*Note that this event, originally scheduled for Feb. 13, will now be held on April 15.*

17th Annual Hispanic Law Conference to Cover the Impact of Immigration Reform on Access to Justice

Keynote Address Delivered by Senior Policy Advisor at White House Domestic Policy Council, Felicia Escobar


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 6, 2013– American University Washington College of Law is proud to host the 17th Annual Hispanic Law Conference, held each spring as part of the law school’s Founders’ Celebration.

The Apr. 15 event will bring together inspiring and successful individuals and institutions devoted to the progress of Latinos in the U.S. and the region.

“For 17 years our Hispanic Law Conference – held in cooperation with the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Hispanic Bar Associations of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia – has addressed key issues of concern to the Hispanic Community,” said Claudio Grossman, dean, American University Washington College of Law, who will open the event by introducing the first alumni speaker. “This conference is a great example of our many Founders’ Celebration events that elevate the quality of societal discussions and provide a forum where different viewpoints are shared.”

This year’s conference focuses on the impact of immigration reform on access to justice, featuring a keynote address from Felicia Escobar, senior policy advisor for immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Escobar develops the President’s strategy for building a 21st century immigration system. Her work involves coordinating efforts across the Executive branch to strengthen the current system and working toward passage of meaningful, comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Escobar previously served on U.S. Senator Ken Salazar’s legislative team, working with him to develop his legislative agenda on a host of issues including labor, civil rights, judicial nominations and immigration.

Other high profile panelists, including Hispanic deans and professors, government administrators, and practitioners will share their own experiences in the legal profession, will discuss ethical issues surrounding immigration representation and will address the effects of current immigration policies on the Hispanic community.

  • Fernando Rivero, president, Hispanic Bar Association of D.C.; assistant attorney general, Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia
  • Manuel Leiva, president of the Hispanic Bar Association of VA; partner and founder, The Leiva Law Firm, P.L.C.
  • Zuraya Tapia-Hadley, director of communications and director of the USMF Mexican-American Leadership Initiative, U.S.-Mexico Foundation
  • Ofelia L. Calderón, Calderón Racine & Derwin PLC
  • Matthew K. Handley, Esq., Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affair
  • Anne Schaufele, law clerk, Ayuda Project END (Eradicating Notario Deceit)
  • Jonathan Greene, founder, The Greene Law Firm, LLC
  • Juan Sempertegui ‘07, director of licensing, State of Maryland’s Division of Financial Regulation; president, Region V, Hispanic National Bar Association
  • Dave Krum, president-elect, Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, partner, Law firm of Jezic, Krum & Moyse, LLC
  • Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director, ACLU of Virginia
  • Jaime Farrant ’02, executive director, Ayuda
  • Peter F. Asaad, Esq., managing partner, Immigration Solutions Group, PLLC
  • Lyzka P. DeLaCruz, Bakker DeLaCruz LLC
  • Leslye E. Orloff, director, National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP)
  • Juan P. Osuna, director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, United States Department of Justice
  • James A. Ferg-Cadima, regional counsel, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
  • Adam Fernandez ’12, legislative attorney in education policy, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

The annual awards dinner, with opening remarks provided by Dean Claudio Grossman, will be held at the end of the day in recognition of those individuals who have significantly contributed to the progress of the Latino community. List of Awards.

This event is sponsored by the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Associations of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, the Latino/a Alumni Association of American University Washington College of Law, and American University Washington College of Law’s Latino/a Law Students’ Association.

Read more information or register for the event.

Media interested in attending the event should contact Megan Smith, assistant director of public relations, 202-274-4276.


In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, D.C. and around the world. For more information, visit wcl.american.edu.