AABANY IP Committee Hosts Dinner at Mama Fina’s

On October 27, the IP Committee held a group dinner at the Filipino restaurant Mama Fina’s in the East Village.  For a number of attendees, it was their first in-person group activity since the beginning of the pandemic.  Many delicious Filipino dishes, like Kare-Kare, Crispy Pata, Squid Sisig, were enjoyed while attendees connected with old and new IP Committee members.  Attendees included students, law firm practitioners, and in-house counsel.  Thanks to everyone who attended.  Look out for more group dinners and other events from the IP Committee throughout the year.  New members always welcome.

To learn more about the IP Committee and to get involved, please go to https://www.aabany.org/page/145

Pro Bono and Community Service Committee’s Pro Bono Clinics Serve Numerous Community Members in September and October

AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee would like to thank everyone who attended the second and third hybrid Manhattan pro bono clinics in September and October, as well as the soft opening of the Queens pro bono clinic this past Saturday, Oct. 30. The three clinics assisted a total of fifty-five (55) clients, who sought advice on a range of topics, including housing law, immigration, elder law, loans and contracts, marriage and divorce, estates law and drafting of wills and powers of attorney, discrimination, 9/11 compensation, and fraud. PBCS and AABANY are grateful to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) and Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) for co-sponsoring and hosting these clinics. 

The clinics for the past two months could not have happened without the gracious help of many AABANY members and committees. During the September pro bono clinic, in collaboration with AABANY’s Bankruptcy Committee, PBCS provided a “Know Your Rights” presentation on the topic of bankruptcy and consumer debt. During the October clinics, Rina Gurung and Kevin Hsi, two of the three co-chairs of AABANY’s Government Service and Public Interest Committee, and Zhixian (Jessie) Liu, a co-chair of AABANY’s Immigration Committee, helped PBCS out by volunteering to see clients for one-on-one informational consultations. Thanks to AABANY’s Committees for their camaraderie!

At the pro bono clinics, PBCS volunteers use quick issue-spotting skills to help members of the AAPI community and those with limited English proficiency know what their rights are. For instance, while answering housing questions, a volunteer discovered that a 70-year-old couple living at a rent-stabilized apartment was eligible for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exception (SCRIE). SCRIE is a program that allows qualified tenants to have their rent frozen at their current level and be exempt from future rent increases. This is crucial since most seniors depend on their fixed income. If their rent goes up, qualified SCRIE tenants do not have to pay the higher rent, as the City will pay the landlord the difference between the current rent and the future rent. The 70-year-old couple who came into the PBCS clinic will receive assistance from AAFE to apply for SCRIE. 

In order to be eligible for SCRIE, an applicant must be 62 years or older, have less than $50,000 in household income, spend more than 1/3 of monthly income on rent, and reside in a NYC rent-stabilized apartment, rent-controlled apartment, rent-regulated hotel or single room occupancy unit, Mitchell-Lama development, Limited Dividend Housing Company development, Redevelopment Company development, or Housing Development Fund Company development. Senior citizens who own homes, condominiums or private non-government supervised co-ops may also be eligible for SCRIE. To learn more about SCRIE, see https://access.nyc.gov/programs/senior-citizens-rent-increase-exemption-%E2%80%8Bscrie/.

To learn more about the PBCS Committee and its work, click here and here. The next hybrid legal clinics will take place on Saturday, November 6, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at AAFE, 2 Allen Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10002; and Saturday, November 13, 2021, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at CCBA, 62 Mott Street (2nd Floor), New York, NY 10013. For up-to-date details about the clinic and other events, please check PBCS’s event calendar.

And as always, we are always looking for volunteers to help us out! 

