AABANY Congratulates Former Board Member Kevin Kim on His Appointments to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and as the New Commissioner of New York City Small Businesses

On December 31st, 2021 former AABANY Board Member Kevin Kim was selected as the first Korean American  to hold the position of Commissioner of New York City Small Businesses where he will be responsible for running a dynamic City agency focused on connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building a thriving economy. Kevin also was selected on December 20th, 2021 to be a Commissioner to President Biden’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders which has been tasked with advancing equity, justice, and opportunity for AANHPI communities.

Kevin is a graduate of Stanford University and Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review. After graduating law school Kevin began his legal career as a law clerk for then United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, Hon. Denny Chin. He then worked as an Associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell where he practiced corporate law. 

Kevin has devoted his career to public service and specifically promoting greater Asian representation in positions of power. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the City University of New York and was elected to the national Board of Directors for the Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club. His past board service includes the American Red Cross in Queens, Friends of Thirteen (public media provider featuring PBS series), Korean American Association of Greater New York, and the Korean American Community Foundation. From 2014-2016, Kevin was the Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority, becoming the first Asian American appointed to this position. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Kevin as a Trustee of the City University of New York, making him only the third Asian American and the first Korean American to serve on the CUNY Board of Trustees. In that position, he chaired the Audit Committee and is a member of the Subcommittee on Investments. 

Kevin has received countless awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor; Columbia Law School APALSA Hong Yen Chang Award for inspiring civic engagement; KAAGNY, Man of the Year; and City Hall News (“40 Under 40”).

Please join AABANY in congratulating Kevin on his appointments to these important positions.

In the News: AABANY Joins Push for Adoption of “Unity Map” in New York Redistricting Process

On January 4, 2022, City Limits published an article entitled, “As NY Redistricting Forges Forward, Asian American Groups Push for ‘Unity Map’” detailing an independent coalition’s efforts to establish more equitable districts in the state.

As the redistricting process continues in New York, a coalition of three civil rights legal groups—the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Center for Law and Social Justice, and Latino Justice—seek to combat the fragmentation of minority communities. Altogether forming the Unity Map Coalition, the groups’ proposed “Unity Map” recognizes the rapid growth of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in New York and aims to preserve the political power of communities whose interests have historically been undermined in the redistricting process. 

If adopted by Governor Kathy Hochul, the “Unity Map” would replace drafts developed by the state Independent Redistricting Commission, drafts which have been influenced by the coalition’s input but that have failed to fully address issues relayed by community members. Legal groups, such as AABANY, in addition to pro-democracy groups have signed onto a letter requesting another opportunity from state lawmakers to provide public comment before the governor approves draft maps. 


To read the full article, click here.

Congratulations to AABANY Members Listed in the New York Metro Edition of 2021 Super Lawyers

AABANY congratulates the AABANY members who have been named Super Lawyers in the New York Metro 2021 edition. Super Lawyers are selected through a rigorous selection process that includes being nominated by their peers, evaluated by third-party research in 12 key categories, and reviewed by a Blue Ribbon Panel of attorneys. Only 5 percent of attorneys are selected. 

Please join us in congratulating the following AABANY members on being named to the 2021 Super Lawyers list: 

  • Joanna Chan
  • Loyti Cheng 
  • Eugene Chang
  • David Choi  
  • Elliot Choi
  • Blaise Chow
  • Anna Mercado Clark
  • Kenneth W. Eng 
  • Anthony K.C. Fong 
  • Zheng Gao
  • Flora Go 
  • Lawrence S. Han
  • Annie Huang
  • Eric Kang 
  • Albert Kim 
  • David K.S. Kim
  • Kenneth Chin
  • Steven J. Lee 
  • Tao Li 
  • Ge Li 
  • Lisa S. Lim
  • James Lo 
  • Tiffany Ma
  • Jay Min
  • Ran Mukherjee
  • Alysha M. Naik
  • William H. Ng
  • Simone Park
  • Sun Ah Park 
  • Zixian Qi
  • Yu Tian 
  • Gloria Tsui-Yip 
  • Katie Wang
  • Karen Wu
  • Stacy Wu
  • Ruofei Xiang 
  • Melissa Yang
  • Si Yang 
  • S. Yan Sin 
  • Stephenie Yeh
  • Michelle Yeung
  • Tsui H. Yee
  • Honghui Yu 
  • Xintong Zhang
  • Shan Zu

Are you an AABANY member who made the Super Lawyers 2021 list but not shown above? If so, please pardon the omission, and let us know so that we can update the list with your name. Contact main@aabany.org

To see the 2021 Super Lawyers New York Metro Edition, click on the image above.

