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PIB Law Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month Print PDF


Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Started in 1968 by Congress as Hispanic Heritage Week, it was expanded to a month in 1988. The celebration begins in the middle rather than the start of September because it coincides with national independence days in several Latin American countries.

At PIB Law, we are committed to increasing and promoting diversity among our employees while improving the inclusion and belonging experience.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked our Latinx employees to share what this month means to them and the impact of their culture on their careers.

Jesse Lopez, Director of Litigation Procedures

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to highlight our culture’s achievements and contributions. It is a time of teaching and learning through art, cooking, spoken words and much more. To bring awareness to our community, show our struggles and be grateful for how the United States is a land of opportunities. How proud we are to contribute to our society’s best. I am proud of my roots that taught me the true meaning of community and serving others.

(“Mi casa es tu casa” and everyone is invited over for the carne asada.)

What impact has your culture had on your career?

Being bilingual has given me an advantage in my personal and work life, as we live in a diverse America where there are so many people of other Hispanic cultures who speak the Spanish language. I will forever keep my Hispanic heritage alive, and I have also taught my children to continue the legacy. (“Si se puede”/yes we can).

Melinda Colón Cox, Partner

What impact has your heritage had on your career?

Being Latina has impacted every single stage of my life, including my career. My heritage has taught me to be kind and humble, while still being confident, assertive and standing for what you believe in.

I have learned many lessons that have shaped me into the attorney I am today and which, frankly, have influenced my perspective of the law and our legal system. Too often, I see people in the Hispanic community with legal needs being treated differently because of the color of their skin, the texture of their hair, their ‘strong’ accents or because of the stereotypical belief that the person is not educated or can’t possibly understand the legal implications of the issues they may be facing. This is not okay.

So as a Latina attorney, I feel compelled to help those who may not always have a voice or a platform to express their voice, by listening to them and understanding their needs, by educating the general public, and by effectuating real change through our legal and judicial systems to ensure our community has equal and fair access to the law.

We do this through mentorship, clinics and community training programs, and by advocating for more Hispanics in elected positions, on the bench of our judiciary, in high-level, C-suite positions and in managing roles at law firms. Honestly, I am inspired by my community on a daily basis and I am extremely proud – "orgullosa" – to be Latina and to use my unique experiences and diverse perspective to benefit the legal profession, our clients and the community.”

Nathania Reyes, Associate

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?

Hispanic Heritage Month allows individuals of all races and ethnicities to learn and experience things from all of the colorful Hispanic cultures that exist to date. It is important for me to share my culture as it is such a big part of who I am. Although I am always appreciative of what my heritage has given me, this month allows me to truly value my background, and the knowledge and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. In sum, Hispanic Heritage Month, to me, means family, love and commemoration.

What impact has your culture had on your career?

Coming from a Dominican family, my parents instilled the importance of excelling in school, while at the same time giving back to your community and never forgetting where you came from. As a result, I have always worked hard to attain my dreams, but have always ensured to give back, from volunteering at homeless shelters, to mentoring students, to helping raise money to provide young Hispanic students the opportunity to go to law school. To that end, with the support of my mentors and hard work, I have created a strong foundation in my law career and hope to continue working towards a better future that allows for more Hispanic attorneys in the United States.  

Bryant Delagillo, Partner

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is about embracing the tremendous diversity in the customs, traditions and culture within the Hispanic community. It is inspiring to learn about the contributions that Hispanics have made to this country. For far too long, members of our community have been overlooked, ignored or undervalued. Hispanic Heritage Month is small step towards correcting this problem.

What impact has your culture had on your career?
My paternal grandparents met as children working on a strawberry farm in central California. My mother was two years old when she, her brother and my grandmother left behind their family in Mexico in search of a better life and more opportunities in California. By working long hours in physically exhausting jobs, my parents were able to provide those opportunities to their children. My brother, sister and I were the first in our extended family to graduate from college. I am the only lawyer in my extended family. While I may not have had role models or mentors when I decided to enter into the legal profession, I did have my parent’s work ethic. This has been the foundation of my legal career.

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