Restaurant Revitalization Fund Application is Opening!

Register in the SBA application portal this Friday, April 30 (Portal opens 9 AM)

Applications will open on Monday, May 3 (12 PM EST)

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is launching the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants keep their doors open. Qualifying businesses may receive funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss, up to $5 million ($10 million per business entity with multiple locations). Received funds spent on eligible uses until March 11, 2023 do not have to be repaid.

Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss:

  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

Eligible with onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts:

  • Bakeries 
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms 
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries 
  • Wineries and distilleries 
  • Inns 

Is your business majority-owned by Asian owners? Businesses owned more than 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will be given priority for review in the first 21 days of applications. Make sure to check the box self-certifying you are a socially disadvantaged individual!

For detailed information: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (sba.gov)

RRF Program Guide in Asian languages are available here: Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program Guide (sba.gov)

Application will be available only in English and Spanish. Prepare required documents and fill out the application practice form included in the in-language guide beforehand to ensure you are prepared to apply when the program launches!

Simplified Chinese:                                                                                                                   

政府餐饮复兴基金(RRF现正接受申请!

请于4月30日,本周五(系统将于早上9点开放)在美国小商业管理局 (SBA) 的系统进行意向登记

正式申请系统将于53日,周一,中午1200后开放

美国小商业管理局(SBA) 正在启动餐饮复兴基金(RRF)计划,该计划将为餐饮企业提供资助帮助他们继续日常经营。符合资格的企业可获得与其受疫情影响损失营收额等额的资助,最高可达500万美元(若企业同时有多家店面运营,最高额可达1000万美元)。只要受领人在 2023 年 3 月 11 日之前将补助金用于合规的用途,其无需偿还该补助金。

并且您的企业营收在疫情期间受到了影响,并属于以下类别即可申请:

  • 餐馆
  • 餐车和路边摊档、
  • 饮食承办商、
  • 酒吧、酒庄、小旅馆
  • 零食店或非酒精类饮品店
  • 其它持牌经营的酒类生产或销售企业

以下类别企业若线下零售额占企业总营收33%,也具有申请资格:

  • 面包店
  • 酒馆、品酒室、生啤酒吧
  • 啤酒厂和/或微型酿酒厂
  • 葡萄酒庄和蒸馏酒厂
  • 小旅馆

您的企业股权主要所有人为是亚裔吗?若企业股权51%由社会与经济弱势族群所有,建议您在开放申请后的头21天进行申请,您的申请将会被优先考虑。若您是亚裔,请务必在填写申请时勾选正确选项声明您属于弱势族群。

更多信息请参考: 餐饮振兴基金SBA

亚洲语种项目介绍: 餐饮振兴基金项目指南

SBA提供了中文申请表格翻译供参考,但申请系统仅有英文与西语,请在申请系统开放前准备好相应的英文文件和信息方便您第一时间递交申请。

Korean:

레스토랑 재부양 기금 프로그램 접수가  시작됩니다!

오는 금요일 (4월 30일) 오전 9시 부터 SBA 포털에 사전 등록해 계정를 만드세요

기금 프로그램 접수 5 3  12 시작

내달 3일 (월요일) 부터 미국 중소기업청(SBA)이 식당들을 지원하는 레스토랑 활성화 펀드(RRF)를 출범합니다. 자격을 갖춘 업체는 팬더믹 관련 매출 손실 금액에 해당하는 자금 (업체당 최대 500만 달러, 다중 소재지 사업체당 1,000만 달러)에 해당하는 자금을 지원받을 수 있으며, 2023년 3월 11일까지 적격 용도에 사용한 수령 자금은 상환할 필요가 없습니다.

기금 신청 자격 대상

코로나바이러스 팬더믹으로 수익 감소를 겪었으며 현재 영구 폐점상태가 아닌:

  • 레스토랑
  • 푸드 스탠드, 푸드 트럭, 푸드 카트
  • 케이터링 업체
  • 바, 술집, 라운지, 선술집
  • 스낵 및 무알콜 음료 바
  • 제품 시음/샘플링/구매 가능한 알코올 음료 제조 업체의 시설 혹은 부지로 허가를 받은 곳

2019 총수입액의 최소 33% 현장 판매였음을 증명할  있는 경우

  • 베이커리
  • 브루펍, 테이스팅 룸, 탭룸
  • 맥주 양조장, 소규모 맥주 양조장
  • 와인 양조장 혹은 증류주 공장
  • 여관

혹시 사업체의 소유주가 과반수 이상 아시안이십니까? 사회적·경제적 약자가 51% 이상 소유한 사업체는 신청 후 21일 이내에 심사를 우선적으로 받게 됩니다. 기금 신청시 자신이 사회적 약자인 것을 스스로 증명하는 박스를 반드시 체크하세요!

