This is the blog for the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). The views expressed by the authors of any particular blog entry are those of the authors only and may not reflect the views of AABANY. The inclusion of any link or re-blog of another post from other sources do not suggest or indicate, explicitly or implicitly, any kind of endorsement. Nothing in this blog should be taken as legal advice in any way, nor should anything on this page be understood to create any kind of attorney-client relationship between AABANY and anyone else.
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On Thursday, September 11, 2014, the Career Placement Committee, Young Lawyers Committee, and Membership Committee hosted Part I of the “Getting on Track” Series: Getting on the Partnership Track at Dechert LLP. Attendees were reminded of the reality that becoming partner is much more than working hard, being responsive, and getting things right. The candid roundtable discussion addressed the political landscape of the partner-track for Asian Pacific Americans, the value of business-building, and judgment calls a person has to make when he or she prioritizes his or her legal career. 

To the crowd’s delight, with about 30 people in attendance, Board Director Steve Chung (Vice President, NBCUniversal Media LLC) humorously and expertly moderated four unique and talented panelists: Terrence Shen, Corporate Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP; Litigation Committee Co-Chair Concepcion Montoya, Litigation Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP; Board Director Karen Lim, IP Partner, Fross, Zelnick, Lehrman & Zissu, PC; and Board Director and Past President Robert Leung, Corporate Partner, Boies, Schiller, & Flexner LLP.

The panelists stressed the importance of not only doing near-perfect work but also developing the soft skills that make clients, bosses, and co-workers trust you. Panelists even explored “the secret room where all the decisions are made” — that is to say they acknowledged that when only 16.5% of partners are female and only 5.4% are minority, it is imperative to have allies and advocates that will make the case for why you in particular stand out among associates. Time spent networking, building relationships, writing articles, and having lunch with people is just as necessary in a lawyer’s career as time spent late in the office on getting all your work done. APA attorneys facing the stereotype “they’re hard workers, but they’re not leaders” need to recognize rather than ignore the unconscious biases that may hold them back.

Soon after the engaging panel, attendees put their networking skills into practice asking questions, sharing experiences, and enjoying a refreshing beer or two at Windfall Lounge.

We extend our deepest thanks to Career Placement Committee Co-Chair Marianne Chow for organizing this event, moderator Steve Chung for leading the discussion, panelists Connie, Rob, Karen, and Terry for sharing their experience and insight, Dechert LLP for hosting, and all those who attended.

Those interested in taking the next step of their career with the help of the Career Placement Committee should complete the Intake Form. Those interested in becoming active in AABANY should feel to reach out to any of our Committee Chairs; information available on our websiteStay tuned for the next part of the Getting on Track Series!

September 15, 2014 

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(718) 228-7206 

NEW YORK – September 15, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that United States District Court Magistrate Judge Marilyn D. Go, Eastern District New York, will receive the inaugural Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award. Judge Go will be honored at AABANY’s Fifth Annual Fall Conference held at the law firm Morgan Lewis Bockius on September 20, 2014.

Named for Norman Lau Kee, a revered legal and community pillar of New York City’s Chinatown for decades, this Trailblazer Award honors an accomplished leader in the legal profession of Asian Pacific American (APA) descent or dedicated to APA issues who has carved a path for others to follow, served the community as a mentor and role model, and has made a lasting impact on the APA community through his or her dedication and commitment.

Marilyn D. Go, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York, was the first Asian American woman to serve as a judge in a federal court.  After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1977, she clerked for the late Honorable William M. Marutani in Philadelphia, who was the only Asian American judge on the East Coast at the time. She then served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the EDNY and was later a partner at Baden Kramer Huffman Brodsky & Go, P.C.  Committed to promoting diversity and professionalism in the bar, Judge Go was a founding member, officer and director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York; chair of the Voting Rights Committee of NAPABA; Vice Chair of the Standing Committee on Minorities in the Judiciary of the American Bar Association; and a member of Governor Cuomo’s Task Force on Minority Representation on the Bench.

