AABANY Signs onto NCAPA Letters to Congressional Leadership Urging Them to Denounce Racism and Xenophobia Arising from COVID-19

On March 11, 2020, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) sent two letters to House and Senate leadership, urging them to call for unity and publicly denounce the increase in racist attacks and discrimination against the Asian American community, in the wake of rising concerns over the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

AABANY is proud to be among the signatories for these letters. While we recognize the growing public health and economic threat the virus poses, we believe our leadership needs to be grounded in truth and committed to taking on racism and xenophobia directly.

The letter to House leadership can be viewed here: https://www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/2020/NCAPA_Letter_to_House_Leader.pdf

The letter to Senate leadership can be viewed here: https://www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/2020/NCAPA_Letter_to_Senate_Leade.pdf

AABANY Presents “How to Network” Panel at Cardozo School of Law

On Wednesday, March 3rd, AABANY’s Student Outreach committee collaborated with Cardozo Law School’s Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) to host a panel on “How to Network.” The panelists included Margaret Ling, Senior Counsel at Big Apple Abstract Corp., Tiffany Ma, Partner at Young & Ma LLP, and Jeff Ikejiri, Vice President of Legal and Business Services at UnitedLex. The moderator was Aakruti Vakharia, Associate at Garwin Gerstein & Fisher LLP and Co-Chair of the Student Outreach Committee. 

Tiffany Ma spoke about her journey from a mid-tier law school to her lateral move to Morrison & Foerster, advising Cardozo law students to take advantage of their location in New York to build their networks and make themselves more competitive. She believes that “the best marketing is sincerity” and she shared her personal technique of establishing three points of commonality with new connections to help others remember her when she follows up with them afterwards.

Margaret Ling also shared a tip to have different business cards—company, personal, school, etc.—so that students can present the best side of themselves in different contexts. Margaret emphasized the importance of doing one’s homework and being aware of social cultural etiquette, always staying as humble as possible throughout the process.

Jeff Ikejiri advised students to think of networking as making friends. He told the story of how he got his current job through someone he met in line for refreshments during a break at a convention years ago. He encouraged students to be similarly outgoing and open to making new connections as well as being proactive in following up with potential connections.

Cardozo law students of all years came to hear insights and tips from the experienced practitioners. Those in attendance found the discussion thoughtful and engaging.

Thanks to Cardozo’s APALSA for co-hosting the event and providing food for the attendees. We hope to host many similar events in the future as AABANY continues to extend its outreach to students in law schools across New York.

To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/121

PRESS RELEASE: MENG, VELÁZQUEZ, CHU BILL WOULD ASSIST SMALL BUSINESSES HARMED BY CORONAVIRUS

SBA Disaster Loans Would be Made Available for Virus-Impacted Firms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), the First Vice Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee, and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the Chairwoman of CAPAC, have introduced legislation aimed at assisting small businesses that suffer economic harm from the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Queens and throughout New York City,” said Meng. “They enhance our neighborhoods, bring investment and innovation to local communities, and provide jobs to area residents. But concerns about the coronavirus have hit many small businesses hard. In fact, I have heard from many Asian American-owned small business owners in my district that they are severely struggling. We cannot let them suffer. Government must be a strong partner in helping small businesses succeed and we must not abandon them in their time of need. I call on all my colleagues to immediately pass this legislation so that our entrepreneurs and small businesses can get back on track. When small businesses succeed, America succeeds!”

“Small businesses around the country and in New York City are beginning to feel the economic effects of the coronavirus,” said Velázquez. “Many of our Asian-owned businesses in New York have already experienced a decline in sales due to misinformation, fear and stigma associated with the virus. The bill we’ve authored will help businesses access federal loans if they suffer losses related to the outbreak.”  

“The spread of COVID-19 has nothing to do with race or ethnicity, but that has not stopped dangerous misinformation and xenophobia from spreading faster than the disease itself,” said Chu. “In my district, some Asian-owned businesses are reporting a 50% drop in customers, and that’s the case elsewhere around the country as well. For instance, in New York City, before there was even a single case of COVID-19, some restaurants saw as much as an 80% decline in customers. We have even seen instances of illegal, fraudulent letters that baselessly urge people to avoid Asian-owned businesses. These are serious losses that can have long-lasting impacts on our local economies. We cannot let misinformation and fear ruin communities and businesses. This bill would help by providing necessary assistance to help our Asian-owned businesses continue to operate in the face of a disaster they had no control over.”

Economists recently lowered the global forecasts for major economies from 2.6 percent to 2.4 percent. Much of the recent slowing of the economy is linked to the coronavirus, which has weakened demand in travel and tourism. Besides the decline in foot traffic for many retailers and restaurants, particularly those in Chinese communities, small firms have experienced challenges related to their supply chains. Companies sourcing products and services from China have had delays or complete cancellations of orders, resulting in lower profits for the company. Besides these challenges, small firms must start the process of preparing their companies for the potential to have employees become infected and remain home or telework. In many instances, a small employer may be unable to absorb the additional workforce reductions without a coinciding loss in productivity.

Under the bill, the “Small Business Relief from Communicable Disease Induced Economic Hardship Act,” small businesses would be able to access Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses, which would otherwise have been met if it were not for the virus’ spread. The bill specifies that the loans would be interest free. Companies that are major employers could be potentially eligible for larger loans.

