The Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas (“ALTA”) is a national and international alliance of preeminent law firms, professionals, and business owners from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. ALTA’s purpose is to promote the growth and expansion of business opportunities and trade relations throughout North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean through collaborations and partnerships with each other and alliances with major regional, national and international interests. ALTA seeks to enhance and promote the administration and delivery of legal services throughout the Americas and the Caribbean and address legal and business development issues impacting historically underrepresented communities within the rule of law. To accomplish these goals, ALTA members share technology and information, engage in collaborative and joint ventures, hold seminars and conferences on topics of interest, and sponsor continuing legal education programs on current trends and particular areas of law and business of interest to the members and the community.
History of ALTA
In 1987, a group of Latino/Latina attorneys in the United States (USA) conceptualized, initiated and founded the Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas (“ALTA”). The group that formed ALTA was as diverse as the Latino population in the USA and consisted of men and women whose national origin included a variety of countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain. The founders’ diverse cultural backgrounds were further enriched by their interesting personal backgrounds and their vast professional experiences.
Within two (2) years after the founding of ALTA, the group managed to coordinate a meeting and visit to Juarez, Mexico, to meet with representatives from the Mexican business community concerning Maquiladoras (a Mexican Corporation which operates under a maquila program approved for it by the Mexican Secretariat of Commerce and Industrial Development (SECOFI) in Mexico). The group visited two maquiladoras in the Mexican border town, and had the opportunity to physically observe the operations in the facilities and meet with representatives of the facilities and discuss various production, trade and labor relations issues. In addition to being interested in international trade issues, including Maquiladoras, NAFTA and various initiatives in various Latin American countries, including but not limited to, the Internal Revenue Code Section 936 tax credit which has mainly affected Puerto Rico and the subsidiaries of U.S. companies that operate in PR, the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) which consist of trade programs intended to facilitate the economic development and export diversification in Central America and the Caribbean, and bilateral trade agreements, the founders of the ALTA association were able to create joint ventures among its affiliated lawyers to represent clients in complex civil and criminal defense matters in federal and state courts in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. In the last couple of years, ALTA has been able to renew and develop a perspective that brings it into the 21st century.
Currently, the ALTA association has formed a not-for-profit trade association under the name of Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas (ALTA), Inc. which is incorporated in the State of New York. Presently, ALTA has incorporated the principles and vision that the founders created and worked to realize its objectives with a newly constituted Executive Committee. Thanks to the expansion of its membership and development of its organization, ALTA is able to represent the needs of the international business community and the vast and diverse particular communities that exist throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, within the rule of law.
The name of the organization was created by Frank Gómez, who served as a consultant when the organization was established. Mr. Gómez has vast experience in the government and private sectors and is currently the President of the Board of Trustees of the Pan American Development Foundation.