NEW YORK, June 24, 2024 – On Monday, June 24, 2024, at 6 PM, the Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY) will be presenting the recipients of its 2024 Public Interest Scholarships at the AALFNY-AABANY Summer Reception at FTI Consulting, held at their offices at 1166 Avenue of the Americas.

Jessica Chan (New York Law School, Class of 2025) will be interning with the Legal Aid Society in its Criminal Defense Practice. She is looking forward to using her experience in criminal defense work to build bridges between communities of color.

Ranjana Venkatesh (City University of New York School of Law, Class of 2025) will be interning with The Bronx Defenders’ Criminal Defense Practice under the Adolescent Defense Project. She hopes her experience in the juvenile criminal defense arena will highlight the importance of holistic lawyering.

AALFNY awards Public Interest Scholarships each year to law students with a demonstrated commitment to the Asian American community. The purpose of the award is to assist law students with their tuition while encouraging them to use their legal knowledge and training to benefit the Asian American community in New York and to foster commitment by law students to public service in New York. Since 1997, AALFNY has funded more than 60 public interest scholarships to law students.

AALFNY was established in 1993 by the Asian American Bar Association of New York to create and support non-profit and charitable efforts to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to defend human and civil rights.

Donations to AALFNY may be made at A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained from AALFNY at P.O. Box 161, 41 Purdy Ave., Rye NY 10580 or from the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau website Information may also be obtained from AALFNY at [email protected] or the NYS Attorney General at 212-416-8686.

AABANYs Judiciary Committee Honors Eighteen Trailblazing AAPI Judges at the 2024 Annual Judges’ Reception

On Tuesday, June 18th, 2024, at the 2024 Annual Judges’ Reception, AABANYs Judiciary Committee honored eighteen newly elected, elevated, or retired AAPI judges, each of whom are incredible trailblazers and represent continuing progress in the ongoing effort to increase AAPI representation in our courts.

The Judiciary Committee’s flagship event was hosted in the main hall of New York City’s Surrogate’s Court. Between sky-reaching pillars, and under the vaulted arch-ceiling the following eighteen judges were recognized and celebrated for their work, effort, and example: 

  • Hon. Deepa Ambekar (Kings Co. Sup. Ct.)
  • Hon. Sanket J. Bulsara (United States District Court, EDNY)
  • Hon. Nusrat J. Choudhury (United States District Court, EDNY)
  • Hon. Kenneth W. Chu (ret. ALJ, NLRB)
  • Hon. Christopher J. Exias (Rockland Co. Fam. Ct.)
  • Hon. Evelyn Gong (Queens Co. Civ. Ct.)
  • Hon. Dale E. Ho (United States District Court, SDNY)
  • Hon. Phillip Hom (App. Term, 2d Dept)
  • Hon. Gilbert C. Hong (ret. NY Co. Sup. Ct.)
  • Hon. Biju J. Koshy (Supervising Judge, Richmond Co. Crim. Ct.)
  • Hon. Karen Lin (Queens Co. Sup. Ct.)
  • Hon. Rena Malik (Kings Co. Civ. Ct.)
  • Hon. Kim Parker (Court of Claims)
  • Hon. Kris Singh (Admin. Judge, 4th Jud. Dist.)
  • Hon. Rantideva Singh (NYC Fam. Ct.)
  • Hon. Richard Tsai (NY Co. Sup. Ct.)
  • Hon. Vikram S. Vilkhu (Brighton Town Justice)
  • Hon. John Zhuo Wang (NY Co. Sup. Ct.).

The night began with introductory remarks by Committee Co-Chair Mark Son, who thanked elevated and retired judges for their service and congratulated new judges for their work which allowed them to advance to their new positions. He first praised several judges whose work has had a long-term effect and was substantially significant in making the AAPI voice in the justice system grow and prosper. He then acknowledged all other judges in attendance and expressed regret for being unable to share the breadth of their contributions in the short time allotted.

