CBA and CJI Announce New Co-Chair to Diversity on the Bench Coalition

Christine Hernández
Christine Hernández, shareholder at Hernandez & Associates, P.C., will serve as co-chair on the CBA|CJI Diversity on the Bench Coalition alongside retired Judge Gary Jackson. / Law Week file.

The Colorado Bar Association and the Colorado Judicial Institute announced on Dec. 1 that Christine Hernández was appointed co-chair for the CBA|CJI Diversity on the Bench Coalition. 

Hernández, a member of the coalition’s coordinating council since its formation, was appointed co-chair replacing Patricia Jarzobski, according to the release. Hernández will lead alongside retired Judge Gary Jackson. “Events of the last few years have highlighted the need for critical change in our system of justice,” said Hernández in the Dec. 1 release. “Barriers to diversity impede that change and must be dismantled.” 

Hernández is a University of Denver Sturm College of Law graduate and shareholder at Hernandez & Associates, P.C. She’s a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association and Denver Bar Association. 

Hernández is a past president of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association and serves as the Region XIII president and chair of the immigration section for the Hispanic National Bar Association, according to the release. She is co-chair of the Colorado Lawyers Committee’s Racial Justice Task Force and sits on the board of trustees for the Denver Bar Association. She is a member of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Wellness Task Force. In 2020, Hernández was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court’s Hearing Board and she was appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court’s Continuing Legal and Judicial Education Committee this year. 

The CBA and CJI announced that co-chairs Judge Gary Jackson and Christine Hernández have recommitted to the coalition for two additional years. Immediate efforts, according to the release, will be to focus on balancing the number of Hispanic and Latino judges throughout the state. The Dec. 1 release announced the coalition will also focus on the lack of Black judges in the appellate courts.

As of Dec. 1, there are no Black judges or justices among the 29 seats on Colorado’s Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, according to the CBA and CJI. The organizations noted the number hasn’t changed since the coalition began its work in the fall of 2019. According to the press release, the coalition will continue to draw on the expertise of the Colorado Judicial Department, and the insights of Head of Judicial Diversity Outreach Sumi Lee, whose efforts within the Colorado Judicial Department are the baseline for many of the key enhancement activities of the Coalition to further impact the diversity of Colorado’s bench. 

Visit the Diversity on the Bench Coalition’s website for more information and direct all inquiries to the Colorado Bar Association.

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