We pause to remember the lives of eight people lost, including six Asian women, in the Atlanta-area shootings one year ago. As we continue to grapple with the continued impact of anti-Asian hate and violence on our communities, we hope you are taking care and finding space for reflection and healing. We invite you to join and share events from the NAPABA community and affiliates.
Join GAPABA in partnership with The AAPI Crime Victims & Education Fund, The GAPABA Law Foundation, NAAAP-Atlanta, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta. Register for the event here.
All proceeds go towards the AAPI Crime Victims & Education Fund. If you would like to make an extra online donation, you may do so here.
On March 15, 2022, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado is hosting a press conference and panel discussion at the Colorado School of Public Health’s Injury & Violence Prevention Center where members of the media and community are invited to learn about the issues impacting the AAPI community and what the community needs in order to end gun violence and hate crimes. Following the press conference, a panel will discuss resources for coping with the trauma associated with community victimization, and tools for where we – as a community – go from here. Register here to attend in-person or via Zoom.
On March 16, 2022, the Asian American Bar Association of Houston is sponsoring the Houston component of the National Asian Women’s rally on the one-year anniversary of the tragic Atlanta spa shootings.
Similar rallies will take place simultaneously in Atlanta, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Sacramento, Washington D.C., and other cities around the country. The Houston rally will be held at Discovery Green in downtown Houston at 6:00 pm CT.
The goal of the event is to uplift the experiences of API women by acknowledging the complexities of their struggles, demanding change, and celebrating women’s strength. Conscious of the anniversary of the Atlanta shootings, and the one too many tragedies in over the last year, this event is meant to emphasize that the violence enacted on API women’s bodies does not solely define their identities and existence.
The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethic Diversity in the Profession announced that the 2022 Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA) will be held June 26-28, 2022, in Chicago.
The CBLA is a joint initiative between the ABA, its Commissions on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, Disability Rights, NAPABA, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the National LGBT Bar Association, the National Native American Bar Association, and the South Asian Bar Association of North America.
The CBLA is a coordinated effort to strengthen the pipeline of diverse bar association leaders by providing leadership training and professional development programs, which benefit current and future leaders of bar associations and the legal profession. This summer, the CBLA will host several programs spotlighting issues in the legal profession and diverse communities.
Application details to come. Click on the flyer for more details.
An Allen & Overy cross-practice team acted as pro-bono counsel for the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) in filing an appellate brief amici curiae to the New York Appellate Division, Third Department.
Following his mostly unsuccessful personal injury case brought against the State of New York (Byung Choon Joe v. New York), Plaintiff, Byung Choon Joe, appealed the trial judge’s decision to the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department. A&O, on behalf of AABANY and KALAGNY, filed a brief amici curiae in support of Mr. Joe, urging the appellate court to consider whether the trial court’s decision was negatively influenced by implicit racial bias.
Terry Shen, President of AABANY, said, “As the largest affinity bar association in New York and the United States, AABANY is devoted to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. When we learned about the case of Byung Choon Joe, we were concerned about the trial court’s irrelevant reference to his Korean ethnicity in the context of a finding of a lack of trustworthiness, recalling age-old negative stereotypes of Asian Americans. We therefore joined with KALAGNY to file an amici brief to call attention to the fact that judges and the judicial system are not immune to implicit bias.”
The New York State Bar Association and several affiliates of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association also supported AABANY and KALAGNY’s brief including: the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, the Asian American Bar Association of Houston, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association, the Network of Bar Leaders (a coalition of more than fifty bar associations in the Greater New York area), the South Asian Bar Association of New York, and the Thai American Bar Association.
The A&O pro-bono team for this case was led by Sapna Palla (AABANY member and Immediate Past President) along with associates Rebecca Cecchini and Ben Minkoff.
To view the entire press release, please click here.
On Monday, February 14, AABANY attended the Knicks vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder game at Madison Square Garden. The night’s theme was Celebrating Lunar New Year – the Year of the Tiger. The stadium banners featured red lantern designs to observe the holiday. The lively halftime show featured lion dancers and folk dancers.
