changing. People are thriving for, yearning for, and wish they had more diversity in their work space, particularly in the legal community. These issues are always top of mind at the HNBA, and I very much want to see the legal field, and the corporate world in general, become more representative of the communities they serve.
We all benefit from our differences, and we have more in common than what is typically discussed. That is why I am so passionate about what the HNBA stands for and what we’re doing from a diversity perspective, because I think it’s impactful. I’d love to get to the point where I’m not the only Hispanic guy in the room. I am a first generation college graduate in my family, so one of the things I’m most passionate about is creating a pipeline for law students and perspective students to gain access to the various programs offered by the HNBA and increase the number of Hispanics in the legal community.