On October 5, for their first event in the fall, the L&E Committee hosted committee members, AABANY colleagues, and beyond for a night of authentic Thai food and delicious cocktails at Top Thai Vintage in the West Village.
It was a night of mixing and mingling where conversations hit topics from committee developments/events, law firm practices, litigation trends, and more. It was a wonderful night out and perfect event to kick off our event calendar for the fall.
Interested in joining L&E Committee for their next event? You may subscribe to their mailing list by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep an eye out for the Committee’s events on AABANY’s Calendar. To learn more about the AABANY L&E Committee, please visit the Committee’s subpage here.
On October 21, 2022, Adhikaar, a community organization for New York’s Nepali-speaking community, hosted its sold-out Fall Utsav at the Queens Museum. Rina Gurung, Board Chair of Adhikaar (and one of the co-chairs of AABANY’s Government Services and Public Interest (GSPI) Committee), opened the ceremony by thanking the Adhikaar Board and its staff for spearheading a wonderful organization that empowers the Nepali-speaking community by addressing social rights, workers’ rights, and women’s rights. Gurung also gave a shout-out to her work colleagues and AABANY.
Kevin Hsi, co-chair of GSPI, and May Wong, co-chair of the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, were also in attendance at Fall Utsav to support Rina and Adhikaar. AABANY’s GSPI and PBCS Committees wish the best to Pabitra Khati Benjamin, Executive Director of Adhikaar, who steps down from her leadership role at the end of October.
Moving forward, PBCS hopes to bridge a partnership with Adhikaar to secure Nepali-speaking clients for PBCS upcoming legal clinics! For more information about AABANY’s PBCS, please contact email@example.com.
In other news, AABANY’s ties with other Asian American community organizations are as strong as ever. AABANY member and Prosecutors Committee co-founder Kin Ng attended the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn’s (UCA) 20th Anniversary Gala to accept the Community Leader of the Year Award. PBCS partners with UCA to host its pro bono clinics. Register for the December 10th Brooklyn PBCS pro bono clinic here. Read more about AABANY members celebrating with Kin at the UCA Gala here.
Next event coming up that supports AAPI Community-Based Organizations: 11/17 – MinKwon hosting its Virtual Anniversary Gala with NAKASEC
The latest #RestaurantSeries dinner was held on Thursday, October 26, 2022 at NSA Noodle Bar in Brooklyn. #Restaurant Series dinners are intimate and informal get-togethers to connect current and prospective members with various AABANY committees, designed to support Asian-owned businesses in the wake of the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. The dinner featured Membership Committee Co-Chair Dianna Lam and Litigation Committee Co-Chair Lois Ahn. The NSA Noodle Bar provided a three-course prix fixe menu with delicious options including miso arancini, panko crusted takoyaki, miso honey burrata, truffle tonkotsu ramen, among others. The crowd favorite was hands down the miso honey burrata appetizer.
The food was great, of course, but the conversations were even better. The group, sitting in a cozy corner of the restaurant, exchanged life stories, and discussed career trajectories and goals, working as a big law associate vs. an in-house lawyer, and, in light of the upcoming winter season, the best places to ski/snowboard.
Big thanks to those who came out, and please be on the lookout for future #RestaurantSeries!
To learn about the Litigation Committee, go to this page, and to learn more about the Membership Committee go to this page.
On October 11, 2022, to recognize National Coming Out Day, over 40 members of the bar “came out” to celebrate the diversity within the LGBT, Asian American, and South Asian communities with the LGBT Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and Allen & Overy LLP. After a 2 year hiatus from in-person events, LGBT Asian American and South Asian attorneys in corporate, commercial, government, and public interest practice gathered to build peer-support and expand their network. View the scenes from the reception below as we celebrated the growing diversity and inclusivity of our communities by building our networks and peer support.
On Thursday, October 27, 2022, AABANY members attended the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn’s 20th Anniversary Gala to celebrate longtime AABANY member and co-founding member of AABANY’s Prosecutors Committee, Kin Ng, who received UCA’s Community Leader of the Year Award.
Kin has been a prosecutor at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for over thirty years, where he currently serves as the Bureau Chief of Trial Bureau II, Blue Zone. Kin made history in 2017 when he became the first AAPI prosecutor to be elevated to bureau chief of a major trial bureau in Brooklyn. Prior to that, Kin served in various management capacities in different trial bureaus and the Immigration Fraud Unit. He also served as the Chief of Legal Training, conducting office-wide trainings for all Brooklyn ADAs and staff. Kin continues to mentor prosecutors of all offices and experiences through AABANY as well as NAPABA (National Asian Pacific American Bar Association) and NAPIPA (National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association). Notably, Kin received the Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award at the 2018 AABANY Fall Conference, in recognition of his leadership in the Asian American legal community.
Please join us in congratulating Kin on receiving this well-deserved UCA of Brooklyn Community Leader of the Year Award.
On October 25, 2022, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) celebrated its 33rd Anniversary with its Second Annual Founders’ Day Event at Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services’ (JAMS) space in the New York Times building in Manhattan. The annual event commemorates the founding of AABANY as a bar association in 1989 and honors the Founders who helped build the foundation for AABANY to become the largest diverse bar association in the country.
