Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Queens Pro Bono Clinic in February

Thank you AABANY, AAFE, and our dedicated volunteers for joining us at the Queens Pro Bono Legal Clinic on February 7, 2024. This was our first Queens clinic of the year and we met with 16 clients who asked questions about criminal law, housing, and contracts.

Thanks to all our interpreters who helped us! We had a little mishap in ordering dinner for us that night. In case you were wondering why there were so many chicken feet, it was because we thought buldakbal meant “spicy chicken.” There you go, that’s why. This is also why it’s important to use human interpreters rather than entrusting AI Google translate.

And here’s what our clients have to say about our volunteers’ assistance –

“This is a wonderful service you provide the public. AAFE is making a difference for the community.”
“Extremely grateful to the lawyers and interpreter lady!”
“Service was great.”

Volunteer Attorneys:Interpreters & Shadowers:
Beatrice LeongDaniel Kang
Brandon WongKaila Chen
Forrest SungNandar Win Kerr
Gary YeungRuo Yang
Hazel F. ChinYiyang Shen
Johnny ThachWillow Liu
Lina LeeWoohyeong Cho
May Wong 
Shirley LuongAAFE:
Wenhsien (Wendy) ChengNuala Naranjo
Yan Lian Kuang-MaogaElton Ye
 Gabriel Hisugan

Thank you once again and we hope to see you soon!

To learn about upcoming Pro Bono clinics in Queens, Manhattan, or Brooklyn, visit probono.aabany.org.

AALFNY 2024 Public Interest Scholarships – Applications Due April 15

The Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY) is pleased to announce that recipients of its 2024 Public Interest Scholarships will now be entitled to receive up to $6000. Awards are given each year to up to 3 law students with a demonstrated commitment to serving the Asian American community in New York State and the greater New York metropolitan area.

The online application is available at https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/public-interest-scholarship-online-application/. Applicants should include a description of their proposed summer public service project, if applicable, and the name, email address and phone number of a supervisor at the public service organization or other organization that the AALFNY Scholarship Committee may contact. Confirmation of the public service project is not required at the time of the application but will be required before the award of the scholarship. Applicants are responsible for arranging their own projects.  A list of organizations that have hosted students in the past is on our website https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/prior-community-scholarship-recipients/. The list is only provided as an example and no guarantee is made that the organizations will continue to host students in 2024 or that volunteering at one of these organizations entitles the applicant to a Scholarship.  Each student is expected to volunteer at least 8 weeks, 35 hours per week, during the summer of 2024 at such project and to apply the award to the payment of law school tuition.

The purpose of the award is to assist law students with their tuition while encouraging them to use their legal knowledge and training to benefit the Asian American community in New York and to foster commitment by law students to public service in New York.  Since 1997, AALFNY has funded more than 60 public interest scholarships to law students.

AALFNY was established in 1993 by the Asian American Bar Association of New York to create and support non-profit and charitable efforts to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to defend human and civil rights.

Donations to AALFNY may be made at asianamericanlawfund.org/donate.

A copy of our latest annual report may be obtained from AALFNY at P.O. Box 161, 41 Purdy Ave., Rye NY 10580 or from the NY Attorney General’s Charities Bureau website www.charitiesnys.com. Information may also be obtained from AALFNY at [email protected] or the NYS Attorney General at 212-416-8686.

AABANY Asia Practice Committee and Mentorship Committee Celebrate Lantern Festival and Lunar New Year with Dinner at Jiang Nan in Manhattan

On February 24th, 2024, the Asia Practice Committee and Mentorship Committee hosted a Lantern Festival and Lunar New Year dinner at the Jiang Nan restaurant in Manhattan.  Nineteen people gathered to celebrate the Lantern Festival and embrace the promising start of the Year of the Dragon.

The event drew a diverse array of attendees, reflecting the richness of our legal community. From law students eager to learn to seasoned lawyers, judges, arbitrators, in-house counsels, and law school professors, the dinner saw a delightful mix of talents and experiences. Conversations flowed freely, with attendees sharing insights from their professional journeys and exchanging captivating life stories that underscored the depth of camaraderie among us.

After dinner, some attendees decided to extend the evening with after-party drinks, further strengthening the connections formed during the celebration.

We extend our gratitude to all the participants who joined this event.  The Asia Practice Committee and Mentorship Committee are dedicated to fostering connections and providing enriching experiences for our community. We look forward to organizing more events that continue to bring us together and inspire us in the future.

To learn more about the Asia Practice Committee go here. To learn more about the Mentorship Committee go here.