AABANY cheered on the Knicks in custom Knicks Chinese New Year t-shirts. The game was suspenseful, as the Knicks built a lead in the fourth quarter but fell back to a tie with less than a minute left. In a finale that left audiences on the edge of their seats, the game went into overtime and ended with the Thunder winning 127 – 123.
Thanks to everyone who came, especially to Membership Director Beatrice Leong for organizing the event. To learn more about the Membership Committee, please visit http://www.aabany.org/?page=130.
On February 3, AABANY co-sponsored the SDNY Chapter of the Federal Bar Association’s third edition of the Talking with Trailblazers series. The series presents conversations with legal professionals who were the first to break representational ceilings in their field. The February 3 edition featured the first Federal judges of Asian descent in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The panelists, all AABANY members, were:
Hon. Ona T. Wang, the first Asian-American Magistrate Judge in the SDNY.
Hon. Diane Gujarati (EDNY), the first Indian-American to serve as an Article III judge in New York.
Hon. Sanket Bulsara (EDNY), the first Indian-American judge within the Second Circuit.
Attendees were welcomed to join both in-person at the offices of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller in midtown Manhattan and on Zoom. All three judges were present in person, surrounded by an audience of lawyers and law students. The moderator was Padmaja Chinta, who is a partner at Chinta & Fratangelo LLP and the SDNY Chapter’s Chief Diversity Officer.
The panelists discussed a variety of subjects, from how they started their careers to the impact of mentorship. The judges had joined the legal industry from unexpected backgrounds. For example, prior to attending law school, Judge Wang had first obtained a Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University. The judges also discussed the challenges they faced climbing the upper rungs of their careers. Finally, the conversation closed with a reflection on how the judges’ experiences shape their philosophies and practices on the bench.
Following the moderated panel, attendees both in-person and virtual were eager to ask questions. The event was expected to end at 7:00 pm, but due to the number of questions and the liveliness of the discussion, it did not formally end until 7:30 pm. At closing, in-person attendees also took the opportunity to meet the judges and members of the SDNY Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Thanks to Judge Wang, Judge Gujarati, and Judge Bulsara for sharing their stories and their insights. Thanks also to the Federal Bar Association’s SDNY Chapter for organizing this series and including AABANY as a co-sponsor.
AABANY is starting a project that records the stories and memories of its founders and early members. Its goals are to help connect AABANY members across generations, generate research about the history and experience of Asian American lawyers, help younger lawyers and law students develop interviewing skills, and create shareable content. The project aims to post one story per day during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month on AABANY’s social media and have recordings for the AABANY Youtube Channel, presented in “Humans of New York” style of storytelling.
The project kicked off on February 16th with a training on how to conduct a journalistic interview. Led by former journalist and current attorney Stephen Lee, the virtual training gave pointers on how to capture stories that will resonate with people.
The training opened with examples of digital storytelling through Stephen’s online initiative, Our APA Heritage. Stephen launched Our APA Heritage to help share the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The website provides resources on how to gather and create visual content. Stephen also shows examples through memories collected from his own family members.
To help AABANY document its history, Stephen shared the following tips to conducting a good journalistic interview:
Research beforehand to understand the context
Prepare an outline, not a script
Ask specific questions
Make your subject comfortable; for example, the interviewer could share something about herself to establish rapport
Do not talk over pauses or break silences during the interview
Ask follow-up questions, especially to clarify details
Thank you to Stephen Lee, the Membership Committee and the Intellectual Property Committee for putting this event together. If you are interested in participating in this project, please fill out this Google Form: https://forms.gle/WeGB3ZRw8aoh6JdP6
On February 24, AABANY co-sponsored a hybrid Women’s Leadership panel, together with the Asian Financial Society, the Chinese Finance Association, East West Bank, and MSCI which hosted the event and the reception afterwards. Around 30 attendees joined in-person, with the rest participating by Zoom.