자세한 사항은: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (sba.gov)

한국어 가이드 보기 : http://bit.ly/hangulrrf

RRF 기금 지원은 영어와 스페인어로만 가능합니다. 필수 문서를 미리 준비해두고 한국어 가이드에 지원서류 샘플에 따라 미리 양식을 작성해 두시면 당일 지원에 도움이 됩니다.

Nepali

रेस्टुरेन्ट पुनरुद्धार कोषकोलागि निवेदन खुल्दै !

एस.बी. आवेदन पोर्टलमा यो शुक्रवारअप्रिल 30 तारिक मा दर्ता गर्नुहोस् (पोर्टल 9 बिहान खुल्नेछ) 

आवेदन सोमबारमे  तारिक (१२ बजे ) खुल्नेछ।

अमेरिकाको सानो व्यवसाय प्रशासन (एस.बि.ए.) ले रेस्टुरेन्टहरुलाई पूर्ण ब्यवसाय संचालन गर्नकालागि मद्दत पुर्याउन रेस्टुरेन्ट पुनरुद्धार कोष (आर. आर. एफ) शुरू गर्दैछ। योग्य व्यवसायहरूले उनीहरूको कोभिड-१९महामारीले गर्दा भएको राजस्व घाटा बराबर कोष प्राप्त गर्न सक्दछ। एस कोषद्वारा व्यवसायहरुले ५ मिलियन डलर (बहुविध स्थानहरूभएकाले १० मिलियन) सम्मको कोष प्राप्त गर्न सक्नेछन्। मार्च ११, २०२३ सम्म योग्य प्रयोगहरूमा खर्च गरिएको रकम फिर्ता तिर्नु पर्दैन।

महामारीका कारणले राजस्व घाटा अनुभव गरेका छन् निम्न संस्थाले एस कोषकालागि निवेदन दिन सक्नेछन्

  • रेस्टुराँ 
  • खाना स्ट्यान्ड, फूड ट्रक, फूड कार्ट (खानाको ठेला-गाडीहरु)
  • क्याटररहरू
  • बार, सैलुन, लाउन्ज, टाभर्नहरु
  • खाजा र मदिराबाहेक अन्य पेय सामग्री बार
  • लाइसन्सकासाथ पेय मदिरा उत्पादक/ उत्पादन गर्ने केन्द्र अथवा परिसर जहाँ सार्वजनिक रुपले ति पदार्थ चाख्न, नमुना लिन अथवा खरिद गर्न सकिन्छ

सार्वजनिक रुपले तेही इस्थाल्मा बिक्रि गर्ने  कम्तिमा पनि अनसाइट बिक्री सार्वजनिक गर्न योग्य कम्तिमा कूल रसिद को 33 33% समावेश:

  • बेकरीहरू
  • कुनै बनाइने ठाउँहरु 

Is your business majority-owned by Asian owners? Businesses owned more than 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will be given priority for review in the first 21 days of applications. Make sure to check the box self-certifying you are a socially disadvantaged individual!

For detailed information: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (sba.gov)

RRF Program Guide in Asian languages are available here: Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program Guide (sba.gov)

निवेदन इस्पेनिश  अंग्रेजी भाषाहरुमा मात्र उपलब्ध हुनेछ। आवश्यक कागजातहरू तयार गर्नुहोस्  निवेदन फारमज  तपाई प्रोग्राम सुरू हुन्छन् आवेदन गर्नको लागि तयार हुनुहुन्छ भनेर निश्चित गर्न इनभाषा गाईडमा समावेश गरिएको आवेदन अभ्यास फारम भर्नुहोस्।

NAPABA Applauds the Historic Nomination of Tana Lin to Serve the U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release: Date: April 29, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. If confirmed, Lin will be the first Asian American in the state of Washington to be a sitting Article III judge.