NAPABA and Indiana Legal Services, Inc., Welcome Legal Interns to Support Indiana’s LGBTQ+ and Immigrant Communities

NAPABA Logo

For Immediate Release: 
Date: March 11, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON/INDIANAPOLIS – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (“NAPABA”) and Indiana Legal Services, Inc., (“ILS”) are proud to welcome two dedicated legal interns who will provide direct legal support for ILS programs serving Indiana’s diverse and underserved populations. Niran Al Naili and Emmanuel Amponsah will be joining ILS for the spring semester in support of the its Immigrants’ and Language Rights Center and LGBTQ+ Project. Both come to ILS with compelling backgrounds: Niran is a recent L.L.M. graduate of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law (“McKinney”) and previously worked as an investigator for the Supreme Judicial Council in Iraq, and Emmanuel is a J.D. candidate at McKinney who has extensive community advocacy experience with vulnerable populations and is training to be a chaplain candidate with the United States Army. 

This partnership between NAPABA and ILS represents NAPABA’s ongoing commitment to meaningfully engage with the community in Indiana leading up to, during, and beyond the 2023 NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis as outlined in NAPABA’s Advocacy Action Plan.

The ILS Immigrants’ and Language Rights Center provides direct legal representation on immigration matters and language access cases to Indiana residents. The Center provides direct representation of non-citizens in a variety of matters, including asylum cases before the Chicago Asylum office, immigration court cases, lawful permanent resident and naturalization applications, petitions under the Violence Against Women Act, and petitions for immigration benefits for immigrant minors and for survivors of serious crimes who cooperate with law enforcement. The ILS LGBTQ+ Project is a statewide legal assistance program providing legal advocacy and representation to LGBTQ+ people in Indiana designed to address the disproportionate rates of poverty and violence in the LGBTQ+ community. The Project includes, among other items, representation to those seeking name and gender marker changes in Indiana courts and advocacy to protect LGBTQ+ students’ rights. 

Financial support for these legal internships is generously provided by the NAPABA Law Foundation’s Underserved Communities Fellowship, which is designed to increase legal services and advance equal justice for underserved AANHPI communities, especially in areas where such populations lack sufficient resources due to geographic isolation. For more information about the application process for interested law students, please visit here.

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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 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 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.

Indiana Legal Services, Inc. (ILS) is a statewide, not-for-profit law firm that provides free legal services to eligible clients in civil cases through 8 branch offices. ILS is funded by the Legal Services Corporation, Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund, United Ways, Area Agencies on Aging, and approximately 60 other funding sources.

Intellectual Property Committee Hosts Dinner at Barn Joo Nomad

On Wednesday, March 6th, the AABANY IP Committee gathered once again to enjoy a delightful evening of Korean cuisine at Barn Joo Nomad near Koreatown. The spacious table, accommodating 20 attendees, sparked meaningful conversation accompanied by an array of family-style Korean dishes. Dinner commenced, accompanied by yuzu and sesame-infused drinks, beers, and more. As conversation flowed, a variety of dishes filled the table, featuring spicy fried chicken, dumplings, squid ink pasta, kimbap, and salads.

The dinner sparked connections beyond intellectual property law, as law students, recent graduates, and attorneys specializing in various disciplines engaged in discussions ranging from building their law firms to pursuing careers in government-related IP roles. Beyond the topic of law, committee members took the opportunity to share personal endeavors and shared insights with the younger generation on navigating their careers.

The IP Committee continues to welcome new faces and nurture connections with existing members through casual dinners and other activities. If you are interested in IP law or wish to bond over Asian delicacies and shared professional experiences, please be on the lookout for future events from this committee!

To learn more about the IP Committee and how you can get involved, go here.

TRANSCRIPT: Majority Leader Schumer Remarks at Senate Judiciary Committee Introducing Sanket Bulsara, Nominee To Be District Judge For The Eastern District Of New York

For Immediate Release

Date: March 6, 2024

CONTACT:  Alex Nguyen (Schumer), [email protected]

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee, introducing Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara, nominated by President Biden to serve as District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I thank you Ranking Member Graham, my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee. As you know, I enjoyed serving my time on the committee, both for sixteen years in the House and sixteen years in the Senate on the Judiciary Committee

So, I’m honored to come before the committee today to introduce a truly remarkable nominee, Sanket Bulsara, who I was proud to recommend to President Biden to serve as a District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island. That’s seven million people in that one district.

Judge Bulsara made history in 2017 as the first South Asian American judge to serve in any court within the Second Circuit when he was appointed the Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District.

