Columbia APALSA held its 7th annual conference at the Columbia Law School on Saturday, February 10th, 2018. AABANY members Lawrence Wee, Kathy Hirata Chin, and Andrew Hahn Sr. spoke on the Networking and Community Leadership panels, and were joined by other inspiring leaders in the legal profession, such as Hon. Denny Chin of the Second Circuit, and June Dipchand, a partner at Skadden. From APA Representation in the Judicial Branch to Private Sector Leadership, the conference featured a wide array of topics relevant to this year’s theme of “Inspiring the Future: Celebrating APA Leadership in the Legal Field.”

During the Community Leadership panel, Kathy Hirata Chin remarked on the importance of speaking up and getting involved in bar associations like AABANY to improve APA representation in the legal profession. Former AABANY President Andrew Hahn Sr. emphasized that those who were active in their communities were less likely to burn out in their legal careers, and almost all speakers across the different panels advocated for breaking the stereotype of APAs as quiet, timid, and unwilling to speak up. Many speakers also gave the advice of “being your own best advocate.”

Later in the conference, AABANY Board Member Lawrence Wee led a networking panel wherein he discussed making the best out of any conversation in a professional setting. Aside from giving “cocktail party hat” pointers for networking, Lawrence also highlighted the importance of trust in professional relationships and the value of time in the workplace.

At the end of the conference, AABANY members joined lawyers, law students, and panelists for an informal networking session accompanied by light refreshments. Kathy Hirata Chin was honored for her efforts and leadership in the APA and legal community with the Hong Yen Chang Award, which was named after Mr. Hong Yen Chang, the first Chinese immigrant and Asian attorney licensed to practice law in New York. He moved to California but his application to be admitted to that bar was rejected, due to his inability to be naturalized after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 18882. For more about Hong Yen Chang (who AABANY made an honorary member in 2014) go here.

AABANY was the CLE provider for the event. We were proud to co-sponsor the conference with Columbia APALSA, and we thank everyone who came for their attendance and participation. Congratulations to Kathy Chin on a well-deserved honor and recognition.