AABANY Congratulates Shekar Krishnan and Sandra Ung on Becoming New York City Council Members

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) congratulates Shekar Krishnan and Sandra Ung for being elected to the New York City Council. Both have been members of AABANY and continue to serve the AAPI community. The City Council made history by becoming the first New York City council with a majority of seats occupied by women (31 out of 51) and Adrienne Adams became the first black New York City Council Speaker on January 5th. 

Sandra has been elected to represent the 20th District of New York which covers Flushing, Mitchell-Linden, Murray Hill, Queensboro Hill and Fresh Meadows. She has committed her entire career to serving the Queens community. Sandra was most recently the Special Assistant to Congresswoman Grace Meng where she assisted local residents of Queens in navigating the complex government bureaucracy. Sandra also serves in a leadership role on the congresswoman’s re-election campaigns and as the Executive Director of Grace’s At the Table PAC, a political action committee dedicated to expanding women and minority representation in politics. 

Sandra’s government service and public interest experience includes: Special Assistant to the New York State Commissioner on Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation;  Legislative Assistant to former New York City Comptrollers Bill Thompson and John Liu; Chief of Staff to former New York State Assemblyman Jimmy Meng; and staff attorney to Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit organization that assists those impacted by domestic violence. She also worked as an associate attorney at Dorsey & Whitney. Sandra had previously served on the AABANY Board as Treasurer. 

Shekar has been elected to represent the 25th District of New York which covers Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. He made history by becoming one of the first South Asians elected to the New York City Council. Shekar co-founded Friends of Diversity Plaza. Located near Jackson Heights, Diversity Plaza has become a symbol of how public space can bring people together. It now serves a critical function in neighborhood organizing efforts and building solidarity across communities. Shekar has also engaged in inclusive political organizing and grassroots community dialogue in support of progressive causes.

Shekar is the co-founder of Communities Resist, a legal services organization that takes a community-rooted and intersectional approach to housing and racial justice in North Brooklyn and Queens. Shekar represents tenants and neighborhood coalitions in fair housing litigation and anti-displacement advocacy in some of the most gentrified neighborhoods in New York City. Shekar was an AABANY member and spoke on the Fall Conference panel: Fighting for Housing and Community Justice: The Role of Lawyers in the Movement.

Please join AABANY in congratulating both Shekar and Sandra for their election to the City Council. We thank them for their commitment to public service and we wish them every success as they begin their terms as City Council members.

Federal Judicial Clerkship Available 

ANNOUNCEMENT  

The Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, is currently accepting applications for one (1) clerkship position, starting in July  2022.  

Qualifications:  

At least two years of practice as an attorney prior to start date of clerkship.

Excellent grades. 

Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, although participation in Law Review or a Journal is not a prerequisite. 

Military and/or other life/career experience is a plus. 

Excellent organizational, administrative, and time management skills. 

Must be vaccinated fully against COVID-19 (including a booster shot). 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay in delivery and processing of U.S. mail, interested applicants must forward their application package in PDF format via email  to irizarry_chambers@nyed.uscourts.gov.  

Application package must include:  

One-page cover letter describing your background, career goals, and setting forth why you are interested in a clerkship with Judge Irizarry specifically.

Resume. 

Official law school transcript. 

One writing sample of recent vintage, no longer than 15 pages. Journal or research articles will NOT be accepted. 

Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a recent employer. The deadline for receipt of materials is February 4, 2022.

In the News: AABANY Member Jennifer Wu Quoted in NY1 Article on Hate Crimes

On December 8, 2021, NY1 News published an article titled “NYPD civilian panel investigates hate crimes as cases double.” The NYPD tasked a civilian panel to review more than a hundred cases potentially motivated by bias. The article highlights the following:

  • Reported hate crimes doubled this year to 503 as of Dec. 5
  • There were 249 arrests in these cases
  • Of the 503 reported hate crimes, 129 of them were against Asians  

Jennifer Wu, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Women’s Committee and a Partner of Paul, Weiss who has represented hate crime victims pro bono, is quoted in the article: “When people experience economic stress or a plague, a majority of people tend to blame a class of people.”

To read the full article, click here.

AABANY Congratulates Member Eunkyong Choi on Her Appointment as Special Trial Judge

On December 6, 2021, Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court, Maurice B. Foley announced that AABANY Member, Eunkyong Choi, has been selected to serve as a Special Trial Judge.