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic nomination to be the first Asian American district court judge on the federal bench in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She has a demonstrated commitment to her community, including as an active member of our NAPABA affiliate, the Asian Bar Association of Washington. We applaud President Biden for continuing to nominate judicial candidates who will better reflect the diversity of the communities and nation they are being called to serve.”

Ms. Lin has a strong record of public service beginning her career with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, handling cases at both the trial and appellate stages. She then joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she enforced federal anti-discrimination laws as a trial attorney with the Employment Litigation Section. She continued her public service at the Chicago office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated and litigated employment discrimination cases, enforcing civil rights statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Between 2001-2004, she was the litigation coordinator for the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Ms. Lin is currently of Counsel at Keller Rohback LLP where she handles a variety of complex litigation matters. Her pro bono work there includes securing a nationwide preliminary injunction against the suspension of follow-to-join refugee admissions which was part of the Muslim travel ban. With 30 years of legal experience, she has been named to the Super Lawyers List for Washington from 2012, and 2014-2020.

Ms. Lin immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was 3-years old, and worked her way through high school and also while attending Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.

NAPABA urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Tana Lin for District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington.

###

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

From the Boxing Ring to the Courtroom: Justice Peter Tom’s Life as a Pioneer

AABANY is proud to spotlight Hon. Peter Tom, the 2021 recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award. Justice Tom says he is honored to receive an award named after Judge Smith, whom he always considered a good judge and good friend. Judge Smith served on the New York Court of Appeals and was a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement. Since 2007, the honor in his namesake has been accorded to lawyers who demonstrate a similar level of commitment to legal excellence, community service and mentoring. Justice Tom has done just that in his trailblazing, thirty-plus year judicial career. 

After graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1975, Justice Tom joined the Civil Court of the City of New York as a Law Clerk, working on a wide variety of criminal and civil assignments. As he grew comfortable in the court system, he began rethinking his original plans to start his own law firm, and in 1985, Justice Tom became the first Asian American appointed to the Housing Court of the City of New York. Although he could not have known it then, this initial foray into the court system would launch a long and distinguished career of judicial “firsts” for an Asian American. In 1987, Justice Tom was one of the first Asian Americans elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York; in 1990, he became the first Asian American elected to the New York State Supreme Court in New York County; and from 1994 until 2008, he served as the first and only Asian American in the Appellate Division of the State of New York. 

While Justice Tom’s judicial career is defined by a multitude of groundbreaking rulings and widely publicized opinions, his success spanned beyond the walls of the courtroom. At age 18, Justice Tom became the first Asian American to win the New York Golden Gloves — amateur boxing’s most prestigious tournament. What began as a tactic for self-defense had landed him in Madison Square Garden’s ring on the week of four exams. As his attention flitted from schoolwork to boxing, the young Tom was learning a lesson that stuck with him even after he swapped his gloves for a gavel. In the words of the Justice, “You cannot excel at more than one thing in life because there’s just not enough time to prepare yourself. So work harder than the competition in whatever you do, and you’ll come out ahead.”

And work hard he did. While his days in retirement have been dedicated to exercise, art, and travel, Justice Tom spent much of his professional career burning the midnight oil. In his very first judicial position, the then-Housing Court Judge was swamped with twenty to thirty new cases on a daily basis. Justice Tom recalls laboring to reach as many settlements as possible on the weekdays before spending entire weekends writing legal opinions. During this time, a frequent visitor of his was the courthouse custodian, who would come in at midnight to send the indefatigable judge home before locking up. 

The concept of halfhearted work was just as foreign to Justice Tom then as it was years earlier in the boxing ring. While serving on the New York Supreme Court, he sought to instill the same tenacity in his interns, whom he taught that nothing short of absolute focus was essential for success. It is this sort of tireless work ethic that Justice Tom hopes to impress upon all aspiring jurists: “Nothing in life comes easy, so build a strong reputation for yourself by volunteering your time to your community and by working hard.”