To volunteer at CCBA’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrQFecVpU1u5ltAy

To volunteer at AAFE’s Clinics – https://airtable.com/shrtPeVTibQA9qNgD   

AABANY thanks the following September 18, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Asako Aiba*
Chao Yung (Kloe) Chiu
Megan Gao
Chenxin (Sarah) Li
Eugene Kim
Jason Kuo
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee
Karen Lin
Erxian (Estelle) Lu*
Jayashree Mitra
Kensing Ng*
Kwok Ng
Grace Pan
Anthony Park*
S. Yan Sin
Tina Song
May Wong
Courina Youlisa*
Serena Zou^

AABANY thanks the following October 16, 2021 Manhattan CCBA Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Xuanyou (Alicia) ChenLuna Fu^
Francis Chin
Yoonhee Kim*
Judy (Ming Chu) Lee*
Karen Lin
Zhixian Liu
Erxian (Estelle) Lu^*
Megan Gao
Kwok Ng
Kendall Park^*
S. Yan Sin
Johnny Thach
Annie Tsao
Bill Yang^*
Teresa Wai Yee Yeung^
May Wong
Meng Zhang*

AABANY thanks the following October 30, 2021 Queens Clinic Volunteers:

AABANY  AAFE
Esther Choi^Lilian Cheung
Megan GaoLuna Fu
Rina GurungGabriel Hisugan
Kevin Hsi
Eugene Kim
Kendall Park^*
Rachel Ji-Young Yoo*
May Wong

^Non-attorney volunteers

*Remote volunteers

AABANY Celebrates Founders’ Day with Gov. Hochul

On October 28, 2021, AABANY’s Membership Committee, together with the Career Placement Committee and IP Committee, hosted the first annual Founders’ Day at Broadridge’s New York office in midtown Manhattan. Surrounded by dramatic views of the New York skyline, the event celebrated AABANY’s thirty-second year as an association serving AAPI legal professionals and the AAPI community. This celebration honors the founders who helped form AABANY in 1989. Hon. Doris Ling Cohan, Hon. Marilyn Go, Sylvia Chin and Rocky Chin joined the party as honorees. Approximately 50 members and friends gathered together to connect and re-connect over food and drinks. President Terry Shen was joined by many Board members and Committee Chairs for the occasion. Towards the end of the party, the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, made a special appearance and gave remarks commending the achievements of AABANY over the past three decades, including fighting Asian hate and serving the AAPI community. As the first female Governor of New York state, she encouraged more women to enter public service. 

We hope to establish Founders’ Day as an annual event. Thanks to Governor Hochul, the Founders, and the AABANY leadership for attending and making this first Founders’ Day a memorable one. Thanks also to AABANY’s Diamond Sponsor, Broadridge, for making this event possible at their beautiful space. To see more photos of the event, go to: https://photos.app.goo.gl/CmBvkiEJTY7TeSLYA

The Membership Committee’s next big event is a Night at the Opera to see “Turandot” at the Met. Please register now: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1564041. Tickets are going fast.

NAPABA Celebrates the Historic Confirmation of Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

On Oct. 21, the U.S. Senate confirmed Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic confirmation to become the first Asian American Article III district court judge in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She is a devout public servant who has an exemplary legal career as a civil rights attorney and former public defender who’s enforced civil rights statutes, federal anti-discrimination laws, and a variety of other complex litigation matters.

“In addition to her impeccable qualifications, Judge Lin has a life experience that many in our community can relate to. She immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was three years old, worked her way through school, and is a leader in the community. Judge Lin has also served as a past board member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, where she continues to be an active member.”

AAPIs represent nearly 10% of the population and constitute the largest community of color in the state of Washington. President Biden has nominated two AAPIs to the Federal courts in Washington State.

With 30 years of legal experience, Judge Lin has been named as a Super Lawyer for Washington for her practice at Keller Rohrback LLP. She has worked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Judge Lin is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and Cornell University. 

NAPABA commends President Biden for nominating Judge Lin to the bench and thanks Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their support of her nomination. Judge Lin’s confirmation increases the number of active AAPI Article III judges to 40 nationwide: 10 federal appellate court judges and 30 federal district court judges.


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.

