As soon as AABANY Co-VP of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong learned about this inaugural event, she leaped into action to make sure that AABANY members and friends can march up Sixth Ave to represent our bar association. Several email blasts and social media posts went out inviting people to join us at the parade line-up on Sunday morning.
The day started with foggy conditions, and AABANY was among the first groups on West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. We found a good spot to gather on the street, right between the Iroquois Hotel and the New York City Bar Association building. Over the next two hours, the block filled with numerous groups and associations representing a wide array of AAPI organizations and cultures. On our left were brightly colored floats, and on our right were fancy buggies that transported VIPs. Everyone was growing impatient to start marching. Shortly after 12 noon, we started to see floats moving forward onto Sixth Avenue, followed by the community groups and organizations. When AABANY turned down the Avenue of Americas, the sun came out and shined brightly.
Everyone was happy to be part of this historic parade, which we hope will grow as big as the Thanksgiving Day parade in the future.
After the parade, members enjoyed a sumptuous meal at Tang Pavilion.
We thank member Lord Chester So for helping us obtain a banner on short notice!
We thank the following AABANY Members for joining and marching with us!
Founder, Rocky Chin Hon. Vidya Pappachan Executer Director Yang Chen Co- Vice President of Programming and Operations, Beatrice Leong Board Director Chris Kwok Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs: Eugene Kim and May Wong Pro Bono Committee Vice Chair: Johnny Thach GSPI Committee Chair: Kevin Hsi Women’s Committee Co-Chair: Wen Zhang Susan Shin, past AABANY President (2016) and her husband Rob Lord Chester So Priya Vanessa Outar Jennifer Park Grace Vee Gary Yeung Amelia Rusli Xuanyou Chen Marjorie Tsang
We were pleased to be joined by our friends at SABANY including SABANY President Austin D’Souza. Thanks to everyone who helped make history with AABANY at this first Annual AAPI Heritage and Culture Parade!
On May 12, 2022 the Membership and Bankruptcy Committees hosted a dinner at Cafe China. The acclaimed restaurant is known for its classic Sichuan favorites such as cumin lamb and tea-smoked duck. Membership Vice Chair Ashley Shan planned the family style menu, and the group had a great time discussing food, tv and career goals.
We thank Will Hao, Bankruptcy Chair, for co-hosting!
AABANY is trying to support small Asian owned businesses and restaurants through our Restaurant Series, which will be held twice a month. Our next event is at Louie’s Pizza, whose owner and his father stood up for the victim of an anti-AAPI attack. Louie and Cazim courageously came to the help of an elderly Korean woman who was being robbed and attacked in front of their store and were themselves stabbed in the process. We hope you will join us in supporting the restaurant on May 28, 1pm at Louie’s Pizza (8134 Baxter Ave, Queens). For more information and to register, please visit https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1638502. For more information, please email Membership Director Christopher Bae at email@example.com.
AABANY hosted for the second time the Columbia Law School’s Spring Break Caravan. This year, Caravan representative Angel Li (CLS ’23) reached out to the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee (PBCS) and Student Outreach Committee (SOC) to supervise six students during the week of March 14, 2022. During this program, students shadowed volunteer attorneys at the Queens pro bono clinics held on Saturdays, researched and drafted legal training materials for the pro bono clinics, attended a legal community presentation about bankruptcy, and met with various mentors from law firms and SOC graduates.
On behalf of PBCS, we want to thank these law students for creating much-needed training materials to help volunteer attorneys in recognizing common issues in housing, family, wills and estates, and immigration law with flowcharts and outlines. These pro bono clinics act like triages in which attorneys spot issues for the individuals and provide legal information and referrals within a 30-minute session. We’ve been quite fortunate to have the support of our volunteer attorneys who are willing to teach each other and to open the eyes of these young law students about the problems many indigent and limited English proficient clients face daily.
On behalf of SOC, we are grateful for the not-for profit and biglaw corporate attorneys coming together to mentor these law students. Despite their different backgrounds and areas of practice, members of AABANY are always generously contributing their time, resources, and efforts to aid the AAPI community and leading these law students to a career of their own choosing.
Rather than picking just one essay from the Caravan, we believe it’s best to share with you all a snippet of these law students’ thoughts about the Caravan. We wish them the best in completing their studies and continue the AABANY’s spirit of giving back to the community.
