Juan Baez is Assistant Attorney General for the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit public interest law firm that provides free legal assistance to people living with HIV and AIDS in Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. . And now, after Friday, November 18, AL DÍA’s Best Nonprofit Lawyer 2022.
Where he works, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania is the nation’s only independent public interest law firm dedicated to people living with HIV and educating the public about AIDS-related legal issues. The nonprofit also trains case management professionals to become better advocates for their clients.
In the United States, there are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV, 13% unaware they are HIV-positive and need a test – with at least 34,800 new HIV infections reported in 2019.
Baez first joined the AIDS Law Project as a law student at Drexel University’s Thomas R. Kline School of Law, when he was part of the 2009-2010 Civilian Practice Field Clinic. He has since devoted his career to helping those the company serves, often from cross-border communities across the state. Some of these people also belong to the Latinx community.
During his acceptance speech, Baez thanked AL DÍA “for creating a space for Latinos to learn, be recognized and represented,” adding that representation is important and allows us to see beyond the world we are used to.
There were also subsequent thanks to her partner, William Lee, for his love and support and special recognition to Romy Diaz, for her kindness, mentorship and role model.
Finally, Baez thanked the leaders of the National Hispanic Bar Association (HNBA) “for creating a space where Latino lawyers can support each other and for creating opportunities and opening doors for all of us.”
He is admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and graduated from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Arts and James E. Beasley School of Law at Temple University with a Master of Laws in Advocacy in 2014; later earning his Juris Doctor from Drexel.
Baez advises clients on issues related to Social Security disability, consumer protection, estate planning, immigration, family law and private disability.
His efforts also did not go unnoticed leading up to his recognition as Best Lawyer. Earlier in his career, Baez received a Rising Star Award in 2017, a peer designation given only to a certain number of accomplished attorneys in each state that considers peer recognition, career success in practice legal, among other factors.
Baez was also the former president of HNBPA, serving from 2017 to 2018 and in 2019 Latino Leaders included him in its Winter 2019 “Top Latino Lawyers” edition. He was also nominated and appointed to the Pennsylvania State Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission.
In addition to his current role as assistant attorney general, Baez is a commissioner with the Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission, where he helps ensure tenants have safe places to live and that landlords comply with housing laws.
In 2020, Baez was also awarded the “HNBA Top Lawyer under 40”.