Press Release: NAPABA Opposes Indiana Governor’s Passage of Anti-LGBT Bill

March 30, 2015

Contact: AuriaJoy Asaria
(202) 775-9555, ext. 3

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law SB 101, legislation that would enable businesses to discriminate under the banner of religious freedom against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Religious claims have in the past been used to justify slavery, segregation, and bans on interracial marriage and are now being used in the same manner to support discrimination against LGBT individuals.

“Governor Pence’s decision to support a law that permits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is disheartening and a step backwards for all Americans,” said George C. Chen, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Religious freedom is important, but discrimination masked as religious freedom is not acceptable anywhere in our nation.”

With this new law, Indiana has become the first state in the U.S. this year to enact legislation by allowing corporations and individuals to refuse to provide services to individuals simply by asserting that a discriminatory act is based on a sincerely held religious belief. Supporters of the bill deny that the bill is about discrimination and argue that religious liberties are under attack and must be protected. But this kind of legislation opens the door for widespread discrimination and goes against American values of diversity and inclusion. NAPABA supports efforts to oppose SB 101 and similar bills pending in others states to ensure equality for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 70 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

AALFNY Community Service Scholarships, Deadline Extended to Mar. 31

Each year, the Asian American Law Fund of New York awards up to three scholarships of up to $5,000 to law students that are committed to helping the Asian American community in New York. The Fund recognizes that at a time when money is tight, committing one’s time to our community service organizations can be a financial strain, especially when considering law school tuition and living expenses.

If you are a law student and are planning to work with a community service organization in the New York area during the summer 2015, you are eligible to apply. The completed Scholarship Application and all required materials must be postmarked by March 31, 2015. The recipients will be announced April 20, 2015. Click here to download the application.

Congratulations to Jean Lee

Congratulations to AABANY Past President and Board Director Jean Lee, recipient of the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York’s Trailblazer Award! Jean Lee will be honored alongside Korea Ambassador Oh Joon at KALAGNY’s 29th Anniversary Gala on June 10, 2015 at Capitale.

Jean has been making waves for quite some time now. She was also recently honored as a Council of Urban Professionals Catalyst for Change. Since her AABANY presidency in 2012, she has served on AABANY’s Board of Directors. We’re lucky to have her passion and guidance.

To purchase tickets to the KALAGNY Gala, click here. If you have any questions regarding their gala, contact [email protected].

Pictured here: Jean Lee introducing the Don H. Liu Scholarship Program at the AABANY 2015 Annual Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street

Pictured here: Jean Lee (third from the left) among friends/AABANY members at CUP’s Lawyers Forum

AABANY 2015 Membership Committee Delegate Program

Membership Secretary Irene Tan is seeking interested law students to serve as Membership Committee Delegates for AABANY. As a Membership Committee Delegate, law students will participate on the Membership Steering Committee and have the opportunity to work with senior leadership to develop and execute key strategic membership initiatives for the organization.  

Membership Committee Delegates are required to attend a minimum of four AABANY-sponsored events in a semester where the Membership Committee Delegate will assist with checking in attendees at events, distributing marketing materials, and promoting the organization. Membership Committee Delegates will be invited to participate on other Membership projects on an ad hoc basis.

This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting more involved in the organization. Membership Committee Delegates will attend AABANY events for free, quickly develop an expansive network within the organization, and contribute to and collaborate on membership initiatives for one of the largest minority bar associations in New York.

KALAGNY Congratulates the Honorable Kathryn Paek

AABANY joins the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York in congratulating the Honorable Kathryn Paek on her historic appointment.

Here’s the announcement from KALAGNY:

The Honorable Kathryn Paek was appointed as a Judge of the New York City Criminal Court. She is the first Korean American woman judge in the New York State courts.

Judge Paek is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and appointed to the bench this year by the New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.  Prior to her appointment, she was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Policy and Planning for the New York State Court System.  She was also a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society  in the Criminal Defense Division and the Immigration Unit.

Congratulations, Judge Paek!

Take The ATL/MoFo Communication Challenge!

Take The ATL/MoFo Communication Challenge!

