HNBA and Microsoft Launch A New Bold Initiative: The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute

Mar 26, 2013, 09:45 ET from Hispanic National Bar Association

"Increasing Latino Lawyers in IP Law"

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and Microsoft Corporation announced a bold new partnership at the HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The new partnership is designed to increase the number of Latino lawyers in the U.S. practicing intellectual property (IP) law.  The highlight of the announcement was Microsoft's pledge of $200,000 over three years to help fund the new initiative called "The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute."

The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute will provide opportunities for Latino students interested in intellectual property law, including patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks.  This summer up to twenty-five Latino law students from law schools across the country will be chosen to participate in an IP immersion program in Washington, DC with all expenses covered.  Participants will be selected through a highly competitive process and be provided substantive instruction, the opportunity to observe first-hand U.S. IP institutions at work, and the chance to meet leading members of the IP legal community who will serve as mentors and potentially provide pathways for future job opportunities.  The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute is part of the HNBA's Su Futuro Program.

A 2008 study by NALP shows that Hispanic attorneys spend a mere 4% of their practice on intellectual property matters.  And a more recent survey by AIPLA shows that in firms with over 100 attorneys, only 2% of IP lawyers are Hispanic.  Microsoft and the HNBA are committed to changing these statistics. "The HNBA/Microsoft IP Law Institute will focus on IP law to address the under-representation of Hispanic attorneys in the field of IP law," said HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr., who also is an experienced IP practitioner and a registered patent attorney.  "Microsoft has taken a great step towards improving the quality of legal services necessary to keep America economically strong," added Reyes.

"We at Microsoft know firsthand the sad reality of the under-representation of Latino attorneys in the critical field of IP law," stated Horacio Gutierrez, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft.  "As an industry leader, we are choosing to step up and be a catalyst for change in the legal profession," said Gutierrez.

The inaugural program is scheduled between July 8th and 12th of 2013 in Washington DC.  Additional information is available

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

About the Hispanic National Bar Association

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 100,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding four decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

SOURCE Hispanic National Bar Association