The panel of industry leaders were:
Jennifer Wu Partner, Paul, Weiss and AABANY Women’s Committee Co-Chair;
Janny Cheung, FVP-CRE Manager, Eastern Region CRE, East West Bank;
Chengying Xiu, Shareholder of Becker & Poliakoff, Chairwoman of AFS;
Angelene Huang, Executive Director, VisWise Global and board member of TCFA; and
Jigar Thakkar, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering, MSCI.
The panel was moderated by Cara Chen (Executive Director, Client Coverage (Hedge Funds), MSCI).
The discussion focused on allyship and how women of color can meaningfully advance in their careers including through the support of bar associations like AABANY. Jigar talked about his practice of communicating with diverse people not just about what they have done right but the challenges of running a company; Janny Cheung talked about the diverse and supportive environment at East West Bank that treats everyone like individuals and that has allowed women like her to succeed; Chengying Xiu talked about the importance of speaking from the heart and being true to yourself; Angelene Huang talked about starting an organization that brings together Asian American professionals and how much she values toughness; and Jennifer talked about her journey from a premed student to a litigation partner and how as a first generation lawyer, other people had dreams for her that she did not have for herself.
Thank you to Asian Financial Society for inviting AABANY to co-sponsor and to Jennifer Wu for representing the Women’s Committee as a panelist. To learn more about the Women’s Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/122.
On February 22, Sudha Setty was named dean of the CUNY School of Law, the nation’s leading public interest law school and New York City’s only publicly funded law school. An exceptional scholar and legal leader, she is the first person of South Asian descent to lead a CUNY school.
“Dean Setty boasts a sustained record of accomplishment as an antitrust litigator, pro bono civil rights counsel, scholar of constitutional law and legal education leader, as well as a pioneering administrator and leader,” said Chairperson William C. Thompson Jr. “We are thrilled to welcome her to CUNY Law.”
Setty has been the dean of the Western New England University School of Law since 2018, when she became the first woman of South Asian descent in the U.S. to serve as dean of an American Bar Association-accredited law school. At Western New England University School of Law, Setty’s deanship has focused on enhancing the social justice work at the school and its commitment to racial justice and diversity, equity and inclusion. Projects she has overseen include the creation of the Center for Social Justice in 2019 and the inaugural Workshop for Asian-American Women in Legal Academia.
She is also a leader outside of the university. Currently, she serves on the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Standing Committee on Alternative Pathways to the Bar (co-chairing one subcommittee), on the Bipartisan Advisory Committee on Massachusetts Judicial Nominations to the U.S. District Court, on the Advisory Committee for the ABA Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, on the Deans’ Steering Committee of the Association of American Law Schools, as a board member for Community Legal Aid, and on the editorial board of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.
Photograph and information courtesy of the Museum of Chinese in America
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), in celebration of receiving a generous donation from Mackenzie Scott, is open with free admissionfor all throughout the run of the Responses exhibition, ending March 27, 2022.
Responses is an offering to our country in a moment of crisis. Chinese and Asian Americans are being blamed as the genesis of the coronavirus and targeted in assaults across the country, harming their bodies as well as their sense of belonging. To help us navigate what is happening, the exhibition explores the lessons of history and raises a collective voice against the rising tide of anti-Asian hate and violence.
As part of Responses, MOCA has commissioned new music composers ARKAI (Philip Sheegog and Jonathan Miron) and modern dance company J CHEN PROJECT to create new time-based works responding to and interpreting the exhibition’s themes. Visit MOCA’s website (mocanyc.org) for live, in-person performance schedules.
No reservations needed for individual visits.
The Museum is open during the following hours:
Sunday 11AM – 6PM
Monday – Wednesday CLOSED
Thursday 11AM – 9PM
Friday 11AM – 6PM
Saturday 11AM – 6PM
The museum is located at 215 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013.
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) aims to engage audiences in an ongoing and historical dialogue, in which people of all backgrounds are able to see American history through a critical perspective, to reflect on their own experiences, and to make meaningful connections between: the past and the present, the global and the local, themselves and others.