Natalia Martín, who was then Director of Legal Personnel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Karla G. Sanchez, who was then a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP started the “Cafecito” network in 2006.
Their goal was to bring together Latina attorneys in different fields and stages of their careers on a regular basis to share ideas, experiences, contacts, jobs, referrals and resources; to promote the professional development of and to empower Latina attorneys; and to foster public/private partnerships.
Karla and Natalia received the NYC Bar Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award in 2014 for their work as Co-Founders of the Cafecito network.
From 2005 until August 2018, Natalia served first as the Director of Legal Personnel and Professional Development and then as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, an international law firm. As the firm's first Director of Diversity, she launched a range of initiatives and provided strategic advice to firm leadership. She previously served as the dean of students at Yale Law School and also worked as a corporate associate at Simpson Thacher. Natalia received her BA degree cum laude from Harvard University and her JD from Yale Law School.
Natalia is interested in how to develop talent and in making organizations more inclusive and successful.
She received the 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award from the New York City Bar Association (with Karla Sanchez), the Latina Trailblazer award from Latino Justice PRLDEF in 2010, the Cesar Perales Community Advocate Award from Brooklyn Law School’s Latin American Law Students’ Association in 2008 and the Flor de Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Women’s Committee in 2007.
Since early 2016, Karla has been travelling the world and writing. Before that she was the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice for the New York State Attorney General’s Office responsible for the Attorney General’s agenda on all issues involving Antitrust, Consumer Frauds and Protection, the Internet and Technology, Investor Protection and Real Estate Finance. Karla joined the office in 2011 and resigned in 2016.
Immediately prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Karla was a litigation partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. She successfully litigated before courts and arbitration panels throughout the country representing both plaintiffs and defendants involving a broad range of products and disciplines, including residential mortgage-backed securities, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and consumer products. She was the first Hispanic partner at Patterson Belknap and was recognized as one of Crain’s New York Business’s 40 Under Forty. She was Chair of the Diversity Committee and Patterson’s Affinity group known as Patterson Attorneys of Color.
Prior to joining Patterson Belknap, Ms. Sanchez served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Deborah A. Batts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law cum laude and Order of the Coif, and an A.B. from Columbia University.
Karla is also the co-founder of a informal networking group for law firm partners and senior in-house counsel. This one over almuerzo.
Ms. Sanchez is a former member of the Policy Committee for the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department, New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and of the Executive Committee for the New York City Bar. She is the former Vice Chair of the Board for LatinoJustice: PRLDEF and a former member of the Advisory Board of Legal Outreach. She is a former member of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court. She is also a member of the Dominican Bar Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and Fordham University School of Law's Dean's Planning Council. Ms. Sanchez has the good fortune to have been bestowed with a number of Awards including the New York City Bar’s Diversity Champion Award, a Dominican Bar Association honoree, Brooklyn Law School’s Latin American Law Students’ Association Cesar Perales Community Advocate Award, the Flor de Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association’s Women’s Committee, Fordham University School of Law’s LALSA’s Andrew J. Rivera Alumni Achievement Award, and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund’s Lucero Award.