The Cuban American Bar Association (“CABA”), a non-profit voluntary bar association founded in 1974 by lawyers of Cuban descent, has a deeply rooted interest in assisting and serving its community. Indeed, back in 1974, the few Cuban-American attorneys who founded the organization shared the unique experience of having been uprooted from their homes in Cuba and forced to assimilate to a new environment and culture with many of the community’s inhabitants. Having experienced these tumultuous times themselves, CABA’s founders felt a sense of responsibility to assist the community, mentor other attorneys, and work toward a more diverse legal field so that future members of the community would have access to legal representation, and lawyers would have more professional opportunities. As a result of their groundwork, and its members’ continued efforts and volunteer work, CABA is the largest and most successful minority bar association in the state of Florida.
As part of CABA’s mission, it has created, among other programs, a mentoring program, CABA Pro Bono Legal Services, and the Cuban American Bar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to promoting and assisting Cuban-American law students and law students interested in activities of importance to the Cuban-American community to achieve their full potential through access and increased diversity in the legal profession.
CABA’s mentoring program is only as strong as the participation of its member attorneys and member law students. Thankfully, many of CABA’s members generously volunteer their time each year to mentor younger attorneys and law students. Indeed, the program consists of over 1000 participants and the program continues to grow, allowing students, young attorneys and seasoned attorneys and judges the ability to meet, interact and learn from one another. These mentoring partnerships create the opportunities for growth and enrichment for all parties involved. Our illustrious judges and lawyers throughout the community routinely request to be involved, and CABA encourages you to do the same!
CABA Pro Bono is thriving, but its success depends on CABA members’ pro bono efforts. It is successful, in part, because CABA possesses an enormous resource in the hundreds of volunteer hours of pro bono service that its lawyer members are willing and able to provide for the good of the community.
Those resources are marshalled by:
- screening and processing incoming matters,
- interviewing potential clients
- referring clients to lawyers or other legal service providers, and
- handling uncontested matters in limited practice areas.
Despite the incredible efforts of CABA Pro Bono’s dedicated staff and CABA’s members, our indigent community’s needs for legal services are still not entirely met. As many of its members know, taking on these cases and assisting a fellow member of community in need is extremely fulfilling. We encourage you to participate in CABA Pro Bono and make a difference in someone’s life by accepting a case today!
As many of CABA’s members, supporters, and sponsors know, CABA is able to dedicate staff to CABA Pro Bono, provide law students with scholarships through the CABF, and hold informative events and provide other services to its members, by partaking in many fundraising efforts and hosting fundraising events. These fundraising efforts and events, however, cannot be seamlessly accomplished without the tireless efforts of volunteers. Without the efforts of its volunteer members, none of the programs or services CABA offers, including CLE programs, networking events, advocacy efforts on behalf of CABA and on issues related to Cuba, and those discussed above, would be possible.
Volunteer today and help CABA continue its tradition of assuming the responsibility of assisting the community it serves, providing mentorship to young attorneys and law students, and working toward a more diverse legal field!