Eugene Kim, PBCS
William Lee, SOC
May Wong, PBCS
Supervisors of the Caravan
“In the first instance, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the texts that were assigned preparatory to the start of the Caravan. The excerpt from How Do You Live? was especially memorable as a means of getting me into the right mindset before the program even formally began. It goes without saying that behind every law student and lawyer lies a sizable aggregation of resources: years of schooling, various internship opportunities, and votes of confidence from a network of supportive people. Law students and lawyers are the products of considerable societal investment; as such, it is incumbent upon them to give back and to give generously.”
-Andrew Chang –
“While I knew that our society had those problems, I realized that knowing problems is different from helping people facing the problems. I also understood that volunteer attorneys need to deal with various issues in different legal areas in a limited time in the clinic. Therefore, clients’ problems are not entirely solved there, but clients are given helpful advice on the following steps to solve the problems.”
– Nobuko Ikeda –
“Overall, I really valued not only peeking into the issues faced by the community, but also into how Asian American attorneys are helping combat those issues through the clinic. This caravan has inspired me to participate in the pro bono clinic as a future attorney, and I look forward to exploring even more ways to make the sessions efficient and to help the clients legally and emotionally.”
-Angel Li –
“What I found during the research was that massive amounts of materials and resources are already provided by municipal bodies, government officials, and private law firms on the internet. However, people who are not legal professionals would have difficulty utilizing these public resources. The difficulty arises from a language barrier and complexity in understanding and applying legal standards to one’s own situation.”
– Shota Sugiura-
“I appreciated all the genuine and candid advice I received from our Caravan supervisors, and am especially grateful for the wisdom from my AABANY mentor. It was an amazing opportunity to hear from lawyers from a range of backgrounds: those working in public service, those at firms, those who have transitioned to in-house. It was an equally exciting chance to build bonds with other Columbia APALSA members who felt passionate about giving back to our community.”
On Friday, May 13, 2022, AABANY members celebrated AAPI Heritage Month with a night of laughs at the Very Big Very Asian Comedy Festival at the Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd Street. Over twenty AABANY members and friends enjoyed a hilarious and wildly entertaining lineup of standup comedians of Asian descent. And the verdict was unanimous: the jokes were in fact “Very Big” and “Very Asian.” Big shoutout to the evening’s host, Vince Chang @vincechang21 for keeping things moving along at a lively pace. Vince Chang should not be confused with AABANY President Vince Chang (2007) who is now the President of NYCLA. Not to say that AABANY Vince Chang is not a funny guy … but standup Vince Chang is much funnier.
After Broadway Comedy Club, folks enjoyed a second round of drinks and networking at @iguananyc
Shoutout to @livingwithchriss and her team for putting together a great show AND giving AABANY our own private tables. And great job by the Membership, Student Outreach & Young Lawyers Committees for organizing a great outing for AABANY. Make sure to sign up for upcoming AABANY events at aabany.org/events.
The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship is sponsored by the NFALA Foundation in collaboration with FALA New York. Robin Mangaser Tizon, Esq., MBA, was a beloved wife, daughter, sister and proud Filipina-American lawyer. Robin was born the third of four daughters, whose immigrant parents instilled in their children the value of education and service to one’s community. Throughout her life, Robin devoted herself in advocacy of many causes, including Filipino veterans’ rights, adolescents with cancer, and immigrants’ rights. She also had musical talent and a fine eye for design, enlivening any event with her singing, dancing, and keyboard skills.
After overcoming stage III ovarian cancer at the age of 23, Robin achieved her dream of becoming a lawyer, graduating from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 2013 with a JD/MBA degree. Robin focused her practice on intellectual property law. She served as a valuable leader of NFALA and FALA New York where she found inspiring mentors and lifelong friendships. Indeed, as one of the first members and original Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee since FALA New York’s inception, Robin was instrumental in establishing the FALA New York brand and lasting communications strategy. Throughout her long battle with cancer, Robin remained committed to her duties at FALA New York.
NFALA Foundation scholarship awards are given to law students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude for the study of law and strong commitment to serve or contribute to the Filipino-American community as future leaders in the legal profession. The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship was established to honor Robin’s memory and supports talented law students who embody her spirit and commitment to service. Each scholarship recipient will receive $800 to $1,000, depending on the number of recipients selected in a given year.
NFALA Foundation scholarships are made available, on a competitive basis, to students who are enrolled in their Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), or Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) at an accredited U.S. law school (Fall 2022 first time enrollees should submit a statement from your law school certifying that you are a law degree candidate enrolled at least part-time).
