AABANY Presents: Dress for Success

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, AABANY’s Career Placement Committee presented its inaugural Dress for Success event. The event took place at J.Crew Fifth Avenue. Over 20 people attended the event. The event provided attendees with personal styling advice, an opportunity to shop, and wardrobe demonstrations that would allow each attendee to put their best foot forward in dressing. Special thanks to the Government Service & Public Interest Committee, Litigation Committee, Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee, Student Outreach Committee, and Women’s Committee for co-sponsoring the event. Special thanks to Flavor Fuzion Catering and Ashvini Persaud, Sr. Business Banker at Capital One, for her generous donation.

Manhattan Legal Services’ Housing Unit Providing Free Legal Service to Chinese-Speaking Clients

If you have been taken to housing court by your landlord and need assistance, contact the Manhattan Legal Services’ Housing Unit. Manhattan Legal Services’ Housing Unit conducts monthly intake in Chinatown for Chinese-speaking clients.

They provide free legal services to eligible clients every Wednesday of the month at either the Chinese-American Planning Council or the Visiting Nurse Service of New York at the Chinatown Community Center.

Please note you MUST make an appointment in advance for services by calling (646) 442-3119.

For more information, please see the flyers below.

Thank you to our November Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

November’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, November 13 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 36 volunteers who volunteered their time to help 25 clients.

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New Yorkers.

To make it easier for our members and our community to donate to the Pro Bono Clinic, we have set up a page on Give Lively where you can make a donation by texting APAPROBONO  to 44321. It takes seconds to donate, and we hope you will take a moment today to support the Pro Bono Clinic and help it meet its fundraising goals. Please donate today!

If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with them by contacting Karen Yau at karen.yau@aabany.org.

Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/

AALFNY is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help. Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.

Thank you to all of the November Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers: 

Sylvia Chin
Shengyang (John) Wu
Sae-Eun Ahn
Michelle Nam
Mayumi Cindy Iijima
Kelly Diep
Jen Rasay
Eun Hye (Grace) Lee
Bart Wu
Annie Tsao

Interpreters: 

Ya Peng
Xiaoxiao Pan
Winnie G Vien
Teri Chow
Teresa Wai Yee Yeung
Shimeng (Fiona) Zhang
Ruth Poon
Nicholas Loh
Nanako Arai
Mina Kanamura
Maria Katherine Delos Reyes
Limeng (Charles) Tan
Kenny Moy
Go-eun Son
Chao-Yung Chiu
Ami Ishida
Alicia Chen
Alex Hwang

Other Volunteers
Linda Liang , Research & Administration
Julia Elhai, NY Connects Benefit Counselor
Yu Ting Pak, Mental Health Professional
Justin Ben, Legal Research

Special thanks to Henry Man for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha, Karen Kithan Yau, Asako Aiba, and Judy Lee for their leadership. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The next clinic will take place on December 11, 2019. If you are interested in volunteering at future Pro Bono Clinics, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.

AABANY Presents: Understanding Opportunity Zones and 1031 Exchange Deferrals

On November 14, 2019, the AABANY Real Estate Committee presented a CLE and networking event entitled “Understanding Opportunity Zones and 1031 Exchange Deferrals.” The CLE program was presented by John J. Lee, Esq, Vice President and Account Executive of IPX 1031. Margaret Ling, Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee moderated the program. Thanks to our sponsors: Xavier Wong of First Republic Bank, KALAGNY, and  Big Apple Abstract. John Lee discussed the basics and the differences between the 1031 Exchange Program and the Tax Deferral Structures provided by Qualified Opportunity Zones. In the photo, from left to right: Margaret Ling, Co-Chair of AABANY Real Estate Committee; Qili Li, MD; John Lee of 1031 Exchange; George Xu of Century Development LLC; Larry Litwack of Big Apple Abstract Corp.