Over the course of his judicial career, Justice Tom authored more than 500 legal opinions, many of which received front page coverage in the New York Law Journal. As a testament to the fairness of his decisions, the Court of Appeals regularly affirmed his opinions and used his dissents as the basis for reversal. In one of his most groundbreaking rulings, Justice Tom employed a 100-year-old “Bawdy House Statute” for the first time to evict drug dealers from residential property. His decision could not have come at a more opportune moment for New York, which was then being ravaged by the 1980s crack epidemic. Employing Justice Tom’s novel application of the statute, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office subsequently established a Narcotics Eviction Part throughout the city’s Civil Courts. The Justice’s ingenuity thereby helped to convert an obscure law from 1840 into a potent weapon for clearing out crack dens across the city.

While serving in the Appellate Division, Justice Tom enjoyed hearing cases on the whole spectrum of legal issues, from commercial and criminal to housing and family. One particular case, however, remains among his proudest accomplishments. People v. Luis Kevin Rojas centered on the wrongful murder conviction of Luis Rojas, whose lawyer had failed to investigate his alibi and even ineptly indicated during trial that Rojas was present at the crime scene. After his conviction, Rojas hired new lawyers and private investigators, who unearthed evidence that seemed to vindicate Rojas entirely. Writing for the appellate panel, Justice Tom castigated the defendant’s trial counsel for his “ignorance of the facts” and reversed Rojas’ conviction and his sentence of 15 years to life. Justice Tom’s decision, which saved an innocent man from a potential lifetime in prison, was featured in both the New York Times and the New York Law Journal.

Justice Tom’s first bench in the Appellate Division of the State of New York.

Though his extensive resume of legal triumphs might suggest otherwise, Justice Tom’s judicial path was not always seamless. Among the obstacles he faced was the former lack of a bar association representing Asian Americans. While AABANY now boasts nearly 1500 members as the nation’s largest affinity bar association, it was still a nascent organization — only one year old — when Justice Tom applied for his third judicial position in 1990. At the time, there were well-established ethnic bar associations for virtually all the other minority candidates. The Jewish Lawyers Guild had been established in 1962, the LGBT Bar Association of New York in 1978, and so on. Justice Tom’s ability to climb the court system without similar representation was the exception rather than the norm, as revealed by the paucity of Asian American judges seated back then.

While diversity on the bench has since increased, today’s courts are still far from reflecting the diversity of the communities they serve. Justice Tom identifies the lack of AAPIs in the judiciary as the primary reason that Asian Americans do not feel comfortable participating in the system. Particularly amid the ongoing surge in anti-Asian violence, Justice Tom says that many Asians view the predominantly white court system as a foreign institution — one where their chances of achieving proper recourse are slim. In this context, Justice Tom believes that his various judicial appointments have helped Asian Americans feel more like a part of the institution themselves. AAPIs constitute a large portion of the New York population, and representation in the judiciary must reflect this population. According to Justice Tom, greater representation of Asians among court personnel at all levels, from officers and reporters to clerks and judges, will increase the fairness of the institution in both appearance and reality.

Justice Tom served as Acting Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First
Department in 2007, 2009, and 2016.

As a harbinger of the increased diversity he hopes for, Justice Tom left a judicial legacy that doubtlessly merits NYSBA’s George Bundy Smith Pioneer award. Looking forward, he believes that AABANY’s rapid growth will enable the association to play a critical role in seating even more Asian Americans on the bench. Because judges can only say so much while remaining bipartisan, Justice Tom views AABANY as an advocate that can speak on behalf of budding Asian American jurists. One can only hope that among this group of aspirants, some will follow in Justice Tom’s footsteps and emerge as the next generation of legal pioneers. 

AABANY encourages everyone to attend the presentation of Justice Tom’s award at NYSBA’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Spring Meeting on Thursday, May 6, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The registration page for the award ceremony can be found here.

In the News: Chris Kwok Quoted in The City about Anti-Asian Harassment Incidents against Older Asian New Yorkers

On April 20, 2021, Board Director Chris Kwok was quoted in an article published by The City titled “Older Asians Face ‘A Whole Wave’ of Hate Hidden in Official NYPD Stats.” The article reviewed the NYPD’s statistics on harassment reports and highlighted the 11% increase of second-degree harassment incidents against Asian New Yorkers older than 65 in 2020 compared to 2019. Further, the article describes how reports of harassment are rarely investigated due to how hate crimes and harassment are classified under New York penal law and criminal procedural law. “For crimes against Asian Americans, it seems like there’s a default like we begin with ‘It’s not a hate crime’ and we’re going to have to look for things that prove it is,” stated Chris. He believes that district attorneys should elevate the charges to more serious offenses, even if they cannot be designated as hate crimes.  