New York’s South Asian population is one of the fastest growing in New York and in America, I think. We’re very proud to have more South Asians in the New York metropolitan area than anywhere else, and they’re great, hard-working, family-oriented, law-abiding, great people and we love them. I try to make the bench look more like New York and more like America, and this is one example of that.

Before I begin, I want to take a moment to recognize Judge Bulsara’s wife, Chrissy DeLorenzo, a professor at one of the great medical schools in New York, Stony Brook, and she is with us here this morning, as you can see.

Judge Bulsara is – I’ll forgive him – a Bronx boy, but Chrissy is from Brooklyn so he likes to say he married into Brooklyn.

I also understand that Judge’s Bulsara’s parents, Jay and Aruna, are watching the hearing live from Los Angeles.

And Judge Bulsara’s in-laws, Tom and Loretta, are also watching live from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I’m sure they’re proud too.

Judge Bulsara is the epitome of the American Dream: a proud son of hard-working immigrant parents from India and Kenya who taught him the value of public service at an early age. His father was an engineer for the City of New York for 33 years, who not only raised his son to be a good Yankees fan, but even worked on the renovations of the original Yankee stadium in 1974. Before the renovations, I often got the cheap seats where you sat behind a pole, but they didn’t have that in the new stadium. His mother went to community college at night to become a nurse working with patients in low-income communities.

So, Judge Bulsara’s parents dedicated their lives to public service. I know he’s proud to be following in their footsteps. These are the great American Dream stories. We hear them every day in New York and around the country. It makes us so proud and so optimistic about the future of our country, which I am.

Judge Bulsara has all the qualities of a first-rate jurist. His colleagues and peers have praised his “excellent judgment” and he has been described by those who know him well as brilliant, ethical, even-keeled, energetic, hard-working. Those are some of the words my judicial panel used when they met him.

His credentials are undeniable: he’s a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law, he clerked for Judge John Koeltl of the Southern District of New York. After years in private practice, he worked to protect investors and our community’s financial markets at the SEC, where he served as Acting General Counsel in 2017.

Judge Bulsara also has a broad range of pro-bono work, and has been recognized for his outstanding representation of victims of domestic violence. He’s also worked to defend the rights of the incarcerated and individuals on death row.

And, again, he made history in 2017 as the first South Asian American federal judge on any court in the Second Circuit when he was appointed the Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York, where he served honorably since. I’ve appointed great people to that bench.

In short, Mr. Chairman, our courts need more people like Sanket Bulsara.

The Democratic Majority has been very proud of confirming scores of highly qualified, diverse judges– nearly 180 judges in fact –to the federal bench. Thank you, Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Graham, and everyone else who has cooperated to help us reach that number.

These judges are reshaping the judiciary for the better, not only by making our courts look more like America, but by restoring trust and balance on the bench through their broad range of experience. I am confident that Judge Bulsara will serve with distinction. That’s why I’m proud to support his nomination.

I want to thank the Judge and his wife for being here. I want to thank the members of the committee once again and my colleagues on the committee for the opportunity to be here today. And I look forward to working with you to confirm more judges in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you.

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NAPABA Supports the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: March 4, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) applauds the United States Senate’s reintroduction of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that would restore critical protections of the Voting Rights Act. Especially in a critical election year, Congress must ensure that everyone can fully participate in our democracy. This month, we commemorate the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when, on March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, State Troopers attacked hundreds of unarmed protestors, including the civil rights leader John Lewis, who opposed the systematic oppression of Black voters. It led to the ultimate passage of the Voting Rights Act. As those activists knew then, and as we are reminded today, the right to vote is foundational, and as an organization advancing the interests of the AANHPI community, NAPABA realizes the critical importance for our community to have equal access to the ballot.  

“The endeavor to secure equal voting rights requires constant vigilance,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “The life and legacy of John Lewis are a powerful reminder of it. NAPABA is grateful to Senators Durbin, Warnock, Schumer, and the sponsors for reintroducing the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. As the Asian American community is the fastest-growing community in the nation, coupled with recent court decisions that have limited the reach of the Voting Rights Act, this bill will go a long way to ensure that our community – and all communities of color – have a fair opportunity to make their voice heard at the ballot box.”

On top of our advocacy, if you wish to learn about ways that you can get involved in your community, connect with our partner APIAVote: https://apiavote.org/get-involved/volunteer/

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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 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Captain Lia Mitoko Reynolds, United States Navy, to Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: March 1, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

President Joe Biden nominated Captain Lia Mitoko Reynolds, United States Navy, to Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy (DJAG) with the rank of Rear Admiral (two stars). If confirmed, she would be the first AANHPI Flag Officer to serve in the United States Navy JAG Corps.

