Thank You to the Volunteers at the March Pro Bono Clinic in Brooklyn

On March 9, 2024, the AABANY Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee held its Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Brooklyn Community Services Center, the first Brooklyn clinic of the year. Beginning at 12:30, attorneys, interpreters, and other volunteers met with community members who presented legal issues pertaining to immigration, criminal, divorce, and housing law. 

Thanks to the efforts of volunteer interpreters, the majority of whom were law students and recent JD graduates, the Pro Bono Clinic was able to meet with Spanish and Mandarin-speaking clients with limited English proficiency. This unique aspect of the clinic allowed our volunteers to overcome language barriers, enabling clients to express and understand their matters with greater ease. They also had the assistance of a volunteer attorney with criminal law experience providing legal advice on the two criminal cases presented. One client traveled from Warwick, NY to seek legal advice. Clients whose matters required the retention of an attorney were referred to AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS), which connects clients to qualified lawyers within AABANY’s panel of attorneys. 

The PBSC Committee would like to thank the CPC, Councilmember Alexa Avilés, State Senator Senator Iwen Chu, Councilmember Justin Brannan, and all of their Brooklyn community partners and volunteers for joining them at the Brooklyn Pro Bono Legal Clinic. 

Please consider joining the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic on April 17th, 2024 at AAAFE Community Center 111 Norfolk St New York, New York 10002. Although volunteer registration is closed, you can email [email protected] if you are still interested in volunteering at the clinic on 4/17. 

Feel free to check out www.probono.aabany.org for more information about upcoming legal clinics. 

Thank you, everyone! 

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Shadowers
Andrew WuKaila Chen
Anna ChenJialin Zhu
Beatrice LeongJuliet Romero
Francis ChinLucy Liu
Kwok Kei NgNandar Win Kerr
Johnny ThachYiming (Roselyn) Chen
May WongWillow Liu
Megan GaoYiyang (Leo) Shen
Victoria ChengLi Zhi Lin – CPC
Yan SinJenny Lin – CPC
Maver Monclez – CPC

In The News: Margaret Fung, Co-Founder of AALDEF, is Retiring after 50 Years of Service as a Pioneer in the Struggle for AAPI Civil Rights

On April 1, 2024, AsAm News published an article by Ti-Hua Chang reporting on the retirement of  Margaret Fung, co-founder of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). After serving as Executive Director of AALDEF for most of the fifty years she’s been with the organization, she is now retiring from her position in October.

AALDEF, based in New York, is a national organization known for spearheading advocacy efforts in support AAPI workers’ rights, voting rights, and anti-Asian hate initiatives, among others. Margaret Fung, who pioneered many such civil rights activities, has been praised by community leaders, especially in Chinatown, for her continuous fight to improve the lives of the working people and immigrant communities. After hearing about her retirement, many wondered what the future of AALDEF will look like without her prominent contributions. 

Executive Director of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Yang Chen stated, “AALDEF is the NAACP of the Asian American community and has done a lot of great work in the last 50 years. Now that Margaret is stepping down, the big question is: will they be able to perpetuate that, continue that.”

The full article can be found at:

Whatever the future holds for AALDEF in the years to come, Margaret’s legacy as an AAPI civil rights advocate and trailblazer in the male-dominated legal field will continue to live on. AABANY honors Margaret for all that she has accomplished in a storied career. 

AABANY Judiciary and Litigation Committees Present “Why Can’t We Just Get Along?” CLE

On March 20, 2024, AABANY, with thanks to AAJANY for their co-sponsorship, hosted a CLE entitled “Why Can’t We Just Get Along?” covering how judicial and attorney wellness – as well as civility and professionalism – promote good bench-bar relations, in and out of court. 

Thank you to our distinguished panel for sharing their time, experiences, and perspectives:

  • Hon. Gerald Lebovits, New York Supreme Court, 1st Judicial District
  • Hon. Pamela Chen, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • Karen R. King, Partner, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC
  • William H. Ng, Shareholder, Littler Mendelson P.C. (Immediate Past President of AABANY, FY24)

Recognizing the stress and responsibilities of judges, as well as litigators, the panel discussed why some judges and attorneys are difficult and what can be done about it.  The panel explored judicial and attorney preferences and pet peeves and offered strategies for judges and attorneys to enhance their litigation experience, personal well-being, and professional happiness. This program was organized in line with the theme for this fiscal year, “Embracing Wellness and Well-Being: Strengthening the Legal Profession by Investing in Ourselves.” 

Thank you to AABANY’s Judiciary and Litigation Committees for co-presenting this event and to Karen King and Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC for hosting. Attendees enjoyed lively discussions and networking, together with great food from Joe’s Shanghai. To learn more about the Judiciary Committee go here. To learn more about the Litigation Committee go here.

If you have ideas for programs or speakers on the topic of wellness and well-being, please contact Immediate Past President Karen Kim at [email protected]. AABANY’s Wellness Resources Guide provides a variety of information, including links to free assistance programs, trainings and hotlines, which can be accessed here.

NAPABA Urges the U.S. Senate to Confirm Adeel Mangi to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: April 2, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) joined 125 national, state, and local organizations from across the country to urge the United States Senate to confirm Adeel Mangi swiftly to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In a letter spearheaded by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAPABA and its partners highlighted Adeel Mangi’s exceptional qualifications and condemned “the baseless and bigoted attacks being waged against this exceptional and historic nominee.”

In November 2023, President Joe Biden nominated Mr. Mangi to the Third Circuit. If confirmed, Mangi would be the first Muslim American judge on any federal appellate court in the nation. As NAPABA noted when he was nominated, Mr. Mangi is a 2014 NAPABA Best Under 40 awardee and an active leader in the Asian American community. His long record of accomplishments, including his pro bono work supporting the Muslim American community, is groundbreaking.