The article notes that the NYPD has tried to prevent the increase of harassment incidents in New York by deploying undercover Asian police officers in the community: “In three incidents this month, undercover Asian police officers were targeted in Manhattan, according to the NYPD. All three suspects were arrested and charged with hate crimes. In the most recent incident, on Saturday, police allege a man attempted to shove the officer into subway tracks, saying: ‘That’s why you people are getting beat up. I got nothing to lose.'” Despite this, harassment cases are often dismissed by judges and anti-Asian violence incidents are still underreported.

Chris Kwok was also quoted in an April 15th World Journal article “仇恨亞裔案件列「反新冠」欄目 批評人士:警低估危機” about the underreporting of anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020.

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19March 1March 8March 15March 29, and April 12 quoting Chris Kwok or mentioning AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

In the News: AABANY Remote Clinic and Spring Break Caravan Featured in Columbia Law School Article

In the April 26 article “Columbia Law Students Participate in 2021 Virtual Spring Break Caravans,” Columbia Law School highlighted a few of the remote spring break pro bono caravans students participated in this year. One of the virtual caravans featured was the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Remote Clinic. During the spring break caravan, Columbia Law students helped update AABANY’s COVID-19 webpages, participated in client consultations with volunteer attorneys, and did research on consumer debt/foreclosure, immigration, housing, employment, and family law in New York. AABANY Student Leader Jenny Park (CLS’21) organized the caravan with AABANY “because it allowed students to become directly involved with COVID-19 relief efforts and address a specific need in a short period of time.”

To read more about participants’ experiences with the AABANY Spring Break Caravan and to read about other virtual caravans, click here. Thanks to Jenny Park for bringing AABANY and the Columbia Law School community together for this opportunity to provide pro bono resources for the community.

AABANY Hosts “The Surge in Anti-Asian Violence: Corporate Social Responsibility and Action” on April 9

On April 9, 2021, AABANY and a coalition of bar associations from across the country presented a CLE program titled, “The Surge in Anti-Asian Violence: Corporate Social Responsibility and Action.” About 500 attendees from all across the United States joined an esteemed panel of corporate in-house leaders in a discussion on how corporate employers can address the surge in anti-Asian violence and support their Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) employees. The panel included:

  • Sara Yang Bosco, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Emerson
  • Sam Khichi, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Becton, Dickinson and Company
  • Sandra Leung, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Allen Lo, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Products, IP, and Legal Operations, Facebook
  • Susan Moon, Principal Counsel, The Walt Disney Company
  • Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Western Union
  • Michael C. Wu (Moderator), GAPABA Board Member

Moderator Michael Wu began the panel discussion by describing how the coronavirus pandemic has become a virus of hate, with the increase of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans. To add to this, Sara Bosco emphasized the importance of reporting and providing visibility to these incidents and stated, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Asian Americans comprise 6% of the United States population, yet have been historically overlooked despite being part of U.S. history since the 1800s. Due to Asian Americans being viewed as perpetual foreigners and the model minority, coupled with the inaccurate information disseminated about the origins of the pandemic in 2020, Asian Americans have been perceived as an easier target to perpetrators of anti-Asian violence.

When asked how Corporate America should address anti-Asian violence, many of the panelists shared initiatives their workplaces started and gave suggestions on what companies can do. A main focus of the panelists was discussing how Asian employees can be supported in the workplace. To create a supportive environment, companies should reach out to AAPI employees and create an AAPI employee resource group in the workplace if there is not one already. Even if the organization does not have many AAPI employees, it is important for AAPI employees to meet others to increase their circle and build a larger voice. In addition, mental health resources and allyship training should be offered to employees within the workplace’s HR department. Panelists also agreed that not only should the diversity officers in the company address anti-Asian violence, but even CEOs need to speak up and make statements to show support for the AAPI community.