 “Judge Go is a true trailblazer in our community,” Yang Chen, AABANY’s Executive Director, states. “She rose to the top of the legal profession as an attorney and judge at a time when women leaders, particularly APA women, were few and far between. Through her achievements, accomplishments and leadership, she has paved the way for future generations of lawyers to succeed and attain prominence. As one of the founding Board members of AABANY, she helped to lay the foundation for future leaders to grow the organization into the great bar association it is today. Because of the trails she has blazed, Judge Go has made a real difference for APA attorneys and the legal profession. We are proud to count her as a leading member of our association and our community.”


For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).




Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion, opening September 26, tells the complex and fascinating story of Chinese in America, weaving together the stories of trade, education, migration and labor. It explores the dramatic change in American immigration policy represented by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the establishment of Chinese-American communities, and the rise of educational programs in East Coast universities. The exhibition concludes covering the repeal of Exclusion, immigration reform, and the legacy of early Chinese Americans’ experiences and achievements in the US. Watch a short video preview here.

(New York, NY) On a telephonic press conference this afternoon, members of “New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform” (NYRIR), a campaign coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition denounced President Obama’s delay of executive action on immigration, and discussed plans to respond on behalf of immigrant families and communities in New York. On September 6th, White House officials informed lawmakers and advocates that President Obama will delay executive action on immigration - that may provide bold and broad administrative relief to millions of hardworking immigrants - until after November elections, a decision causing outrage and disappointment among immigrant communities. Saturday’s announcement breaks the pledge made by the President in his June remarks to take action on immigration on his own by the end of the summer “without further delay”.

“Immigrant communities are tired of empty speeches and broken promises from the White House,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “But despite this disappointing delay, we are ready to work harder than ever to protect our communities, starting with a national week of action on September 22nd to show the White House, Democrats and Republicans that we will hold their feet to the fire until action is taken. This November, President Obama will have one last chance to live up to the promises he made, by providing big and broad executive action to halt deportations. He must consider how he wants to define his presidential legacy – will he be the “Deporter-in-Chief,” or the President who takes the historic step to fix our broken immigration system?  Our communities will make clear our views to the President, and to the Democrats and the Republicans, as we mobilize immigrant voters up to and through the November elections.” 

Affected immigrants and leaders from faith, labor, and immigrant advocacy communities throughout New York State expressed their anger at the delay and commitment to continue fighting.  

"When I left Ecuador 20 years ago to come to the US to provide for my family, I left behind an 11 month old son. My son is now 20 years old. I want to see him more than anything in the world but I need to be here working to support them,” said Marta Gualotuna, member of Make the Road NY. “The President should take action to protect people like me who have been here for so long and contributed so much, so we can see our families. This delay angers me and my community, and we will fight to hold the President to his promise.”

"We are deeply disappointed by the Administration’s decision to delay executive action, which means that the lives of hard-working immigrant families continue to hang in the balance. In many communities where our members live and work, the Administration’s decision to delay executive action forces families to continue to live in the shadows, said Hector Figueroa, president of 32 BJ SEIU. “We know that we got to this point because earlier this year the Republicans refused to vote on comprehensive reform. Immigrant voters will be mobilizing in force this November, and we will continue to fight until real immigration reform becomes a reality.”

“Faith in New York works with over 60 congregations throughout New York City representing over 60,000 people of faith, many who are undocumented. As people of Faith we know that it is a moral failure  to play political games with our families,” said Onleilove Alston, interim executive director of Faith in New York, member of the PICO National Network. “The President and the Senate democrats have decided that it’s okay to see several thousand more deportations for a few political gains. This was never about politics for us. It has always been about our families. We hope the nation’s leaders will one day view this issue through the same lens. Our families have been ignored, neglected, and demonized by elected officials for too long. Our sacred text commands that we welcome the stranger yet each day that passes, over 1000 families are separated.”