AABANY Presents: Real Estate Fraud and Cyber Security

On October 28, 2019, the AABANY Real Estate Committee presented a CLE program entitled “Real Estate Fraud and Cyber Security.” The CLE and networking event took place at Anchin Block & Anchin LLP at its Manhattan Headquarters. The event was attended by over 50 attorneys and CPAs. Special thanks to the sponsors: Anchin Block & Anchin LLP; Big Apple Abstract Corp; KALAGNY; Capital One; SDL & GHS Insurance Agency; Ingram, Yuzek, Gainen, Carroll & Bertolotti LLP; Ganfer, Shore, Leeds & Zauderer LLP; Anchin Digital Risk Solutions. Pictured from left to right: Amol Pachnanda, AABANY Real Estate Committee Co-Chair; Russell Safirstein, Partner, Anchin Digital Risk Solutions; Margaret Ling, AABANY  Real Estate Committee Co-Chair; Ashvini Persaud, Capital One; Daniel Jacoby, SDL & GHS Insurance; Benny Liu, CPA, Anchin; Larry Litwack, Big Apple Abstract; Jason Ganfer, Ganfer, Shore, Leeds & Zauderer LLP.

Congratulations to Akin Gump on Receiving NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award

We congratulate Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. AABANY is pleased to count Akin Gump as a Silver Sponsor.

This award honors law firms that actively and consistently recruit, retain, and promote APA lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. One such lawyer is Alice Hsu, an AABANY member and Partner at Akin Gump.

Alice was interviewed in the acceptance video and stated that over the last few years Akin Gump has spent a lot of time working with pro bono clients and “brought together cross-racial, cross-ethnic coalitions to support challenging the travel ban, the census citizenship question, and DACA rescission. “

Please join us in congratulating Akin Gump on this well deserved honor.

Congratulations to Karen King on Receiving NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award

We congratulate Karen King, AABANY Member and Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award during the Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. 

This award recognizes an attorney for outstanding achievement in Pro Bono service that involves impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights and provides direct legal services to individuals in furtherance of the administration of justice.

One of the pro bono cases that Karen was recognized for lasted for over 10 years and involved bias and discrimination in the promotion practices of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority against Asian American Police Officers. Karen found her work on the case to be very important for Asian Americans and rewarding for herself. In her video accepting the award, Karen remarked that young lawyers need to look for and seize opportunities to advance their careers “… and pro bono is an excellent way to do that.”

We are extremely excited and pleased that Karen received this prestigious honor. Please join us in congratulating her.

We commend Paul, Weiss on emphasizing, supporting, and encouraging their lawyers to engage in Pro Bono work and for being a Gold Sponsor.

AABANY Presented with Affiliate of the Year Award at NAPABA Convention

On Saturday, November 9, 2019, AABANY was honored to be presented with NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year award at NAPABA’s National Convention in Austin, Texas. AABANY was selected to receive this award for its best practices and accomplishments in our community.

President Brian Song accepted this honor at the Dinner Gala, but he did not do so alone. He called upon Board members, Past Presidents, and founders, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go (Ret.), and Sylvia Chin to join him on stage to accept the award together on behalf of everyone at AABANY.

For three decades now, AABANY has been working tirelessly to support Asian Americans in the legal profession in New York. It means a great deal for the hard work of AABANY’s Board Members and Committee Chairs, the dedication of our members, and AABANY’s commitment to the overall Asian American Community to be recognized.

We congratulate and thank our entire AABANY family and our sponsors for supporting our mission and bringing AABANY to this Point. As Executive Director Yang Chen said in the video played before the award was presented, “this award is for everyone at AABANY.” 2019 marks the second time that AABANY received the Affiliate of the Year Award. AABANY first received this honor in 2008.

PRESS RELEASE: THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK IS RECEIVING THE AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AT ITS NATIONAL CONVENTION IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

NEW YORK – November 5, 2019 – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has selected  the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) as its Affiliate of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding NAPABA affiliates that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the greater Asian Pacific American (APA) community. AABANY will be presented the Affiliate of the Year Award during the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas, taking place November 7-10, 2019. AABANY President Brian Song will accept the award on behalf of the association at NAPABA’s Gala Dinner to be held on Saturday, November 9.

AABANY was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, legal assistants, paralegals and law students. The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

Over the past three decades AABANY has worked tirelessly to accomplish its mission. For example, we have regularly conducted student outreach and held workshops throughout the year on resume writing, interviewing and networking skills to help law students succeed. We are also into the ninth year of our Mentorship Program that provides individual professional development specifically tailored to the needs of mentees, many of whom are law students. In addition, now in its second year, the AABANY Leadership Development Program assists and guides senior APA law firm associates and in-house counsel through an interactive leadership training program designed to develop and promote qualified APA attorneys for partnership at law firms and leadership positions at companies.

