NYC American Family Educational Program Offerings

The NYC not-for-profit American Family agency is offering educational programs for community members on Anger Management, Parenting Skills, Domestic Violence, Alcohol Addiction, and Life Coaching.

All programs cost $25.00 per hour and a non-refundable $35.00 registration fee. At the end of each program, attendees will obtain a letter and certificate, to be delivered to the Court or entity that has referred them. Each class is 2 hours and each program includes 16 hours.

Class Schedule:

Tuesday: 6:30 pm to 8:30pm – Spanish

Saturdays: 10 am to 12 noon – Spanish

Saturdays: 1 pm to 3 pm – English

For more information on these program offerings, please see the American Family Community Services website.

Carol Lee Honored with ALI’s Distinguished Service Award

AABANY congratulates Carol Lee, Advisory Committee member, on being honored with the American Law Institute’s Distinguished Service Award at their 96th Annual Meeting on May 22, 2019. The American Law Institute was founded in 1923 and is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The American Law Institute’s Distinguished Service Award is given to a member who has played a major role in Institute over many years.

Carol Lee is Special Counsel at Taconic Capital Advisors, an SEC-registered investment advisor based in New York City that manages private investment funds with total assets under management of approximately $6.7 billion. She has clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for Justice John Paul Stevens of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Lee was elected to the American Law Institute in February 2008 and was elected to the Council in May 2012. She is also a member of the Projects Committee and previously served on the Investment Committee.

Ms. Lee was presented the award by Raymond J. Lohier Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to honor the significant contributions she made to the American Law Institute over the years. To see photos from the awards presentation go to https://www.ali.org/news/articles/carol-f-lee-receives-alis-distinguished-service-award/.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Carol Lee on receiving this well-deserved honor.

NAPABA Voter Eligibility | July 1 Affiliate Membership Activation & Direct Member Renewal

To be eligible to vote in this year’s NAPABA elections, you must be a current direct NAPABA member OR activate your NAPABA affiliate membership online by July 1, 2019.

AABANY is a NAPABA affiliate, and if you are an AABANY member you are eligible for free NAPABA affiliate membership but you must activate it for it to be effective. For directions on how to activate your NAPABA affiliate membership in time to vote, please contact Margaret Langston at margaret.langston@aabany.org, between the hours of 9:30 am – 1:30 pm, until FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2019.

To review NAPABA’s Membership FAQs Sheet, go to https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.napaba.org/resource/resmgr/membership/napaba_membership_faqs.pdf

Kathy Hirata Chin Honored with the Inaugural Hong Yen Chang Award at the New York County Lawyers Association on May 28th

Many congratulations to longstanding AABANY member Kathy Hirata Chin on being honored by the Columbia Law School Association and Asian Columbia Alumni Association with the inaugural Hong Yen Chang Award at the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) at 14 Vesey Street on Tuesday, May 28. The event was co-sponsored by AABANY, the Asian Practice Committee of NYCLA, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, and the Network of Bar Leaders. We were joined by many AABANY community members and Columbia alumni. Ms. Chin is a 1980 graduate of the Columbia Law School.

The well-attended reception began with AABANY Development Director Margaret Ling providing a brief history of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. She highlighted two key dates in Asian American history: May 7th, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States in 1842, and May 10th, when the transcontinental railroad was completed with the help of Chinese laborers in 1869.

Then, NYCLA’s secretary Jai Chandrasekhar welcomed guests to the reception and shared some of Hong Yen Chang’s achievements, including being the first Chinese person in the United States to graduate from an American law school, in 1886.

Next, the Hon. George B. Daniels shared some of Kathy Hirata Chin’s achievements as an accomplished litigator and community member.

Then, AABANY’s Executive Director Yang Chen read from the introduction to the Portrait Project, the first-ever comprehensive study of Asian Americans in the legal profession, which spoke on the progress today of Asian Americans as big firm lawyers, government attorneys, corporate counsel members, public defenders, judges and more—reaching “levels of legal participation unthinkable compared to just over 30 years ago.” He made this reference to comment on how far Asian Americans in the legal profession have come from Hong Yen Chang’s time and have yet to go.

Bridgette Ahn, the current president of the Network of Bar Leaders, then took the podium to share brief remarks on NYCLA’s work and mission. Rudy Carmenaty, the President of the Columbia Law School Association, followed up by illuminating more of Ms. Chin’s achievements and the reasons for holding the Hong Yen Chang reception.

Then, the honoree Kathy Hirata Chin shared an engaging presentation on Hong Yen Chang’s remarkable life, including many long forgotten and little known details about his achievements at a time when discriminatory laws and attitudes toward Asians were far more prevalent.