The NFALA Foundation strongly encourages applications from applicants reflecting diverse cultural and experiential backgrounds, people with disabilities and of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, work experiences, national origins, sexual orientations and ages.
The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship is awarded on the basis of:
Two (2) letters for recommendation (from persons not related to you);
Official or unofficial copies of your law school transcript (or for an incoming first-year law student, proof of enrollment); and
Any further submission showcasing the applicant’s creative talents, particularly in the field of visual arts or music (optional).
April 15, 2022 The scholarship application is available
May 20, 2022 The application and supporting materials must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Time
June 1, 2022 Scholarship Awardee is notified by this date
TBD Scholarship presentation at the FALA NY annual dinner to be held in June.
You may apply for the Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship by emailing a completed application (view here), along with supporting documents listed under Criteria, to RobinMangaserTizonScholarship@gmail.com by 5:00 P.M. (Eastern) on May 20, 2022. Applications must be submitted in one PDF file with the title “Robin Mangaser Tizon Scholarship Application – [Applicant Name]” that consists of all application materials.
Your essay should be no longer than 500 words. Of all the parts of the application, your essay carries the greatest weight. Please emphasize any experience you have that shows your commitment to serving the Filipino- American community, as well as your need for financial assistance.
Please submit two letters of recommendation (recommendation letters for law school admission or other programs and positions are acceptable). It is not necessary to submit more than two recommendation letters. If you submit more than two letters, the committee may only review the first two letters received. Letters may be sealed or unsealed and sent directly by the recommender or by the applicant. An application is not excluded from consideration if no letter of recommendation is provided, though it is highly recommended.
Creative submissions are optional only, but provide the applicant an opportunity to showcase creative talents. Applicants may either a) submit a link to RobinMangaserTizonScholarship@gmail.com with the content showcasing the applicant’s creative talents and provide any necessary permissions to view, or b) request an FTP link via that email for the applicant to upload materials. All creative works must be the applicant’s original work or composition, with recordings of performances or music compositions being no longer than five minutes and a maximum of 5 images (.jpg, .png, etc.) or original written works (maximum of 500 words).
On March 26, 2022, the Pro Bono and Community Service (PBCS) Committee held its Pro Bono Clinic in Flushing, Queens at the offices of the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). We couldn’t have run our clinics without the dedicated help from AABANY, the PBCS Committee, AAFE, and volunteers. We are extremely grateful for our volunteers who traveled all the way from Manhattan and Brooklyn during the torrential rain and MTA’s weekend schedule to meet with clients who needed legal assistance.
Thank you to all the following volunteers:
*Karen Lin (on-call)*
Ruihan (Yvette) Wang
Jennifer Park (not admitted)
Zulma Vazquez (AAFE)^
Chen Yo (AAFE)^
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee*
Yini Fang (AAFE)^
Maria del Carmen Cruz (AAFE)^
Gabriel Hisugan (AAFE)^
Wen-Hsien (Wendy) Cheng
^ = non-attorney volunteers
* = remote
On March 26, we met with 14 clients – 3 spoke English and 11 spoke a second language (ie: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, or Korean). While a majority of the cases related to housing, we had a few cases involving torts, trusts and estates, family law, and immigration law.
One noteworthy case highlighted the point that not all matters need to be resolved through the courts. One of our volunteers was able to direct an individual who had a problem with a store purchase to seek recourse through filing complaints with NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, Better Business Bureau, or maybe even the media:
On May 5, 2022, AABANY held a kick-off event for Fiscal Year 2023 at Allen & Overy. The new Fiscal Year began on April 1. Vice President of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong, together with Executive Director Yang Chen, provided an orientation for new co-chairs and vice-chairs and a refresher for returning chairs on information and resources available to them to facilitate their work organizing programs and events for AABANY members and the broader community. (VPPO Joe Eng was unable to attend due to pressing work obligations.)
The 2023 cohort of Committee leadership learned best practices for being a leader of AABANY and learned how to plan and host events. AABANY’s Committee Chairs are ready to put on exciting events, panels and CLEs that all members look forward to.
After the orientation, the attendees got to meet each other and mingle at Faces & Names Bar and Lounge, a few blocks north of Allen & Overy’s offices.
We thank Allen & Overy for donating their beautiful space and for being a strong sponsor of AABANY. We also thank our Committee leaders for their dedication to AABANY. Special thanks to Kevin Hsi, Co-Chair of the Government Service & Public Interest Committee for his photos of the event.