Gail Golden, co-chair of Rockland Immigration Coalition said, “Rockland County is home to large and growing immigrant communities. Our Spanish speaking community alone has grown 67% since 2000. Immigrants contribute enormously to our economy as workers, business owners and consumers. Many undocumented persons have been the target of cruel and immediate deportations for incidents such as broken taillights, visiting a relative in jail, or having an out of state license. One young mother was deported after being stopped at a traffic light in an old car. Her young children were in school and she was not even given a chance to contact them.  Families are being torn apart; children are being left without parents. We need administrative relief  as soon as possible. Every day that goes by without it damages families and communities.”

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The New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform campaign is a statewide campaign coordinated by the New York Immigration Coalition and endorsed by 170 labor, business, faith, grassroots and immigrant organizations from across the state. The coalition is calling for an overhaul of the immigration system to meet the needs of the economy and keep families together.

The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

Announcing the 1st Annual

Manhattan Family Justice Center

Domestic Violence Awareness Month Drive!

During September and October (Domestic Violence Awareness month), the Manhattan Family Justice Center will be collecting supplies for people in need: non-perishable foods, new & gently used clothing, toys, high chairs, car seats, baby formula, diapers, new & gently used multilingual books, etc.  

Please drop off donations at 80 Centre Street, 5th floor in either the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence civil side reception area or the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau reception area. The District Attorney’s Northern Manhattan Office will also be collecting donations at 163 W. 125th St.

The flyer is attached, please share widely.

Donate now and give back to the community!

The MinKwon Center will be hosting several Naturalization and DACA Renewal Clinics this fall and they have recently added some new clinic dates. The new clinic dates are indicated with asterisks below. These clinics are great opportunities to assist low-income community members with immigration law forms. Each clinic will be held at the MinKwon Center’s office in Flushing, Queens (a few blocks from the 7 train stop). 

No prior experience is necessary, and training will be provided on the day of each clinic. The Center keeps a log of all volunteer hours and they’re glad to certify your pro bono hours for the NY bar admission requirement. If you’re interested in volunteering, please read the following clinic descriptions and sign up using the links below:

Naturalization Clinics –

The Center will be helping eligible LPRs complete their applications to become naturalized U.S. citizens. They are searching for assistance from attorneys, students and interpreters. Korean and/or Chinese language ability is especially helpful. Please sign up here to join for a Naturalization Clinic on any of the following dates:

  • Friday, September 26
  • Friday, October 10*
  • Saturday, October 18*
  • Saturday, November 8*
  • Friday, November 21*
  • Friday, December 5*

DACA Renewal Clinics -

The Center will be helping undocumented youth complete their applications to renew their DACA status. Successful applicants will receive an additional two years of protection against deportation and renewed work permits. They are searching for assistance from attorneys, students and interpreters. No foreign language ability is required. Please sign up here to join for a DACA Renewal Clinic on any of the following dates:

  • Friday, September 12
  • Saturday, September 13
  • Friday, September 19
  • Friday, October 3*
  • Friday, October 17*
  • Friday, October 31*
  • Friday, November 7*
  • Friday, November 14*
  • Friday, December 12*
  • Friday, December 19*

Please see below the contact information of the MinKwon Center:

MinKwon Center for Community Action (formerly YKASEC)
136-19 41st Ave. 3rd Fl. Flushing, NY 11355
Tel.718.460.5600 ext. 204 | Fax.718.445.0032 

Translated article:

On June 16, 2014, New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) and Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) held a reception to congratulate Glenn Lau-Kee for becoming the first Asian American to lead the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Glenn Lau-Kee graduated from Yale College and Boston University School of Law. In 1977, he joined Kee & Lau-Kee, PLLC, a firm founded by his father in 1956. Ever since, Lau-Kee has concentrated his practice in real estate and business law. From 1997 to 1999, Lau-Kee served as President of AABANY. On June 1, 2014, following his year as President-Elect, Lau-Kee assumed office as President of NYSBA.

