Amalia Rioja received the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund's Excellence in Legal Service Award for her leadership and exemplary work advancing the legal rights of Latinos. At a recent awards gala in Chicago, the MALDEF paid tribute to individuals, corporations and law firms that have "been instrumental in advancing justice for Latinos."

MALDEF honored Ms. Rioja for her work on election law reform, expansion of voter rights and on the legislation that allowed undocumented individuals to obtain driver’s licenses in Illinois.

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Baker McKenzie’s Chicago Office Managing Partner Michael Smith, Director of Community Empowerment for Univision Communications Inc. Luisa Echevarria and Executive Director for the Latino Policy Forum Sylvia Puente all noted Ms. Rioja's commitment to advocating for Latinos in the community and introduced her through a tribute video presented at the gala. Click here to view the remarks.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan presented Ms. Rioja with the Excellence in Legal Service Award.

Ms. Rioja is a lawyer in Baker McKenzie's North America Banking Finance & Major Projects and International Commercial Practices. A former Deputy Chief of Staff to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, she has more than 20 years of public sector and private practice experience. Ms. Rioja is a resource to clients at all levels of local, state and federal government.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is a leading Latino legal civil rights organization. MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access.

Explore Our Newsroom