AABANY also plays an integral part in creating diversity on the bench through our Judiciary Committee’s initiatives. AABANY’s Judiciary Committee assisted dozens of judges of Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islander heritage in ascending to the bench.

In addition, we collaborate with the South Asian Bar Association of New York, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York and Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York to further the interests of APAs in the legal profession by offering CLE accreditation, co-sponsoring networking events, and supporting each other’s programs and activities.

Furthermore, we serve the APA community by holding a monthly Pro Bono Clinic in partnership with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of NY. We mobilize the expertise and language skills of AABANY’s diverse membership to provide high quality and accessible legal assistance to the Asian community on the second Wednesday of every month, at Confucius Plaza in Chinatown. In 2018-19, the Clinic served between 21-51 clients with the help of 11-21 volunteer attorneys and 5-12 interpreters each month.

Moreover, in addition to providing free legal assistance to the Asian community, we promote APA history and awareness through our historic trial reenactments. The Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin have spearheaded this project for twelve years. The most recent reenactment, “Alice in Chinatown: Chol Soo Lee and His Fight for Freedom” retold the story of Chol Soo Lee, a young Korean American who was wrongly accused and imprisoned for a gangland murder in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1970s. AABANY has made these reenactment scripts available to schools, community groups, other bar associations and anyone who wishes to perform them. AABANY’s reenactments project has become a template for other groups to encourage civic education and engagement in our communities.

Each new historic trial reenactment premieres at the annual NAPABA Convention, but this year, the AABANY Trial Reenactment Team will be reprising “Korematsu v. United States: Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice” in celebration of Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday. The cast will include luminaries such as Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel (Ret.), the judge who decided the coram nobis proceeding that overturned Korematsu’s wrongful conviction, and Dale Minami, the iconic attorney who led the team that brought about this historic outcome. Judge Patel and Dale Minami will be playing themselves, as will Karen Korematsu, Fred’s daughter, in the reenactment, which will be performed on November 8, at Friday’s Plenary Lunch Session during the NAPABA Convention.

Because of these significant contributions and achievements over the decades, AABANY has become one of the most prominent bar associations in New York and has been selected to receive the Affiliate of the Year Award from NAPABA for a second time. AABANY first received this prestigious honor in 2008 under the leadership of then-President and now Executive Director Yang Chen.

“AABANY thanks NAPABA for this important award and its recognition of our innovative efforts to engage our membership and the community,” states AABANY President Brian Song, a Partner at BakerHostetler in New York. “We are grateful for the leadership and dedication of our current and past Board Directors and Officers for bringing AABANY to this point. We especially thank and acknowledge our sponsors and our members for their support of our mission to promote the interests of APA lawyers and legal professionals and the larger community they serve. AABANY could not be NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year without the involvement and participation of everyone in the legal profession and community who have been integral to our growth and success over the last thirty years.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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Art Exhibition by Siyan Wong: Five Cents a Can: Making the Invisible Visible

Former AABANY Labor & Employment Law Committee Co-Chair Siyan (Joane) Wong is holding an art exhibition entitled: “Five Cents a Can: Making the Invisible Visible” at the New York Arts Center (78 Bowery, Manhattan) from November 10 through December 1, 2019.

Siyan’s oil paintings of people who collect cans to survive (“canners”) together with a sculpture built of thousands of gold cans, other conceptual art pieces of the tools used by the canners, and video installations made in collaboration with filmmaker and artist Alvin Tsang will be on display. The exhibition is being held to shed light on the powerful story about the people who occupy the lower strata of our current society.

Siyan, a New York City based artist, focuses on the working poor, the homeless, women and the elderly. As a workers’ rights lawyer, her contact with everyday working people informs her empathy and artistic vision. She is committed to finding help for the canners, and fifty percent (50%) of the proceeds from the sale of her paintings will be set aside for the benefit of the canners.

We encourage AABANY members to attend the exhibition and support Siyan in this noble cause.

Please contribute via Siyan’s Kickstarter Campaign at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/siyanwong/five-cents-a-can-making-visible-the-invi sible-art-exhibit.

Siyan will be holding a Press Conference on November 10, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at the New York Arts Center.

For more information, you can connect with Siyan at artistsiyanwong@gmail.com.