Thank You for Joining AABANY for Our 2021 Fall Conference

AABANY’s twelfth annual Fall Conference, with the theme “Uniting for Justice and Equity,” took place on Oct. 22 and 23. We started on Friday afternoon, Oct. 22, with the GC Roundtable: The Evolving Role of General Counsels in Promoting Justice & DE&I in the Workplace, which ran concurrently with Pro Bono Crisis Lawyering: Challenges and Lessons Learned. After these two programs concluded, we held our Reception and Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award Presentation in person at King & Spalding, in hybrid format, with some attendees joining in person and others online via Remo. Those in attendance at King & Spalding got to meet and mingle in person with AABANY Board members and Committee Chairs, as well as the Trailblazer Award honoree Glenn Lau-Kee. To learn more about Glenn Lau-Kee and the Trailblazer Award, please see: https://conference2021.aabany.org/trailblazer/

Saturday kicked off with two concurrent programs, Fighting for Housing and Community Justice: The Role of Lawyers in the Movement and Measuring, Reporting and Improving Outside Counsel Diversity, followed by two more concurrent programs, Virtual Chat With Hon. Stacey L. Meisel, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, D.N.J. and Achieving Justice and Equity Through Litigation. The Plenary Session, The Rising Tide of Anti-Asian Hate & Violence: Where Are We Now?, closed the Fall Conference.

We thank all the Program Chairs, Moderators, and Speakers for putting on important CLE programs on timely subjects that strongly reflected the Conference theme. We also thank our sponsors:

Gold

Broadridge
White & Case LLP

Bronze

New York State Bar Association Business Law Section

Finally, we thank everyone who joined us Friday afternoon and evening, and then again on Saturday morning into the early afternoon. We are processing your CLE certificates now and you should be receiving them soon. If you have any questions about CLE credits, please contact cle@aabany.org. If you have any questions or comments about the Conference, please contact fall.conference@aabany.org.

In the News: AABANY Member Lina Lee Comments on Hurricane Ida Basement-Flooding Deaths

In early September, Hurricane Ida made landfall in New York City and left countless individuals to suffer the aftermath of flooded basements. A closer look into the eleven basement-flooding deaths reveals that a majority of them were Asian residents. A number of factors played into this tragedy including a lack of affordable housing, climate change, and pandemic change. These issues are prominent among low-income Asian immigrants who resort to illegal basement apartments that are deemed to have unsafe living conditions. 

“Realistically, a lot of these tenants would have family members, many who are clustered into very, very small rooms,” said Lina Lee, executive director of housing justice nonprofit organization Communities Resist. “When you have these natural disasters, there’s obviously going to be really a life-and-death situation, and when you have very limited or no access to leave your living space, these families really had no way out.”

Lee continues, “They cluster in small communities where they are able to access people who speak the same language, who are from the same culture and are living in the same conditions that they have to live in. For them, they have nowhere else to live with, except those small pockets in Queens.” 

Punishing tenants is not an ideal solution. Lee said reporting landlords for housing violations enforces building codes which could prompt agencies to issue a vacate order and inadvertently force a tenant to move out.The Mayor proposes an emergency warning system for basement-dwellers but the victims’ families are not convinced. 

To read the full NBC News article, click here

Lina Lee will also be the moderator for a program titled “Fighting for Housing And Community Justice: The Role of Lawyers In The Movement” at AABANY’s Fall Conference on Saturday, October 23. Click here for more information. 

Don Liu Featured on Ascend Leadership’s #TheOtherSide

Ascend Leadership, one of the largest professional membership organizations that represent the interests of Asian American/Pacific Islander professionals within North America, has featured Don Liu in its #TheOtherSide campaign.

Don Liu currently serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal and Risk Officer at Target Corporation.  Despite his notable successes, Mr. Liu’s career path demonstrates the prevalence of discrimination in Asian American professional life.

Don, a graduate of Columbia Law School, was one of many Asian American business and professional leaders invited to discuss their perspectives on Asian Americans and the workplace as part of Ascend Leadership’s #TheOtherSide campaign.  Mr. Liu reflected on his encounters with racial stereotyping during his extensive and distinguished legal career.  

In his first year of practice, Mr. Liu was exposed to others’ characterization of him as the “stereotyped Asian American worker bee.”  He was assigned to work on a large case simply because of the false impression that he “would never miss a typo.”  

“I guess I should be thankful, but on the other hand, that’s so unlike me,” Mr. Liu notes.  “I’m a big thinker, strategic thinker.  I think that’s my strength.  I was not going to wind up being that stereotyped Asian American worker bee.”

To watch Don Liu’s interview for the #TheOtherSide campaign, click here.  