Finally, Ms. Chin was presented with the inaugural Hong Yen Chang award honoring her trailblazing achievements in the spirit of Hong Yen Chang. Her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, added his reflections. He stated, “Kathy is a wonderful, caring, gracious, hard working, brilliant person. And beyond that, she is a terrific lawyer, a pioneer in her own right as an Asian American woman—a litigator—making her mark at a time when law firms were still holding events at male owning clubs. And there were zero Asian American partners.”

Regarding Ms. Chin’s accomplishments, as stated in AABANY’s press release, “[she] has handled dozens of appellate cases, concentrating her practice in healthcare and real estate…. She has served on Governor Mario M. Cuomo’s Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department from 1992-1994; the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York from 1992-1999; the Gender Bias Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Race, and Ethnic Fairness; the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Task Force to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession; and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections from 2003-2006; and the New York County Lawyers’ Association Board of Directors. In April 2016, she was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the First Department Judicial Screening Committee. Since January 2016, Chin has served as a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council Committee on Civic Education & Public Engagement, focusing on historic reenactments as a teaching tool. With her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and teams of lawyers and judges from AABANY, she has developed and presented reenactments of famous cases such as Korematsu vs. U.S, to educate the community about the significant contributions of Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.”

Regarding Hong Yen Chang, according to AABANY’s press release: “In 1872, 13-year-old Hong Yen Chang came to the United States to be groomed as a diplomat. He earned degrees from Yale University and Columbia University’s law school and passed the bar exam. However, after passing the bar examination, he was first denied admission because of his lack of U.S. citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. A special act of the New York Legislature (N.Y. L.1887 c. 249) allowed his admission despite this bar and in 1888, Hong Yen Chang reportedly became the first Asian American attorney admitted to the bar in New York. Hong Yen Chang then moved to California and applied for admission to the bar there but was denied in 1890 due to his lack of citizenship. Not until 2015 was this exclusion remedied, when the California Supreme Court granted an application from members of the UC Davis Asian Pacific American Law Students Association for posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Kathy Hirata Chin on all of her achievements and on her well-deserved honor at the inaugural Hong Yen Chang reception.

Thanks to Kevin Hsi for providing the photos for this blog post.

Congratulations to Joon Kim on Receiving the Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, Joon Kim, Partner at Cleary Gottlieb and AABANY member, was presented with the Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award at the New York State Bar Association’s “Smooth Moves: Career Strategies for Attorneys of Color” program at Lincoln Center. The Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award recognizes lawyers who demonstrate commitment to legal excellence, community service and mentoring. The program was sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Joon Kim has led a distinguished career over two decades at high levels of government and in private practice at Cleary Gottlieb, personally trying over a dozen federal jury trials and actively participating in dozens more. He is also a regular speaker and panelist at leading industry conferences on criminal and regulatory matters.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Joon Kim for this well-deserved award and honor.

Photo courtesy of Cleary Gottlieb. Used with permission.

Membership Mixer

On Wednesday, May 28, 2019, AABANY’s Career Placement and Student Outreach Committees hosted the first Membership Mixer of the new fiscal year at Cajunsea on West 33rd Street.

Well over 30 attendees gathered and mingled while enjoying drinks, oysters, and snacks. The Membership Mixer is just one of many events that AABANY’s Membership Committee is hosting to engage current and future members. Co-Chairs from the Career Placement Committee and Student Outreach Committee were present to meet with attendees and introduce them to the work of those committees.

Membership Committee Co-Chairs, Beatrice Leong and Christopher Bae, were on hand and made an announcement about upcoming events, which include an off-Broadway outing for “You never touched the dirt” and a Mets game at Citi Field. Please visit our calendar to learn more about our upcoming events by going to https://www.aabany.org/events/event_list.asp.

We thank everyone that braved the rain to attend the event and made it a great success.

Robert H. Jackson Center Commemorates the 75th Anniversary of Korematsu v. U.S.

In coordination with the Robert H. Jackson Center and the Asian American Bar Association of New York, Phillips Lytle LLP presented a two-day event at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York.  On May 13, 2019, the film “Of Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story” was screened after a reception, and on May 14, 2019, Karen Korematsu (Fred’s daughter) introduced the powerful reenactment of “Korematsu v. U.S.: Justice Denied,” which was led by the Hon. Denny Chin of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Kathy Hirata Chin, partner at Crowell & Moring LLP.  Thomas Luftus, a retired lawyer and Justice Jackson’s grandson, played the role of Justice Jackson. Prof. John Q. Barrett of St. John’s University, a Jackson biographer, closed out the program by speaking about the legal issues and historical events that led up to, and followed, the Korematsu v. U.S. decision.

To learn more about AABANY’s Trial Reenactments Project visit the website at reenactments.aabany.org.

Thanks to Anna Mercado Clark, Phillips Lytle Partner and AABANY member, for the photos and summary.