In his reception remarks, Lau-Kee expressed his belief that the law should continue to change to keep up with modern times and innovative technology. In the upcoming year, he plans to make efforts to amend outdated and impractical laws. In his term as President, he also plans to better publicize the association and to attract more young attorneys to join. He personally intends to visit fifteen law schools in the state of New York to build a better connection between practicing attorneys and law students.

Lau-Kee joined NYSBA fourteen years ago. As one of the earliest Asian American members of NYSBA, Lau-Kee is proud to serve as its current president. His leadership is a signal of not only NYSBA’s but the legal profession’s increasing openness to people of different sexes and ethnicities.
(Translation courtesy of Phil Chen.)

Brush With Danger, Directed by Livi Zheng, will be playing at Cinema Village at 22 East 12th Street from September 19-24. Click here to purchase tickets.

Brush with Danger is directed by Livi Zheng, a young multi-talented Asian filmmaker who makes her directing debut with this film. Prior to this she already has a wide experience in producing and acting. An exemplary young, female professional, Livi would be a great role model and an ideal platform for spreading the validity and importance of Asian culture to the States. 

On Friday, September 19, Executive Director of the Asian American Arts Centre Robert Lee will be the moderator and host of the movie’s premiere. 


A painter, a fighter, both artists in their own way. Brother and sister, forced to flee their home, arrive at Seattle, The Emerald City, inside a shipping container. Trying to make their way in a new strange world the pair struggle to survive. Until, one day, an art dealer, takes an interest in the sister’s painting, and the pair find themselves living a dream come true. The sister loses herself in her art, painting, and the brother seizes the opportunity to express himself, as a fighter.

But it really is all just a dream. Conned by her patron into forging a long lost Van Gogh. Purchased by a ruthless criminal with a passion for fine art. The brother and sister soon find themselves embroiled in Seattle’s criminal underworld and a Brush With Danger.

Over a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a critical element of the Voting Rights Act, the coverage formula. The coverage formula required jurisdictions with histories and ongoing practices of discrimination in voting practices and laws to “preclear” their voting changes with the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Voting changes were analyzed to see if they were influenced by a discriminatory purpose or would harm minority voters in their jurisdictions.

The Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA) will modernize the coverage formula of the Voting Rights Act to tie it to recent patterns of voter discrimination. Congress needs to pass this law to ensure that all voters, including members of the Asian Pacific American community, are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote.  Click here to read NAPABA’s Statement Opposing Voter Suppression Efforts.

Since the VRAA (HR 3899/S 1945) was introduced this January, the Senate has held one hearing on the bill, and the House has failed to act. We need your help! Tell your members of Congress to pass the Voting Rights Amendment act now by clicking here to sign this petition.

On Thursday, September 4, the Young Lawyers Committee held a Financial Planning workshop hosted by Ameriprise Financial Services’s Niraj Chhabra. Meeting fear and uncertainty with a disciplined and integrated approach, financial planning tackles student loans, retirement, and family planning head-on in a stable and productive way. The workshop, geared towards young lawyers who face the unique challenges of student loan debt and a fickle legal industry, educated an audience of about 20 young lawyers on how to budget, strategies for tax reduction, and different ways to take care of aging parents. Niraj offered all those present a free financial consultation. Young lawyers left with the feeling that some of the financial surprises (such as quarterly taxes and Christmastime) may not be as big of a surprise as they seem, and perhaps it is easier to take small action now for big pay-offs in the future. 

AABANY extends a full-hearted thank you to Niraj for running the workshop, Ameriprise Financial Services for providing such an informative service as well as the opportunity to network and mingle over refreshments, Young Lawyers Committee Co-Chairs Amy Ngai, David Sohn, and Gabriel Arce-Yee for organizing the event, and all those who attended.