Next to take the podium was AABANY’s current President, Joseph Eng, Jr. He began by  reiterating Mark’s congratulatory sentiments, then introduced the eighteen honorees. Each in turn stood up and received warm applause from the audience. President Eng stressed the significance of hosting a Judges’ Reception as far more than an isolated single annual moment, but a day of celebration culminating from decades of work, a day to remind everyone of the great strides that have been made, and all the work that lays ahead in the continued struggle for diversity, equity, and inclusion. President Eng lauded the growth of AAPI representation, while also focusing on the milestones yet to be reached for true representation, drawing attention to the lack of any AAPI judges in the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, and in the United States Supreme Court. 

Once all the judges present came up to the front of the room to receive their awards, they gathered for a group photo with President Eng and the Judiciary Committee leadership.  The deserving honorees were regaled with cheers and applause from everyone.

Hon. Shahabuddeen Ally, President of the Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY), then stepped up to the podium to present final remarks. He reiterated the main points of the evening, and celebrated the effort involved in organizing this event. He congratulated the judges being honored and praised the growth of AAPI representation, even as he considered the work that remains ahead and the necessity of diligence and focus to achieve progress. He verbalized the goal of reaching 100 AAPI judges in New York State in the near future as an aspirational challenge.  Finally, Committee Vice-Chair Vanessa Kong thanked everyone for attending and invited everyone to partake in the complimentary food and drink catered by Nom Wah. Laughter and stories filled the room, reflecting the camaraderie and mutual respect among the attendees.

As the evening drew to a close, it was evident that this reception was more than just an event; it was a celebration of progress, diversity, and the indomitable spirit of the AAPI community within the judiciary. The honorees left with not only memories of a joyous evening but also with the knowledge that their contributions are making a lasting impact.

We thank the Judiciary Committee for their tireless effort in making this annual event happen, as well as all the guests who attended. We thank AAJANY and Judge Ally for their participation. Once again, congratulations to all the honorees. To learn more about the Judiciary Committee please click here. To see more photos from the event, go to the album here.

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the June Pro Bono Clinics!

Thank you AABANY, PBCS, AAFE, and our volunteers who helped out at the June 5th (Queens) and June 19th (Manhattan) pro bono legal clinics!

At the Queens clinic, our volunteers met with 20 clients and discussed issues involving housing, immigration, criminal, and consumer debt matters.  At the Manhattan clinic, our volunteers met with 10 clients and discussed issues involving housing, immigration, and personal injury claims. Volunteer attorneys and interpreters patiently addressed client concerns, answered questions and connected them to lawyers through AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS). 

Thank you to all our volunteers for dedicating your valuable time to our pro bono clinics, especially during the Juneteenth holiday.  Your compassion and dedication are deeply valued and truly make a positive impact on the community we serve.  By offering services in both Mandarin and Cantonese, we aim to continue to provide support for those who may face linguistic or cultural barriers when seeking access to legal services. 

Please join us in our upcoming clinics:

July 13, 2024 [Brooklyn link here], from 12:00 – 3:30pm, CPC Brooklyn Community Services, 4101 8th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232

July 17, 2024 [Manhattan link here], from 6:00 – 8:30pm, AAFE Community Center, 111 Norfolk Street, NY, NY 10002

August 7, 2024 [Queens link here], from 6:00 – 8:30pm, One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355

NAPABA Releases Statement in Support of the Biden Administration’s Immigration Action Promoting Family Unity and Protecting Dreamers, Criticizes Congressional Inaction

For Immediate Release:
Date: June 18, 2024
Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON – NAPABA applauds President Biden’s executive action on June 17, 2024 to keep American families together. It creates critical protections for undocumented spouses of United States citizens who have resided in this country for over 10 years and streamlines work visa access for Dreamers. Over half of the Asian American population is composed of immigrants, and NAPABA has for years advocated for the government to treat the immigrant community with fairness, dignity, and humanity. The new policy will grant formal work authorization to persons who are already contributing to this country in the shadows. NAPABA has long viewed family unity as the cornerstone of commonsense immigration reform, and we commend President Biden for focusing on keeping families together.

The Administration’s action today, however, is no excuse for Congressional inaction. During NAPABA Lobby Day last month, NAPABA members from across the country pressed Congress to protect the right to counsel within the immigration system and prioritize the reunification of families. NAPABA continues to call on Congress to advance commonsense immigration reform that upholds the basic values of the Nation and delivers statutory protections for our Dreamers.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 80,000 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.