Shook Partner Maria Salcedo knows dedication. Her pro bono legal work as well as her leadership and involvement in the Hispanic National Bar Association and Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City earned her the recognition as a Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) Rising Star in 2020. In a year when the unexpected became common, the MCCA Rising Star recognition became more selective.
In 2020, MCCA received more applications than any other year. To compensate, the Association created a new selection process with two interview stages instead of one, with a second round of questions. Salcedo was one of 20 attorneys selected nationally.
Salcedo’s commitment to pro bono legal work is driven by her motivation to give people a chance for a better life. Through her pro bono efforts, Salcedo has represented clients in a variety of matters including criminal and family court cases.
“It’s important to me [to do pro bono work] because I feel like I’ve been given a lot,” Salcedo said. “I am blessed to have a good education and a career I love. I want to use those to ensure others have the same (or even better) opportunities than the ones I’ve had.”
Connecting people to opportunities drove Salcedo to serve as vice president and president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City as well as the Kansas City organizer for the Hispanic National Bar Association 2017 Annual Conference. Both the Kansas City and national bar bring law professionals together to network and to use their skills to give back to the community.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas appointed Salcedo to the board of Visit KC in 2020 where she assists in overseeing professional developments affecting tourism in Kansas City. Salcedo is also currently the vice chair of Citizens of the World Charter Schools, an independent school system in midtown Kansas City that focuses on core academics, social-emotional development and inclusion.
“I get see and learn so much about my community in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise,” says Salcedo. “I have learned so much about the educational system in Kansas City and through that board.”
Attorneys can contact the Hispanic National Bar Association or a local chapter to explore the Association’s pro bono opportunities.