The concept for the Haitian American Lawyers Association of Illinois, Inc. or HALA began in early 1997 when a few lawyers of Haitian descent decided to host a conference in conjunction with the well-established Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad or AMHE. By July 1998, they had organized a series of lectures and programs that left a significant impact on the convention as a whole and solidified their prominence in the Haitian community particularly in Chicago, Illinois.
Despite the success of the conference, there was not enough energy to maintain the momentum of spirit for more events. However, in May 2007 new energy from the “millennium” lawyers of Haitian descent re-kindled the flame to form the organization commencing with a meet and greet at La Rosetta in Chicago, Illinois. By the following year, more lawyers of Haitian descent came together to participate in regular business meetings over the course of the next year.
During this developmental year, HALA founding members created a Mission Statement, Incorporated themselves with the state of Illinois, finalized their By-Laws, established dues and of course selected their flagship officers. Today, HALA is a not-for-profit organization committed to the constructive development of its members, providing assistance to future lawyers and shall act as a voice for the concerns of the Haitian Community.
The purpose of the Association shall be to articulate and promote the goals and objectives of Haitian-American Lawyers, foster and encourage professional development and excellence among Haitian-American Lawyers, promote a greater awareness of and commitment to the civil and political rights of the Haitian-American Community in Illinois, foster and engender relationships among Haitian-American Lawyers, develop relationships with other Haitian-American organizations, increase the enrollment of and encourage the academic and professional success of Haitian-American law students, create networking and business development opportunities for Haitian-American Lawyers, including taking steps to form relationships with other local and national bar associations and provide such information and resources for the larger Haitian-American community of Illinois as shall be fixed by the Executive Board.