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Reception for Chief Justice Cecilia Altonaga, LAW ’86

09/14/2023 @ 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Cecilia Altonaga

Chief Judge Cecilia Altonaga (LAW ’86) is the Chief Judge for the U.S. Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The reception is commemorating the 20th anniversary of Chief Judge Altonaga’s appointment to the bench. Chief Judge Altonaga is notable as the first Cuban American Woman to be appointed to any Federal Court in the U.S.


The reception was organized by the HNBA (Hispanic National Bar Association) and held in the local offices of the AAA (American Arbitration Association).  Most of the attendees were members of the HBNA and/or the local state and federal bars and had connections to the Judge.  The person who introduced her, for example, was the Judge’s first law clerk from 20 years ago, now a partner at a law firm and the first Cuban American woman to head the HBNA in 2019.

Judge Altonaga gave a wonderful speech after she was introduced.  She noted that, because there were few organizations like the HBNA when she was growing up—and few prominent Latina attorneys to serve as role models for those such as herself to pursue careers in the law—women like her were inspired and motivated mainly by family, and in particular their mothers, to aspire to such careers.  Her mother was a professor, and her father, after a career in insurance, went to law school, while the Judge and her sisters were not only pushed by their parents to pursue opportunities via higher education but were also compelled to work many part-time jobs along the way.


5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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