Hispanic Law Student Association fosters community at Nebraska Law

08 Sep 2023    

Erik Strickland

In the last two years, a number of new student organizations have been founded at the College of Law that focus on community and culture. This series highlights the creation and activity of these groups. The first segment features the Hispanic Law Student Association (HLSA).

During the 2023 spring semester, a group of Nebraska Law students came together to form HLSA, the college’s chapter of the National Latino/a Law Student Association. This National Hispanic Heritage Month, HLSA President Erik Strickland, ’25, reflected on the organization’s formation and future.

Strickland, one of the organization’s founding members, agreed with his fellow students that there was a need for a student organization dedicated specifically to Hispanic and Latino/a students.

“It may not be the largest minority body at the law school, but it is still an important one,” he said.

Strickland saw the potential benefit for the student body and college community in having an organization that promotes awareness and appreciation of Hispanic culture. Along with distributing information, the group also provides support to Hispanic students at Nebraska Law.

“HLSA gives support to people not only through networking events, but also by giving them the ability to connect with people from the same background,” he said.

After the first meeting of the semester, Strickland said he is excited by the interest he's seen from the new 1L class.

A group of students stands outside of the College of Law.

The organization planned a successful Cinco De Mayo celebration this spring, complete with food, games, and a piñata. The event brought together over 40 students to celebrate and build community. Strickland said he hopes HLSA organizes similar events in the future and encourages all Nebraska Law students to attend.

“We provide a place for people to celebrate the culture while introducing it to those who might not know a lot about it,” he said. “It’s not just for Hispanic students, it’s for everyone.”

The National Latino/a Law Student Association (NLLSA) focuses on advancing Latino/a academic success and emphasizing a commitment to community service. It also looks to address the legal issues affecting Latinos/as around the nation.