“From the time that the President nominated Adeel Mangi nearly five months ago to today, nothing in Mr. Mangi’s tremendous record of achievements has changed,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “Instead, since his nomination, Mr. Mangi has been the subject of baseless attacks that smack of Islamophobia. Our community is all too familiar with the rise of hate, and what Mr. Mangi has had to endure is unacceptable. We urge the U.S. Senate to confirm his nomination.”

“The baseless attacks against Mr. Mangi have a chilling effect,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “As we have raised in an op-ed and in a recent news article, Mr. Mangi’s treatment, if left unanswered, runs the risk of losing an entire generation of legal talent from entering public service and the opportunity to compose a federal bench that reflects the changing demographics of the United States. History will remember this moment. NAPABA stands behind Mr. Mangi’s nomination and looks forward to his confirmation.”

Adeel A. Mangi is a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP. He began his legal career there as an associate in 2000, became counsel in 2009, and was elevated to partnership in 2010. Mr. Mangi received his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2000. He qualified as a Barrister and received his Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Skills from the City University London Inns of Court School of Law in 1999 and his First Class Degree in Law from the University of Oxford, Pembroke College, in 1998.

We urge the U.S. Senate to move expeditiously on Mr. Mangi’s nomination and confirm him.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Jasmine Yoon and Judge Sunil R. Harjani to the U.S. District Court

NAPABA Logo

For Immediate Release:
 
Date: March 12, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Jasmine Yoon to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia and Judge Sunil R. Harjani to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. 

“We congratulate Jasmine Yoon and Judge Sunil R. Harjani on their confirmation to serve on the U.S. District Court,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “Ms. Yoon, a board member of APABA-VA, is the first Asian American to serve as an Article III judge in Virginia. Judge Harjani, the first South Asian American to serve as a U.S. Magistrate in the Northern District of Illinois, brings deep experience to the bench.”

“Today, President Biden has appointed 32 AANHPI Article III judges that the U.S. Senate has confirmed. We thank President Biden for nominating Ms. Yoon and Judge Harjani and his continued efforts to extend his record-breaking benchmark of AANHPI judges,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA.

Jasmine H. Yoon has been the Vice President of Corporate Integrity, Ethics, and Investigations at Capital One Financial Corporation since 2022. Previously, Ms. Yoon worked as Interim University Counsel and Associate University Counsel at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from 2019-22. Prior to that, Ms. Yoon served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2010-16. Ms. Yoon was also an associate at Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, DC, from 2006-09 in its White Collar and Regulatory Enforcement group. She served as a law clerk for Judge James C. Cacheris on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia from 2009-10. Ms. Yoon received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2006 and her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2003.

Judge Sunil R. Harjani has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2019. Judge Harjani served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois from 2008-19. He also practiced federal civil litigation as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission from 2004-08 and as an associate at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago from 2000-01 and 2002-04. Judge Harjani served as a law clerk for Judge Suzanne B. Conlon on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 2001-02. He received his J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2000 and his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1997.

NAPABA thanks President Biden Senators Durbin and Duckworth of Illinois, and Senators Warner and Kaine of Virginia for supporting their nominations.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

NAPABA In-House Counsel Summit

August 29-30, 2024 | New York, NY

The application for the NAPABA In-House Counsel (IHC) Summit is now open! This career and skills development program is designed to boost diverse current and former public company senior and experienced in-house attorneys as they aim to make the jump into the Fortune 1000 C-Suite. Drawing on the collective experience of senior leaders in the AANHPI community, participants will receive tailored guidance and training necessary to successfully climb up, and thrive on top of, the corporate ladder.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

1. Exclusive Access: Attendees will have the chance to network with former and current General Counsels (GCs) along with peers from various practice areas.

2. Professional Development: Be prepared to showcase your qualifications! We encourage you to have your bios, resumes, and headshots ready to share with recruiters who will be in attendance.

3. Personalized Assessment: One of the standout perks of this summit is the access to a personalized assessment, a crucial step for any aspiring GC applicant. Take advantage of this opportunity to gain valuable insights and refine your career trajectory.

4. Career Advancement: The In-House Counsel Summit is not just an event—it’s a catalyst for career growth. Based on the success of last year’s participants, we’re proud to share that 25% were promoted to General Counsel or more senior roles.

Spots are limited, submit your application today! The deadline to apply is May 1 at 8 pm ET.

NAPABA provides its members with exclusive leadership opportunities like this to help members raise their professional profile and develop leadership skills. As a current NAPABA Member, we urge you to apply for this exclusive opportunity. 

If you know someone who would be interested in this opportunity, please forward them this email. 

Questions? Visit our website for more details, including eligibility requirements, or contact Sumbal Abid, Operations Manager.

We hope to see you at the 2024 IHC Summit in New York!

AABANY LGBTQ Committee Hosts the Program: “Protecting DEI at Big Law since SCOTUS: A Queer Asian Perspective”

On March 25, 2024, the AABANY LGBT Committee organized a program with the generous support and sponsorship of Goodwin Procter LLP titled: Protecting DEI at Big Law since SCOTUS: A Queer Asian Perspective. The program featured two prominent speakers: Kavita Ramakrishnan, Senior Director at Diversity Lab and Dennis Quinio, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer of the Americas at Allen & Overy. The program consisted of robust conversations about the meaning of diversity, and the personal experiences of attorneys who struggle with the complications of identity.

AABANY thanks the LGBT Committee for presenting this topical program and the speakers for sharing their insights. Thanks to Goodwin for hosting the event. To learn more about the LGBT Committee go here.