October 26, 2015

San Francisco lawyer Victor M. Marquez to receive ABA 2016 Spirit of Excellence Award

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2015 — The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will honor attorney Victor M. Marquez, principal at The Marquez Law Group in San Francisco, with its 2016 Spirit of Excellence Award for his commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented during a luncheon ceremony on Feb. 6, 2016, at the ABA Midyear Meeting in San Diego, Calif.

The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state, or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.

“Victor Marquez, a former president of the Hispanic National Bar Association, has worked tirelessly for more than two decades to diversify the legal profession and to make it more welcoming and inclusive for ethnically diverse attorneys, women attorneys and LGBT attorneys.  Victor has been and continues to be a champion for diversity and inclusion in the law,” Section Chair Will Gunn said.

The Marquez Law Group, founded in 1999, provides general business litigation and transactional real estate services to clients throughout California. Marquez is a governmental relations specialist and assists both private companies and nonprofit organizations develop mixed-use residential and commercial real estate development projects.

Marquez is a former president of the Hispanic National Bar Association (2007-2008), the first openly gay person to lead the organization. He led the HNBA in developing the Public Interest Law Track and restarting the Voting Rights Section. Even before he became President, Marquez conceived the LGBT Section and was a pioneer in pushing for the full acceptance and recognition of the LGBT membership by the leadership of the HNBA. A fierce advocate of adding diversity to the judiciary, Marquez has advocated strongly for numerous appointments to the state and federal benches – both through executive appointment as well as through the election process. In helping to diversify the legal profession, Marquez has a strong track record of working with the Asian Bar, the National Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar as well as the LGBT Bar. He currently serves as one of 13 commissioners on the American Bar Association Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Commission and served as co-lead on SOGI’s inaugural LGBT Legislative Advocacy Day on the Hill last May, which included a White House briefing and visits to the offices of Congress.

Marquez, who received his B.A. from the University of California in Santa Barbara and his J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law, has received numerous honors. He’s been recognized as One of the Most Influential San Francisco Bay Area Latinos by the San Francisco Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; One of the Most Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine; a recipient of the Hero Award from AGUILAS, an LGBT Latino Men’s support group; he is also a recipient of the 2008 Social Justice and Human Rights Award from Santa Clara Law School, and the 2010 San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association Lawyer of the Year Award, and a recipient of the Minority Bar Coalition of the San Francisco Bay Area.

A photo of Marquez is available for download here.

The mission of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is to promote racial and ethnic diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. The commission serves as a catalyst for change, so that the profession may more accurately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of society and better serve society. The commission promotes the recruitment, hiring, promotion and advancement of attorneys of color and works to ensure equal membership and employment opportunities for diverse lawyers in the ABA. The commission accomplishes all this through many initiatives, activities and programs, including the annual Spirit of Excellence Award.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.