Hilda Bahena '01 has been selected as the 2017 LLSA Alumnus of the Year by the University of Illinois College of Law Latina/o Law Students Association (LLSA). She was recognized at the 17th Annual Alumni Banquet on April 1 at the Mid America Club in Chicago.
Of the selection of Bahena, Oscar Flores, president of LLSA, said the following:
"We, as LLSA, wanted to showcase the importance of public interest and the positive impact it has in the Latino community. As director of Catholic Charities, Hilda has been dedicated in finding solutions to problems that affect our community by conducting extensive community outreach and creating programs to expand legal services to those in need. Further, Hilda has been very supportive of LLSA. She participated in our school events and was involved with the administration in finding ways to increase the number of Latino law students at the College of Law."
Hilda Bahena currently serves as the Catholic Charities Legal Assistance Department Director (LADD) in Chicago, IL. As the Department Director, Hilda is responsible for the day to day operations of the department, comprised of the Legal Services Program and the Volunteer and Pro Bono Program. The LADD ensures the delivery of legal advice, direct representation and referral services to the department’s clients on a wide range of legal issues. In addition, Hilda is responsible for strategic planning, including providing leadership and direction in establishing both short and long term goals that are consistent with those of the legal aid community and Catholic Charities.
Hilda joined CCLA after first working as a legal aid attorney in the states of California and Illinois for more than twelve years. Hilda’s public interest experience spans a wide range of subject areas, including landlord/tenant, consumer, and immigration law. She has developed a specific expertise in family law and legal issues related to domestic violence survivors and immigrant communities. In addition, throughout her career, Hilda has developed trainings, forged collaboration among service providers, conducted extensive community outreach, and created programs to expand services. Hilda is bilingual in Spanish.
Hilda received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law.