“NAPABA congratulates Captain Reynolds on her nomination. She is widely recognized as one of the top officers in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. In 2019, she was presented with the Burton Award for Public Service in the Military. NAPABA also awarded her the Military & Veteran Service Award in 2019,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “An active member of NAPABA, Captain Reynolds has served as a Navy JAG officer for 26 years. She is well qualified to serve as the Navy’s DJAG, and we urge the United States Senate to confirm her quickly.”

Captain Reynolds serves as the Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Navy (Operations & Management). Her past assignments include serving as Senior Military Assistant to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense; Senior Detailer, Judge Advocate General’s Corps in Tennessee; Commanding Officer, Region Legal Services Office Hawaii; Deputy Fleet/Force Judge Advocate in Bahrain; Special Assistant for Legal and Legislative Matters to the Secretary of the Navy in Washington, DC.; Commanding Officer of Naval Legal Service Office, Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia headquarters in Naples, Italy; Deputy Executive Assistant to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy in Washington, DC; Assistant Officer in Charge of the Trial Service Office Pacific Detachment in Yokosuka, Japan; Staff Judge Advocate for the Joint Interagency Task Force West; and trial and command services attorney for the Trial Service Office West, Branch office Lemoore, California.

“Captain Reynolds serves as a role model and inspiration to AANHPI attorneys,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “AANHPIs have been underrepresented in our military’s General and Flag Officers ranks. We are proud of Captain Reynolds’s service to our Nation, and we congratulate her on the nomination.”

Captain Reynolds is a Hawaiʻi native and received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, JD from the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School, and LLM with distinction from Georgetown University Law Center. 

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Captain Lia Mitoko Reynolds.

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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 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 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.

Gauging Interest for an Asian Women’s Peer Support Circle

Anise Health, one of our 2023 Wellness Day sponsors, is gauging interest for a peer support circle for Asian women. 

Anise Health is a culturally-responsive mental health platform built by and for the Asian community providing integrated therapy and coaching. Submit the short intake form to be matched to a therapist within 2 business days.


Anise Health is offering a 4-week support circle that meets for 1 hour a week. The next cohort starts in Q2 2024 and will be led by clinician Sandra Kim for Wednesdays at 6-7pm EST. Please complete the interest form here and register for Wednesday’s time slot. If that time does not work for you, please make a note of other times you’d prefer. Anise Health will coordinate times based on everyone’s availability.

What are Peer Support Circles?

These are clinician-led small discussion groups, which research shows can increase quality of life by reducing feelings of stress and burnout. This recurring group is well-suited for women of Asian descent who are looking to connect with peers to discuss culturally specific topics

Who is the clinician facilitator?

Sandra Kim is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC), an educator, a pastor, and a fitness coach. She incorporates multi-cultural, sensitive and mindfulness-based approaches building from her experience as a second generation Korean American who has lived in Asia, Europe and Africa. She incorporates various modalities in her practice including cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy and biblio-therapy. She is passionate about helping professionals and women of color find their path to personal growth and fulfillment.

How will the sessions be structured?

Sandra will utilize techniques including radical acceptance, psychosomatic intelligence tips (eg Chi Ball exercises, mind-body scan), and open discussions around tensions that Asian women often face (eg caregiving at home, microaggressions at work). The sessions will be $40 per week for 4-weeks. Email [email protected] for questions.

Asian Men’s Mental Health Discussion Group

Anise Health, one of our 2023 Wellness Day sponsors, offers the following mental health discussion group for Asian men. 

Anise Health is a culturally-responsive mental health platform built by and for the Asian community providing integrated therapy and coaching. Submit the short intake form to be matched to a therapist within 2 business days.

Anise Health is offering a 4-week support circle that meets for 1 hour a week. The next cohort starts in Q2 2024 (April) and will be led by clinician Samuel Shin. Please complete the interest form here and Anise Health will coordinate times based on everyone’s availability.

What are Peer Support Circles?

These are clinician-led small discussion groups, which research shows can increase quality of life by reducing feelings of stress and burnout. This recurring group is well-suited for men of Asian descent who are looking to connect with peers to discuss culturally-specific topics

How will the sessions be structured?

Samuel is a licensed therapist and certified men’s work facilitator, and will help participants explore healthy masculinity to improve mental health, dating, relationships, career and life purpose. Samuel will utilize a framework for masculinity that comes from psychology adapted for Asian men.  The sessions will be $40 per week for 4-weeks. Email [email protected] for questions.