As individuals in the AAPI legal community, Sandra Leung said, “We are in a crisis situation right now with the rise of anti-AAPI hate, but it’s also an opportunity for us to band together to do our part individually or collectively in groups. We have to turn the emotion and anger that we have into action.” She further emphasized that we need to take leadership roles, speak loud, and educate people on anti-AAPI hate. In discussing leadership roles, Sandra Leung remarked, “I feel so compelled right now and so moved by everything we are facing in our community that I would love to run for President-Elect of NAPABA…” AABANY applauds Sandra Leung’s intent to run during these critical times and agrees that we have to continue working collectively to address anti-Asian violence.

Thank you to Sara Yang Bosco, Sam Khichi, Sandra Leung, Allen Lo, Susan Moon, Caroline Tsai, and Michael Wu for this important discussion on anti-Asian violence and corporate social responsibility. Non-transitional New York attorneys were eligible to receive a maximum of 1.5 CLE credit hours applied toward the Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias requirement. CLE credits were also approved in California and Colorado, and CPE credits were approved in British Columbia and Ontario. CLE credits have been applied for in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, and are pending approval. To view a recording of the program, click here or on the image above.

Board Officer Margaret Ling Speaks at New York Law School Community Day Symposium on April 20

On April 20th, 2021, AABANY Board Officer Margaret Ling was a speaker at the New York Law School Community Day Symposium entitled “The Pandemic and Structures of Inequality and Racism.” Margaret was invited by New York Law School faculty members, Professors Ann Thomas and Penelope Andrews. Margaret focused on Racism and the Law and specifically how Asian lawyers are stereotyped by the Model Minority Myth. She highlighted and discussed the recent findings and recommendations from the AABANY/Paul, Weiss report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence Against Asian Americans in New York During Covid-19. The discussion was engaging and informative for all of the New York Law School faculty and law students. Margaret is a New York Law School alumna (Class of 1983) and a Board Director of the New York Law School Alumni Association.

Young Lawyers Committee Hosts “Attorney Well-Being During COVID-19” Event

On April 15, AABANY’s Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) hosted a fireside chat titled “Attorney Well-Being During COVID-19.” In the face of isolating social distancing protocols and prolonged remote working arrangements, Committee Co-Chair Janet Jun organized and moderated the event in hopes of spurring more dialogue on the subject of wellness in the legal profession. Janet was joined by former AABANY President Glenn Lau-Kee and YLC Co-Chair Jane Jeong, who also hosts and produces The Whole Lawyer Podcast. At the intersection of law and wellness, Glenn serves as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, and Jane is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Wellness Committee. Together, the speakers led a candid discussion about the current state of mental health awareness, challenges in the legal profession, and tips for achieving attorney wellness during COVID-19 and beyond.

Janet kickstarted the discussion by asking about the promises and pitfalls of current efforts to improve wellness in the legal profession. Glenn spoke optimistically about NYSBA’s Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, which consists of nine working groups, each dedicated to a specific wellness issue. As the head of the working group on bar associations, Glenn described the end goal of the Task Force as a wholesale culture change in the legal profession. Glenn observed that attorneys tend to experience higher levels of stress than other professionals, with young lawyers bearing the brunt of this pressure. While larger law firms have established more initiatives to promote lawyer well-being, small firms and solo practitioners are disadvantaged by limited resources. In this context, Glenn identified bar associations as a possible avenue for equalizing wellness resources. 

Diverging from Glenn’s opinion, Jane insisted that personal connections — not institutional initiatives — are the proper foundation for a more comprehensive culture of wellness. Invoking the fireside chat as an example, Jane stated that change starts at the individual level, with the creation of safe spaces for authentic conversations about personal mental health struggles.

Janet continued the discussion by asking about the source of rampant anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in the legal profession. Glenn broke the problem down into three factors: (1) a lack of boundaries for down time, (2) client expectations and demands, and (3) financial pressures. Jane connected the first and third factors, explaining that the billable hour gives lawyers a systematic incentive to work ceaselessly. Deeming many lawyers to be perfectionists who are conditioned to tie their self-worth to external accomplishments, Jane also said that self-selection bias contributes to a workaholic legal culture.

AABANY Board Member Andy Yoo joined the discussion by asking about ways in which clients can help drive change. Glenn and Jane both responded by stating that leadership buy-in is an essential catalyst for change. As Jane explained, how CEOs and CLOs treat their employees trickles down to how employees treat external counsel.