The Honorable Denny Chin, United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, gave remarks as the Founders’ Day keynote speaker. He spoke about AABANY’s early days and the fight for diversity and Asian representation in the legal profession. He recounted the challenges that he and his colleagues faced during his time as AABANY’s second president. He concluded by urging members not to rest on their laurels but to continue to fight for the needs of Asian Americans in the legal community. AABANY President William Ng also gave remarks while Hon. Marilyn Go, longtime AABANY member Hugh Mo, Executive Director Yang Chen, and many other AABANY leaders and members attended the celebration.
We would like to thank AABANY Board Member Chris Kwok and his colleagues at JAMS for hosting Founders’ Day, along with Membership Director Christopher S. Bae and the Membership Committee for organizing such a great event. AABANY is proud to have celebrated its 33rd anniversary with so many distinguished guests, and we look forward to celebrating our 34th next year at our Third Annual Founders’ Day Event.
On October 15, 2022, AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee held a Pro Bono Clinic at the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn from 12:00-3:30 PM.
In all, we met with 22 clients who had questions about contracts, fraud, housing, wills, trusts, and estates. Our volunteers are constantly learning and teaching one another. Many of this clinic’s volunteer force were law students or recent law school graduates, who put their memory of basic skills such as issue-spotting through the IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion) method to real-world use. We were also able to refer many clients to not-for-profit legal services to further help their case beyond the time constraints of our clinic session. Last, but not least, our volunteers demonstrated exceptional professionalism with the 4 C’s in mind: competency, confidentiality, conflict of interest, and compassion.
AABANY Legal Interns Daniel Kang and Connor Li recounted their experiences at the clinic. Daniel said, “Many clients came in with issues regarding estate and housing law. It was great having the chance to shadow attorneys like Kwok, May, and Johnny, and to see how their legal knowledge can be used to help people in their everyday lives. I sat in on a session where one client did not come with a particular issue, but with an information request regarding the drafting of a will—and the benefits of creating one. Attorney May Wong carefully explained the concept of a will, the legal challenges which might be confronted and avoided through the creation of one, and helped the client walk away with knowledge of a legal concept that will undoubtedly impact their family.”
Connor had a similar experience when sitting in on the consultations. He said, “I sat in on a session where attorney Johnny Thach was able to help a couple find the available resources to resolve their landlord-tenant issues. Especially for non-English speakers, and even for those of us that speak English as our native language, legal terminology can be confusing. For this couple, the resources we found online were filled with legal jargon, so it was great to see Johnny clearly articulate the issues and next steps in words that even I was able to understand.”
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped out this past Saturday. Your extra help was truly appreciated!
Interpreters & Shadowers
Kwok Kei Ng
Yiru (Lea) Jiang
Ming Chu (Judy) Lee
Please join us at our upcoming Pro Bono Clinics!
October 29 – registration closed at noon on 10/26 [remote option not available]
Manhattan Location – 33 Bowery, Community Room at Confucius Plaza, New York, NY 10002
November 19 – please register by 12pm, 11/16 [remote option available for NYS admitted attorneys only]
Queens Location – AAFE One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave, 2nd Floor, Flushing, NY 11355
On October 22, 2022, AABANY held its 2022 Golf Outing at the historic Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort on a sunny autumn afternoon. The event was presented by the Women’s Committee, Corporate Law Committee, and Membership Committee.
The 27-hole world class golf course, which has hosted the PGA Championship, was designed by renowned architect A.W. Tillinghast. Carpools left New York City Saturday morning for the hour and a half drive to the Pocono Mountains. AABANY members, friends, family and children enjoyed the magnificent colors of the fall foliage on a picturesque day for golf. Golfers met at the Shawnee General Store for lunch and then hit the driving range for some practice swings. Five AABANY foursomes, including several beginners and first time golfers, teed off in the early afternoon and played several holes across water on an island in the middle of the Delaware River. Following the round, AABANY golfers dined together in the Shawnee Inn’s River Room at a table set for 20.
NAPABA has announced its 2022-2023 Board of Governors. This board will be sworn in during the 2022 NAPABA Convention Las Vegas, Nov. 3-6. NAPABA’s strength comes from the many volunteers who hold leadership positions across its diverse membership. From its national Board of Governors to its local affiliate leaders, from its substantive committees and affinity network chairs to the chairs of its professional development programs, NAPABA is driven by the expertise, energy, and commitment of its membership.
AABANY is especially proud of AABANY member and Board officer Anna Mercado Clark for being elected as President-Elect for the 2022-2023 Board of Governors. Anna currently serves as an Officer for AABANY’s Board as Development Director. She was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States as a twelve-year-old, graduating from Fordham Law School before interning for the Hon. Denny Chin. Anna is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP and an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School.
2022-2023 NAPABA Board of Governors
President: Sandra Leung
President-Elect: Anna Mercado Clark
Treasurer: Annette Kwok
Secretary: Kristin Haugen
Immediate Past President: A.B. Cruz III
Executive Director: Priya Purandare
Director: Angela Lim
Director: Marty Lorenzo
Central Regional Governor: Kristy Gonowon
Central California Regional Governor: Jen Won
Eastern California: Albert Montefalcon
Northeast Regional Governor: James Y. Lee
Northeast Regional Governor: Andrew Sarrol
Northern California Regional Governor: Mari Bandoma Callado
Northwest Regional Governor: Elisa Dozono
Southeast Regional Governor: Zarra Elias
Southern California Regional Governor: Arlene Yang