“Properly preparing for the impact of the coronavirus requires a multi-front strategy and that includes being ready to address the very real economic fallout we may see,” Velázquez added. “This legislation would be a good first step to help our small firms in New York and around the nation who sustain economic injury from COVID-19. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this measure.”

A copy of the bill is online here and a bill summary is available here.

AABANY Hosts February Monthly Membership Mixer at Atwood

On Wednesday, February 19, 2020, AABANY’s Membership Committee, together with Corporate, Issues, Litigation, Solo & Small Firm Practice, and Professional Development Committees hosted a Membership Mixer with members, colleagues, and friends at Atwood Bar & Lounge in Midtown East. Over twenty attendees filled a private section reserved for our group. Our membership programs provide opportunities to network and to learn more about AABANY by meeting current members and leaders. Keep an eye out for our future events including an outing to see “West Side Story” on Broadway on March 19. To learn more about the Membership Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130

Apply for NAPABA’s Leadership Advancement Program

NAPABA’s Leadership Advancement Program is a year-long experiential program targeted at building leadership skills by allowing rising attorneys to step into their own leadership style, while providing an opportunity to foster genuine relationships with peers within the profession, especially between in-house counsel (IHC) and law firm attorneys. 

Here are just a few accomplishments from our last cohort since they completed the program:

Visit our website to learn more about the program’s requirements and see how you’ll benefit from being part of this opportunity.

Apply here. The application deadline is Thursday, March 12.

Public Charge Rule Phone Bank on February 11 and 12

In light of the public charge rule that will go into effect on February 24, 2020, Catholic Charities Community Services will be hosting a phone bank in partnership with MOIA, ONA, Univision, Legal Aid, NYLAG and Hispanic Federation for a two-day phone bank on February 11 and 12, from 5pm – 8pm. 


The purpose of the phone bank is to answer questions, dispel fears for those who will not be affected, and urge those who will be impacted to seek legal advice and assistance with their applications. If anyone has questions about the public charge rule, please call the phone bank at the NYS New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636. There will be language assistance available. 

AABANY Mentorship Program Hosts Welcome Reception at Fried Frank

On Wednesday evening, February 5, AABANY’s Mentorship Program held its Welcome Reception at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.

Yang Chen, the Executive Director of AABANY, shared some words of wisdom and encouraged mentees to build informal mentorship relationships with their connections in addition to the formal pairings provided by AABANY’s Mentorship Program. Then, after learning more about how members can get involved with the program for the upcoming year, mentors and mentees from the program got together over drinks and hors d’oeuvres to reconnect, mix, and mingle with each other and other attendees.

Thanks to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP for their generous support and for providing the drinks and refreshments for the event. Shruti Chopra and Tristan Loanzon currently serve as Co-Chairs of the Mentorship Committee. If you would like to learn more, please visit the committee’s page here.

Congratulations to Hon. Denny Chin on Receiving the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders

On January 27, 2020, the Honorable Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, received the Honorable Harold Baer Jr. Award from the Network of Bar Leaders. In his remarks, Judge Chin emphasized that the legacy of Judge Baer lives on in initiatives such as the SDNY’s Re-entry through Intensive Supervision and Employment (RISE) Court. Judge Chin presided over the first RISE Court, where he met with at-risk individuals on supervised release to encourage them to seek and maintain employment. Judge Chin was happy to report that at least ten of the individuals in the program were set to successfully graduate from the inaugural program. 

Congratulations, Judge Chin, on the well-deserved recognition and thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for the legal profession. For more information about Judge Chin and the award, read the press release here.

Press Release: NAPABA Congratulates Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber on Their Nominations

For Immediate Release I January 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Trump announced the nominations of Jessie K. Liu to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Jennifer Yue Barber to be Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

“We congratulate Jessie K. Liu on her nomination to serve as the Under Secretary of the Treasury. Ms. Liu is an experienced and respected attorney with a record of leadership as U.S. Attorney. She is well qualified to oversee the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Jennifer Yue Barber on her nomination to serve as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Ms. Barber has a strong record of encouraging and creating economic opportunity and is well qualified to serve as Ambassador. We are encouraged to see Asian Pacific American women like Ms. Liu and Ms. Barber continue to break barriers and serve as role models.”

A litigator with over 20 years of experience, Liu is presently the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She was a partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner & Block LLP. Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.  

Barber is a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC focusing on state and local tax, economic incentives, and government affairs. She was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to serve on the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. Barber is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Tax Working Group and Litigation Committee and a member of the American Bar Association and Kentucky Bar Association, where she leads and serves on multiple committees. She is also a member of the local advisory board for United States Bank, the nation’s fifth largest commercial bank. She served on the Kentucky State Fair Board, which has over $450 million in annual economic impact to Kentucky. Barber earned her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She clerked in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Barber is a member of the NAPABA Partners Committee.

Barber is also nominated to be an Alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Margaret Ling Receives Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service

On the evening of December 3, 2019, Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director and Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee, was the proud recipient of the Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service. The award was given to Margaret by the Brooklyn Real Estate Board at their Annual Holiday Party & Community Recognition Awards Presentation. Margaret is a Member of the Advisory Board of Directors.

Margaret is pictured below with her award and with her colleagues Ashvini Persaud, Senior Business Banker of Capital One (left) and Sara Golan, Associate Broker, Nest Seekers International: The Serhant Team (right).

Join us in congratulating Margaret on this well-deserved honor and recognition.