Cynthia Lam, AABANY’s Co-Vice President of Programs and Operations, then asked the speakers to share their personal strategies for maintaining well-being. Glenn emphasized the community aspect of any individual effort to promote self-care. He urged lawyers to look beyond their own team members, who are all fixated on the same work, and reach out to family members, friends, and colleagues outside of their firms. Moving forward, Glenn hopes that bar associations will also play a greater role in providing lawyers with a sense of community. 

In enhancing her own mental health, Jane underscored the importance of setting and communicating boundaries with colleagues. She encouraged attendees not to cancel social plans for work except in the rare case of an emergency. Drawing on experience from her early career, Jane explained that by always saying yes to external requests, she had taught others that it was okay to overwork her. The lesson Jane derived from this experience was to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. 

Ultimately, Glenn and Jane urged attendees to carve out time for themselves to participate in communities and activities that are wholly unrelated to the law. While Jane personally benefits from working out, writing fiction, and doing yoga, she encouraged lawyers to access their own creative and reflective sides in whatever way works for them. Janet concluded the fireside chat by appealing to the desire of all attendees to be good lawyers. Only by striking a proper work-life balance can attorneys be fully enthusiastic about their careers and clients. To this extent, valuing well-being in one’s own life can help us all become more present in the lives of those around us.

AABANY thanks Janet, Glenn, and Jane for sharing their insights and leading this dialogue on the ever-relevant topic of attorney well-being. To learn more about the Young Lawyers Committee and its work, click here.

NAPABA Statement on the Senate Confirmation of Vanita Gupta

For Immediate Release: Date: April 21, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Vanita Gupta on her historic bipartisan confirmation by the Senate, to serve as Associate Attorney General in the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the third highest ranking position at the Department. She now becomes the most senior Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) leader at DOJ ever, and the first woman of color to serve as Associate Attorney General.

“NAPABA is thrilled that the Senate has confirmed Vanita Gupta to lead the DOJ’s efforts in the critical areas of civil rights, the environment, justice-oriented grant making, community policing, community relations, violence against women, tax enforcement, antitrust, and ensuring the rights of service members and veterans, among other responsibilities” said A. B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Her tenure could not have come at a more pivotal time for so many populations of color and vulnerable people, especially as we face an onslaught of anti-Asian hate crimes and bias-motivated attacks against our communities.” 

NAPABA applauds President Biden for nominating Ms. Gupta to the position and the Senate for confirming her at this crucial time.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

Statement On S. 937 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

For Immediate Release: Date: April 22, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

Today, the United States Senate, in an overwhelmingly 94-1 bipartisan vote, passed S. 937, the “COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act” introduced by Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI).  This legislation requires that the U.S. Department of Justice designate a point person whose sole responsibility is to facilitate the expedited review of hate crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the legislation recognizes a “COVID-19 hate crime” as an act of violence motivated by the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person based on their race, ethnicity, age, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. The Senate-passed legislation also incorporates the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act which increases resources for hate crimes reporting and assistance for victims of hate crimes.

“NAPABA congratulates the Senate for passing this important legislation, and Senator Hirono for her leadership on this issue,” said NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III. “This bill squarely addresses one of the root causes of the increase in hate crimes and bias-motivated incidents being committed against the Asian American community – the dangerous rhetoric and falsehood that somehow Asian Americans are responsible for the COVID-pandemic. NAPABA is committed to ensuring justice for hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents committed against the Asian American community, and looks forward to swift passage in the House and enactment into the law.”

NAPABA believes this bill will help state and local law enforcement to better investigate and record hate crimes and hate incidents and prosecute them where appropriate. The legislation also requires the Department of Justice to issue guidance on establishing online hate crimes and hate incident reporting in multiple languages, and to work with the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidance on best practices to mitigate discriminatory language in describing the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response to the surge in attacks against Asian Americans in the wake of the pandemic, NAPABA in partnership with the APIA Health Forum have produced a hate crimes reporting toolkit – translated into 25 languages and English – the single largest collection of different AAPI-language materials assembled, that provides basic and critical information for victims, community based organizations, and community leaders. 

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.