A new study has shown that Hispanic businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas are not getting proper legal representation because the area’s firms do not employ an adequate number of Spanish-speaking lawyers in order to handle the volume of legal requests from the area’s Hispanic companies.
Research points out that law firms are simply unaware of how much business there is to do with Hispanic companies as the firms have not traditionally hired Spanish speakers, and therefore have been missing out on huge chunks of business over the years. Local news source the Dallas News reported on the need for more firms to employ Spanish-speaking lawyers to cater to the growing sector of Hispanic businesses.
There is money to be made from the many profitable Hispanic businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and experts suggest the power of their pockets not be underestimated. Jeronimo Valdez, a business litigator, was quoted as saying, “I don’t think [Dallas lawyers] realize just how many Hispanic business owners there are. And I’m not talking about the mom-and-pop shops, tortilla factories or tamale houses. I’m talking about legitimate $100 million revenue companies that have company executives or owners who are Hispanic.”
The common sense behind hiring Hispanic lawyers in Dallas lies in the sheer population figures of the region: 40 percent of Dallas County is Hispanic. It would follow that a proportionate number of lawyers would be on task, but the report notes that only 3 percent of Dallas County partners, and 4 percent of Dallas attorneys at 19 of the largest firms are Hispanic.
Not for lack of availability are these firms reluctant to hire Hispanic attorneys. Volumes of resumes flood the region’s firms’ mailboxes, but — as with any position — sifting through them is task enough. Dallas psychologist Edward Rincón and litigation consultant Kevin Karlson — the two researchers behind the report — noted that Hispanics are more likely to turn to friends and family rather than actual attorneys.