To learn more about the #TheOtherSide campaign, click here.

To help ensure that future leaders in the legal profession do not succumb to the same stereotyping that Don faced, two Past Presidents of AABANY, Jean Lee and Mike Huang, founded the Don H. Liu Scholars Program in 2014.  The Program seeks to identify, cultivate and inspire future Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders within the legal profession to address the single most important reality facing AAPI professionals today: the barrier to advancement.

To support emerging AAPI leaders, the Program continues to award each of three Scholars a financial scholarship of $15,000.  The Scholars also receive mentorship and assistance with their career development from leading AAPI lawyers from across AABANY’s network.
The deadline for consideration for the 2021 Don H. Liu Scholarship is November 15, 2021.  For more information as well as application information, click here

From Asian American Studies Center and Program at Hunter College: “Arts and Activism: Reflections from Curtis Chin and Bino Realuyo” on October 20th

Between the AIDS crisis, attacks on the National Endowment for the
Arts, and the Miss Saigon controversy, artists and activists in the
early ’90s needed to find new ways to build solidarity and counter
invisibility. Founded in 1991, the Asian American Writers Workshop
(AAWW) was a product of these times.

Join a discussion with two of the organization’s co-founders – Curtis
Chin, award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker, and
acclaimed novelist Bino Realuyo – and learn how the AAWW built the
foundation from its roots. The discussion will be moderated by
Vivian Louie, Director of the Asian American Studies Center and
Program at Hunter College and Professor of Urban Policy and
Planning.

RSVP WITH THE LINK BELOW
bit.ly/aas1020
Co-sponsored by Hunter College’s English Dept., Sociology Dept., and
The Urban Policy & Planning Dept.

Apply for EDNY Federal Judicial Internship with Hon. Dora L. Irizarry

The Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, currently is accepting applications for Spring 2022 Internships.

Qualifications

  • Must be a second or third year law student.
  • Must have good grades.
  • Must have good research, writing, and analytical skills, although participation in Law Review or a Journal is not a prerequisite.
  • Military and/or other life/career experience is a plus.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, interested law students should forward their application package in PDF format via email to irizarry_chambers@nyed.uscourts.gov.

  • One-page cover letter briefly describing your background, why you are interested in a legal career and setting forth why you are interested in interning for Judge Irizarry specifically.
  • Resume
  • Law school transcript. Self-prepared transcripts will not be accepted.
  • One recent writing sample no longer than 10 pages. Journal or research articles will not be accepted.
  • A list of 2-3 references with their contact information. Reference letters preferably should be included with the submitted package, but also may be sent to chambers at the chambers email address above and not directly to the Judge.

The deadline for receipt of materials is November 1, 2021.

Please note that, while these are not paid internships, the Judge will participate in any appropriate sponsored program that provides academic credit or stipends for interns.

If you have further questions, please contact chambers at: 718-613-2150.

NAPABA Receives Grant from American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation to Combat Anti-Asian Bullying in Schools

In recognition of October as National Bullying Prevention month, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to announce that the American Arbitration Association’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution (AAA-ICDR) Foundation has awarded it grant funding under its Rapid Response Fund which focuses on conflict-resolution initiatives helping Asian American/Pacific Islander communities combat the surge in anti-Asian hate across the United States. 

“NAPABA is grateful to the AAA-ICDR Foundation for its generous support on this critical project,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “With thousands of cases of anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents—and seemingly no end in sight—we must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable victims of hate—children, and stand up for them harnessing the power of our nationwide network of affiliates as trained advocates.”  

The award, made through the NAPABA Law Foundation, will be used, in part, to develop a toolkit to combat COVID-19-driven anti-Asian bullying in schools as well as for other anti-bullying advocacy efforts. The toolkit will seek to equip and train NAPABA affiliates on legal and non-legal responses alike and provide best practices on how to interact with school officials. The toolkit is aimed at educating not only NAPABA lawyers on conducting best advocacy practices, but also to help families, students, educators, and communities understand the availability of remedies including appropriate alternative dispute resolution approaches to addressing anti-Asian bullying. For more on the AAA-ICDR Foundation and its Rapid Response efforts to combat the surge in anti-Asian hate, please visit here

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.