Letter from AABANY President Will Wang

Dear AABANY Members:

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer as well as enjoying AABANY’s 2015-16 year-to-date.  AABANY has been very busy charting new frontiers and I know many of you have been along for the ride.  Our spring and summer have been jam-packed months full of events, networking opportunities, and continuing legal education.

AABANY has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous events throughout the year thus far and I will attempt to highlight some of our most prominent achievements.  

In April, AABANY co-sponsored, with the Korean American League for Civil Action (“KALCA”), a forum on the Specialized High School Admissions Test to discuss and weigh-in on efforts to change the way admissions to specialized New York City high schools are administered.  AABANY also organized weekend cultural tours of the New-York Historical Society exhibit called “Chinese-American: Exclusion-Inclusion.”

The month of May, which is APA Heritage Month, was certainly an exciting and historic month.  Our Women’s Committee held its New York premiere of “Kicking Glass From the Courtroom to the Boardroom: Two Decades and Counting,” a video project followed by a panel discussion covering the hurdles women have faced in the legal profession, the successes they have achieved, and what success means to them.  

Kathy Chin and Judge Denny Chin continued their extremely successful trial re-enactments series with “Justice Denied: Ward’s Cove Packing Co., Inc. v. Atonio,” which was performed at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Also in May, New York City welcomed two new judges to the bench who made history with their appointments.  Judge Raja Rajeswari became the first India-born woman to be appointed to the bench in New York City.  Judge Kathryn Paek  became the first Korean-American woman judge on the bench in New York State.  Both women were appointed to the New York City Criminal Court by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

In June, AABANY hosted its annual In-House Counsel & Corporate Law Wine Tasting & Networking Reception at STK Downtown. Our Prosecutors’ Committee hosted its 7th Annual Reception, at Brooklyn Law School, honoring Joon Kim, Deputy United Sates Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the family of the late Detective Wenjian Liu.

We also welcomed two new Board members to our AABANY family: Diane Gujarati (Deputy Chief, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York) and Emily Kim (Chief Policy and Legal Officer, Success Academy Charter Schools).  

Finally, our Past President and current Board member, Jean Lee, was honored with the Trailblazer Award at KALAGNY’s 29th Anniversary Gala.  Our In-House Counsel Committee Co-chair Austin So was honored with the Corporate Leadership Award at APALA-NJ’s 18th Anniversary Gala.  

Of course, the biggest legal news of June was the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision on marriage equality.  It was a watershed moment that AABANY was proud to bask in along with the community at-large.

Our annual Fall Conference will take place on September 19th, hosted by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.  The website for the conference is up (conference2015.aabany.org) and I encourage you to mark your calendars, register, and attend.  

Finally, the NAPABA National Convention is in New Orleans this November 5-8, 2015.   Join us in N’awlins and Po’Boys are on me.

This article was originally published in the Summer 2015, Volume XVI, Issue III of The AABANY Advocate, which can be read in its entirety here. To see all past versions of The AABANY Advocate, click here. To learn more about AABANY’s newsletter, you can email [email protected].

Will Wang is AABANY’s President 2015-2016. To read his bio, you can click here. You can reach him at [email protected].

CKA National Summit & Gala 2015 | Council of Korean Americans

CKA National Summit & Gala 2015 | Council of Korean Americans

Thomas J. Byrne Joins The Korea Society as President

(New York, NY) The Korea Society is pleased to announce that Thomas J. Byrne has accepted the Board of Directors’ nomination as President of The Korea Society, and began his term on August 17, 2015. With his long financial market experience and proactive leadership, President Byrne aims to guide the Society as the premier forum in the United States for issues concerning Korea.

“Many of us know Tom primarily for his perceptive political and economic analysis.  Deep down, Tom is a true Korean at heart, who became deeply committed to Korea and its culture as a Peace Corp volunteer,” said The Korea Society Chairman Thomas Hubbard in welcoming President Byrne. “We will benefit greatly from his expertise and dedication to our mission.”

Under his leadership, the Korea Society will highlight U.S.-Korea economic and policy priorities and bolster the Society’s corporate programs. This will help to nurture further the close alliance through The Korea Society’s well-established cultural, educational, and policy programs.

President Byrne has longstanding connections with Korea, dating back to his three-year service as a US Peace Corps volunteer. Prior to joining the Society, he was a Senior Vice President at Moody’s Investors Service, serving as its spokesperson, director of analysis, and manager of the Sovereign Risk teams in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. Before moving to Moody’s in 1996, he was the Senior Economist in the Asia Department of The Institute of International Finance in Washington, DC. President Byrne holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations with an emphasis on economics from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The Korea Society is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501©(3) organization with individual and corporate members that is dedicated solely to the promotion of greater awareness, understanding, and cooperation between the people of the United States and Korea. In pursuit of its mission, the Society arranges programs that facilitate discussion, exchanges, and research on topics of vital interest to both countries in the areas of public policy, business, education, intercultural relations, and the arts.