Contact:Mary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director
WASHINGTON – Secretary Norman Y. Mineta, a 10-term congressman and the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet, died today at his home in Edgewater, Md., at the age of 90.
“A legend in the Asian American community, Secretary Mineta dedicated his life to public service,” said NAPABA Executive Director Priya Purandare. “Sec. Mineta’s story began during one of the darkest times in American history, Japanese American incarceration. He then went on to become one of the country’s highest profile political leaders, and lived and led with courage, strength, and resilience. Throughout his life and career, he advocated for the civil liberties of Asian Americans, and was a co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. His lived experience with incarceration informed his fight against the racial profiling of Muslims after the 9/11 attacks because he did not want history to repeat itself. May we and future generations all be inspired by his legacy as we mourn this enormous loss.”
Secretary Mineta served as the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in President George W. Bush’s cabinet and as Secretary of Commerce in President Bill Clinton’s cabinet. He was the first Asian American to become mayor of a major U.S. city, San Jose, California. He was also a military veteran, having served as an Army intelligence officer in Korea and Japan. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2006.
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 APA 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.
On Thursday, April 28, 2022, AABANY hosted its 2022 Annual Dinner with the theme “Forging a New Path to an Equitable Future” at Cipriani Wall Street. The dinner attracted over 800 attorneys, judges, prosecutors, in-house counsel, government officials, and dignitaries and sponsorships from more than 50 law firms and corporations.
AABANY was proud to honor:
Flora W. Feng, Senior Legal Director, Global Intellectual Property, PepsiCo with AABANY’s Corporate Leadership Award
Emily A. Kim, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Zeta Charter Schools with AABANY’s Women’s Leadership Award
To read more about our extraordinary honorees, read the press release here.
We were joined by New York Governor Kathy Hochul who delivered remarks on the strength of the AAPI community and the importance of coming together to effectuate change.
This year, Actress/Comedian/Activist Kate Siahaan-Rigg served as MC. She was our MC last year during our Virtual Gala, and this was her first time serving as our live MC at the Annual Dinner. Thank you, Kate, for raising awareness on “representASIAN” while adding color and fun to the ceremony!
We were proud to honor Allen & Overy with the Law Firm Diversity Award for its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. To read more about the award, read the press release here.
In addition, we were also pleased to present the 2022 class of Don H. Liu Scholars: Seung Hye Yan, Edward Jung, and Brian Liu. Read more about the program here.
We extend sincere thanks to everyone who helped us raise over $30,000 for AABANY-AALFNY’s Turn the Tide (T3) Project to fight anti-Asian hate and violence. We thank Mayer Brown for challenging the audience to match its initial donation of $10,000. Over the course of the evening, attendees tripled the match! We thank MC Kate Siahaan-Rigg for her endless humor and compassion in helping us exceed our fundraising goal. To learn more about the T3 Project see https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/2021aav/Turning_the_Tide_v5_compress.pdf
We thank all of the AABANY Annual Dinner Planning Committee members and volunteers for their hard work in making this year’s celebration a huge success.
We thank all of our sponsors. Their generous sponsorships make it possible for us to pursue our mission to advance the interests of the Asian American and Pacific Islander legal community and the communities we serve. Our sponsors support AABANY’s many activities and signature events throughout the year.
Lastly, we thank everyone that attended the 2022 Annual Dinner and celebrated with us. We were happy to see you all in person after two years of quarantine, social distancing and endless Zoom meetings.
On Friday, April 22, 2022, the AABANY Membership Committee partnered with the Women’s Committee to host a #RestaurantSeries dinner at Basta Pasta. Originally founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1985, Chef Takada’s establishment has been a staple in the New York City pasta scene for many years. Click here to learn more about Basta Pasta.
Twelve AABANY members attended the intimate the dinner and enjoyed an incredible eight course meal. And despite the good food and even better conversations, the highlight of the night may have been when the server served their “Fusilli con Prosciuttto e Parmigiano” dish straight from a parmesan cheese wheel! Shout-out to everyone who attended the dinner, including the Women’s Committee Co-Chairs Jennifer Wu, Wen Zhang and Renee Yao, and Co-Vice Chair, Cheryl Chan.
Have any suggestions for a future #RestaurantSeries dinner? Email your recommendations to ChristopherSBae@gmail.com