Congratulations to Sam Lui, Co-Chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, on being named AABANY’s Member of the Year. This honor was announced at the Annual Meeting on Feb. 13, with Sam participating by video on WhatsApp because he was traveling overseas at the time. Sam was in New York City last week before heading to Los Angeles where he has moved to take on a new career opportunity. While he was here, AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen took the opportunity to present him with the Member of the Year Award in person at AABANY’s office at 45 Rockefeller Plaza.
Sam received this honor for all his great work leading the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee during the last few years. Under his leadership, AABANY launched the monthly pro bono clinic at the end of 2015 and it has grown and thrived in the last two years to the point that it has become a true community resource.
Here is an excerpt from the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee’s report in the 2017 Year End Report, to give everyone a sense of what the pro bono clinic is like:
It is the 2nd Wednesday of the month about 6:00 pm. Carrying two heavy bags of food, I walked up to the second floor of the building. The hallway was narrow with row of chairs lining up on one side. I could barely walk to the end of the hallway without bending sideways. Already, the chairs were all filled with people. For some reason, every one of them realized that I am an attorney who will somehow help them with their legal inquiries. They were all smiling and greeting me. Wait a minute, I thought, these people are not supposed to be here until 6:30pm! When I arrived at the small conference room where the rest of the volunteers are, I greeted them and “begged” them to eat the dinner that I brought in first, because they would not have a chance to eat later. Then, I was told that some of the clients have arrived as early as 5:00pm! They were afraid that they could not get a chance to see an attorney. Some came from as far as New Jersey and Connecticut. When I started to take down each client’s name and basic information, they were very kind and smart: many of them wrote down their name and their legal issues on the small ticket that they have received upon arrival. They were very helpful to me so that in turn, I can be helpful to them!
Thanks to Sam for his outstanding dedication and commitment to serving the public interest, especially in the under-served Asian American community in New York. Congratulations and well-deserved! Best of luck to Sam in all his future endeavors.