CUNY Thomas Tam Scholarship

Application Due: June 30, 2015

The Thomas Tam Scholarship is funded by an endowment established by the City University of New York in recognition of Dr. Thomas Tam’s contributions as a former member of the CUNY Board of Trustees, founding Executive Director of the Asian American / Asian Research Institute, and leadership in the Asian American community. The Scholarship awards $1,000 to an individual qualified undergraduate student that is currently enrolled at any of the twenty-one colleges within CUNY, who has demonstrated creativity in the communication of the concerns of the Asian American community in areas such as Health, Education, Culture, Media and Advocacy. Last year’s recipient was Ms. Baozhen Xie, a student at Brooklyn College for her project on health and nutrition among Asian seniors.

The 2015 CUNY Thomas Tam recipient will be honored at AAARI’s 14th annual gala on Thursday, November 19, 2015.


2015 NAPABA Lobby Day Registration—Open Now!

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is now accepting registration for the 2015 Annual Lobby Day, which will be held in Washington, DC, from May 18-19. This event is an opportunity for NAPABA members from across the country to educate members of Congress and congressional staffers on issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American (APA) community. Lobby Day also gives members an active role in promoting NAPABA’s mission of advocating for justice, equity, and opportunity for APAs.

Participants will meet with legislators and voice their perspectives on a range of topics. As a participant, you will be given all the information and materials you need to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill. Registration for Lobby Day includes a webinar training prior to Lobby Day as well as onsite training the day of, so that all participants are prepared for meetings with congressional members and staffers.

Lobby Day:
Congressional Reception (May 18, 2015):

Stipends are available for NAPABA members traveling to Lobby Day from out of town. The deadline to submit an application is April 3, 2015 at 11:59 pm PST. To apply for a 2015 Lobby Day stipend please click here.

More 2015 Lobby Day information here

NYIC Press Statement: Federal, State, and Local Government, Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Issue Alert, Warning Immigrants of Legal Assistance Fraud

(Issued Tuesday, March 17, 2015)

Press Contact:
Thanu Yakupitiyage; New York Immigration Coalition
[email protected]; Office: 212-627-2227 x235; Cell: 413-687-5160

***** SCAM ALERT*****

Government, law enforcement and community leaders today warned that immigrants seeking legal assistance should take precautions against scammers seeking to take advantage of them with incorrect, misleading, or false information. Officials expect that these scammers will use the delay in President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration programs to confuse immigrant consumers into being defrauded out of their hard-earned money, and endanger their ability to stay and work in this country.

Due to a federal court order delaying immigration relief, the federal government will not begin accepting requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), nor for the expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), until later in 2015. This delay in the implementation of the immigration programs may lead to more immigrant New Yorkers being defrauded by con artists posing as immigration attorneys or authorized immigration representatives, who charge fees for services that are never provided.

Immigrant consumers should make sure to get advice from the right person – whether you are renewing your Green Card, applying for naturalization or citizenship, or trying to choose the right forms.

  • Only lawyers and representatives accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) can provide advice, assistance and representation on immigration matters.
  • Anyone providing immigration services must also comply with strict rules governing contracts and advertising.

Tips on how immigrants can protect themselves from immigration services fraud:

  1. Call a qualified provider – you can get a free referral by calling the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636.
  2. Make sure to get a contract, and don’t sign it until it has been explained to you.
  3. Pay with a check or money order. Don’t pay cash.
  4. Always get a receipt.
  5. Get and maintain copies of all forms and documents sent on your behalf.
  6. Don’t sign blank forms or documents that you don’t understand.
  7. Get a second opinion.

For more information about immigration issues or to seek a referral for assistance from a local community-based organization,call the free multi-lingual New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. Anyone can also call the Hotline if they suspect they are or have been a victim of immigration services fraud.  

This consumer alert is brought to you by:

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office
Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
Queens District Attorney’s Office
New York City Council
New York City Public Advocate
New York State Office for New Americans
Office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
American Immigration Lawyers Association – NY
Catholic Charities Community Services
Immigrant Justice Corps
Legal Aid Society of New York
Make the Road New York
New Immigrant Community Empowerment
New York Immigration Coalition
New York Legal Assistance Group

# # #

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.