Eunkyong Choi holds a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Political Science from the University of Akron, and both a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the Washington University School of Law. In addition to time spent in private practice working on a variety of legal issues, Eunkyong taught Ethics & Media at Sanford Brown College and was a Lecturer in Law at the Washington University School of Law. Eunkyong spent several years working for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs), having served as the LITC Program Director for Nevada Legal Services from 2010-2014 and as a Supervising Attorney with the Washington University LITC from 2014- 2016. In June 2016, she became head of The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the New York City Department of Finance set up to help New York City residents with property and business tax problems after they have found difficulty in fixing them on their own.

Eunkyong spoke at the AABANY Fall Conference in 2017 in a program titled “The Melting Impôt: The Intersection Between Immigration and Tax.” The panel discussed tax issues faced by many immigrant and ESL taxpayers who are unaware of their taxpayer rights and responsibilities. In July 2018, AABANY co-sponsored Diversity Tax Day for Professionals Working with Limited English Proficiency Taxpayer in which Eunkyong was a guest speaker. In October 2020, she was a speaker on AABANY’s Real Estate Committee program, “New York City and Long Island Real Estate Taxes.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Eunkyong Choi on her appointment as Special Trial Judge in the United States Tax Court.

Academic Committee Hosts Annual Holiday Lunch

It was unseasonably warm on Thursday, December 16, when the Academic Committee hosted their Annual Holiday Lunch in the outdoor dining structure at Wu’s Wonton King in Manhattan Chinatown. Although Academic Committee Co-Chair Tom Lee (Fordham) wasn’t able to make it, Co-Chairs Elaine Chiu (St. John’s), Catherine Kim (Brooklyn), and Donna Lee (CUNY) happily hosted a select gathering, including Board Liaison Suzanne Kim, for a delicious holiday lunch that included shrimp & pork wonton (naturally), as well as a whole fried fish, crispy chicken, and a variety of dim sum dishes. All were grateful to AABANY member Chris Kwok for curating the menu, and to members Francis Chin and Shirley Lin for gracing the gathering with their presence. Lunch conversation ranged far and wide, and included discussion of emojis, and particularly the yellow colored “hands” on Zoom, e.g., the thumb’s up and thank you/high five/prayer emojis. Luncheon participants discussed the importance of distinguishing between “YBD” and “YBC.” Ask yourselves and your colleagues – are you “yellow by default” or “yellow by choice”?  Happy Holidays to All! To learn more about the Academic Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/352.

AABANY’s Career Placement Committee Hosts Virtual Diversity Career Fair

After taking a break last year due to the pandemic, the Career Placement Committee hosted a Virtual Diversity Career Fair on Saturday, November 13, 2021. The fair was a great opportunity for law students, young attorneys, and experienced attorneys to meet with employers and learn about various legal industries. The event ran from 10:00am-11:30am through Remo. Employers were assigned  informational tables while attendees, a mixture of law students and attorneys, circulated among the tables to meet with representatives from law firms, prosecutor’s offices, public interest organizations and companies.. Over twenty employers signed up for the event and close to ninety people attended.

The following employers signed up to participate:

Air Force NY National Guard JAG
Allen & Overy LLP
Berry Appleman & Leiden
Bronx County District Attorney’s Office
Communities Resist
Fish & Richardson PC
Kings County District Attorney’s Office
Legal Services NYC
MetLife
Mintz & Gold LLP
Nassau County District Attorney’s Office
New York City Administration for Children’s Services
New York City Law Department
New York County District Attorney’s Office
New York State Attorney General’s Office
Pollock Cohen LLP
Queen’s County District Attorney’s Office
Richmond County District Attorney’s Office
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District
Wells Fargo
Westchester County District Attorney’s Office

AABANY thanks the Career Placement Committee for organizing the event and all employers and participants who attended. To learn more about the Career Placement Committee, visit https://www.aabany.org/page/372.

NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON- On Dec. 13, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Koh is the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Koh on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the United States,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a devoted public servant, a trailblazer, a mentor to young lawyers, and a dear friend. She has and continues to make us so proud.

“Thank you, Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Koh. Thank you, President Biden for nominating her. And thank you Leader Schumer for announcing, during our annual NAPABA Convention, that Judge Koh would receive a floor vote.”

In 2010, Judge Koh made history, becoming the first Korean American federal district court judge when she was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to the federal bench, Judge Koh has served on the Superior Court of California, in the U.S. Department of Justice, as special counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an assistant U.S. attorney. Her nomination had strong bi-partisan support, including from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.