LaLSA* History, Milestones, and Past Leadership

*Formerly known as Hispanic Law Students’ Association (HLSA)

1984-1985: Given the growing Hispanic/Latino population at WCL, Margaret Arenas Malek, WCL 1987, founded the Hispanic Law Students’ Association (HLSA). Then Professor (now Dean Emeritus) Claudio Grossman served as the first faculty advisor.

November 1994: HLSA hosts its 10th Anniversary Celebration with guest speakers including Vanessa Ruiz (now Judge Emeritus of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals) and Maria Rivera of the D.C. Corporation Council; Gilberto De Jesus of the U.S. District Attorney’s Office; Hiram E. Puig-Lugo of the Public Defender’s Office of D.C. (now Magistrate Judge in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia); Antonio Acevedo of the DC Department of Human Rights; The Honorable Jose Lopez of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia; and alumni speaker Juan Milanes.

1997: HLSA co-hosted the first Annual Hispanic Law Conference (HLC)

Early 2000s: HLSA awarded the inaugural high school scholarship

2000-2005: HLSA members worked closely with the WCL Faculty Selection Committee to recruit and hire current Vice Dean Anthony E. Varona, then a Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law, for a Tenure-Track Position. Student advocacy for increased faculty diversity was also instrumental in the Special Faculty Appointments of Horacio Grigera Naón, Director of the Center on International Commercial Arbitration; Claudia Martin, Co-director of the Academy on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; Juan Mendez, Professor of Human Rights Law In Residence; Andrea Parra, Practitioner-in-Residence, Immigrant Justice Clinic; Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón,Co-director of the Academy on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law; Macarena Saenz, Director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law; as well as visiting professors such as David Baluarte, Jenny Rivera, Ediberto Roman, among others.

October 2005: HLSA hosted the 9th Annual National Latino/a Law Students’ Association (NLLSA) Conference with over 500 participants from across the country and budget of $100,000.

2005-2006: Then Professor Varona worked with HLSA to inaugurate the first annual LaLSA Dinner. After the formation of LAAW, it became the annual LaLSA-LAAW dinner hosted by current Vice Dean Varona, which has become one of LaLSA's favorite events year after year.

Spring 2006: After debate and deep consideration, the HLSA Board and membership voted to change the organization's name to the Latino/a Law Students' Association (LaLSA) to be more inclusive of the diverse Hispanic/Latino/a community across the country.

2006-2007: HLSA/LaLSA alumni founded the Latino/a Alumni Association of the Washington College of Law (LAAW).

Over the years, the Washington College of Law has gained a national reputation for being one of the best law schools for Latino/a law students. To illustrate, the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education named WCL third best among the 25 top law schools for Hispanics, and WCL was ranked as one of the top five law schools for Latino/as by Hispanic Business magazine several years in a row.

2009-2010: Salua Baida, LaLSA member, served as the first Latina Student Bar Association (SBA) president in the history of WCL.

April 2015: LaLSA co-hosted Mario Krutzberger better known as Don Francisco, host of Sabado Gigante, during the 18th Annual Hispanic Law Conference (HLC) just months before he wrapped up his tenure on the longest running program in history of television.

2015-2016: Amanda Molina, former LaLSA Board Member, becomes the second Latina Student Bar Association (SBA) President at WCL.

March 2017: LaLSA hosted the 20th Annual Hispanic Law Conference (HLC)

2015-2025 Leadership

Current and Former Presidents:
Ruby Moreno
Christina Potter

Board Members:
Mariam Arbabi
Katherine Bravo
Alexandra Hall-Vargas
Maleny Iglesias
Christina Ravelo
Stephanie Vilella
Michelle Villegas
Paola Cabello Henry
Jorge Deossa
Braxton Marcela
Nicole Martinez
Roberto Martinez
Layla Medina
Katelin Morales
Joanna Scleidorovich

2005-2015 Leadership

Former Presidents:
Angela Bouliakis
Daniela de la Piedra
Isis N. Goldberg
M. Lucero Ortiz
M. Indiana Porta
Melissa Roca
Emily Salas
Sonia G. Torrico
Karyna Valdes
Liliana Vargas

Former Board Members:
Adrian Alvarez
Ricardo Ampudia
Alejandra Aramayo
Alexandra Arango
Bertha Astorga
Danisbel Avello
Claudia Bellido
Marie Bertrand
Jennifer Cadena Fortier
Dunia Capdevila
Justin Carlson
Daniela Cornejo
Paula Cortes
Carlos Cristi
Andrea Finuccio
Eric Ford
Jonathan Garza
Daniel George
Tatiana Hernandez
Gabriel Huertas del Pino
Jennifer Jaimes
Katarina Korico
Maria Manon
Tatiana Miranda
Jennifer Molayem
Amanda Molina
Vanessa Molina
Rita Montoya
Michael Moreno
Lisa Morris
Marco Palmieri
Neil Pandey
Jaime Paredes
Elvira Pereda
Eddy Rivero
Richard Rodríguez
K. Vanessa Rodríguez
Jesus Saenz
Ignacio Sandoval
Lindsay Spadoni
Patricia Thomas
Patricia "Trisha" Tijerina

1995-2005 Leadership

Former Presidents:
Carlos Calderon
John A. Evanoff
Dagmar Fernández
Manuel Leiva
Miguel Angel Martinez

Former Board Members:
Maryam Ahranjani
Sasha Begum
Lauren Bocanegra
Lynda Cevallos
Luis Clavijo
Isorys Dilone
James “Jim” Ferg-Cadima
A. Manuel Garcia
Juan Garcia
Eric Garduno
Paul Figueroa
Loana Martín
Ana Laura Olman
Carlos Quintana

1985-1995 Leadership

Former Presidents:
Margaret Arenas Malek, Founding Mother
Sergio Cabanas
Wanda Correa
Teresa Martinez-Rivera
Juan Milanes
Ramon Rodriguez

Former Board Members:
Elizabeth Abraham
Arlene Beauchamp
Charles Castellon
Caridad "Cari" Diego
Luis Leon
Angela Smith