Lorenzo Trujillo, assistant dean of the School of Law, was recently appointed as general counsel to the Hispanic National Bar Association. The position gives Trujillo the chance to defend the rights of Hispanics nationwide and to promote diversity at CU.
As general counsel, Trujillo will advise the president and the board of governors of the HNBA. Trujillo’s post in the HNBA lasts for one year, and he and the association president will decide whether another year is possible.
The time allocated to the job will factor into Trujillo’s decision to stay on as general counsel, because he still needs to devote all the necessary time to his duties to the School of Law.
Following the encouragement of his father, Trujillo decided that becoming a lawyer would be beneficial to his career.
“It seemed like everything I was involved in required a lawyer or some sort of legal advice,” he said.
Trujillo, a Denver native, worked in the Jefferson County school system before deciding to attend law school at CU.
“I have always been attracted to Boulder, and I like the kind of foundation the University of Colorado provides,” Trujillo said.
The assistant dean pointed out how little known it is that CU is one of the top-25 public law schools in the country and said it provided the right education for his broad legal background.
Trujillo said his experience in corporate law, in civil law, in juvenile law and at a private law firm will help him to relate to the many attorneys of the HNBA.
A major accomplishment for Trujillo was his five-year project with truant students in Commerce City. Trujillo’s work helped many troubled students get back in school and earned recognition from First Lady Laura Bush in a letter sent May 12.
The HNBA provides a national voice for the Hispanic community and particularly those members in the legal profession. Some of the group’s work is to ensure the place of Hispanic lawyers and law students, to provide testimony to Congress on issues concerning Hispanics and to provide continuing legal education for its members.
Trujillo said the ongoing issues of the greatest importance to the HNBA include law school diversity based on “results and not efforts,” the immigration bill, the appointment of a Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice and border vigilantes.
HNBA President Jimmy Reyna said that, although the general counsel selection process is simple, it is very difficult and detailed.
“This is a position that demands and receives a lot of recognition,” Reyna said.
Reyna said the process is confidential and involves consulting with long-time members of the HNBA as well as people that knew Trujillo outside of the association. Based on his findings, Reyna made the decision to appoint Trujillo.
Trujillo said he hopes that the publicity from his new appointment will be a positive step in promoting diversity at CU. His work with the HNBA will be spotlighted and provide prospective minority students with encouragement to attend CU.
“It has to start from the top before it can proceed through every level,” said Elisa Dalton, director of communications for the law school.