Whole Lawyer Project 03 – Karen Kithan Yau

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Whole Lawyer Project 03 - Karen Kithan Yau
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For our third episode of The Whole Lawyer Project, we are honored to have Karen Kithan Yau, who shares her inspiring and authentic journey as a public interest lawyer, a former community organizer, a former professor, and a proud wife and mother of two multiracial children. Now an Of Counsel at Kakalec Law in New York who fights for employees, workers, and immigrants, Karen shares her personal story as the daughter of two garment workers who grew up in public housing projects in Hong Kong and a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment with her family.

Karen explores how her own family story shaped her mission to fight for those who are marginalized, invisible, and disenfranchised — and how this mission is particularly important today, given the spike in anti-Asian harassment and the perpetual treatment of Asian Americans as very “other” (regardless of where we were born or how much we personally identify as “American”). She provides guidance on how we can better recognize implicit biases, what we can do to fight the bamboo ceiling, and how we can all get out of our comfort zones in addressing anti-Asian hate (some tips: get organized, demand more, and find your communities). Finally, Karen offers words of wisdom for young attorneys who are trying to balance work and family (tip: remember that not everything happens in a straight line) as well as for those who are struggling to find their footing in their own careers (tip: remain resilient and remember that there are more open doors than we think).

If you want to work with Karen in supporting pro bono opportunities, please visit the AABANY Pro Bono site here . For anyone who wants to be inspired, this is an absolute must-listen.

Whole Lawyer Project 02 – David Lat

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Whole Lawyer Project 02 - David Lat
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Hosted by Jane Jeong

We are excited to present to you AABANY’s The Whole Lawyer Project, which highlights Asian American attorneys and leaders throughout the nation and the human stories behind their success. Today, I am happy to introduce David Lat, the founding editor of Above the Law, as well as a legal recruiter at Lateral Link. Before launching Above the Law, David attended Harvard College and Yale Law School. After law school, he worked as a law clerk for a federal appeals judge, an associate at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, and an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

On this episode, David shares his storied journey from an Assistant U.S. Attorney to legal blogger, his experience managing traditional Asian parental expectations when leaving the law, his advice for any lawyer who wants to explore their creative pursuits (tip: carve out the time and have an accountability buddy), and his advice for anyone who is thinking of entering (or leaving!) the legal profession. You can check out David’s latest brainchild at https://davidlat.substack.com/.

Whole Lawyer Project 01 – Brian Song

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Whole Lawyer Project 01 - Brian Song
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Hosted by Jane Jeong

We are excited to present to you the AABANY Whole Lawyer Project, which highlights Asian American attorneys and leaders throughout the nation and the human stories behind their success. For our inaugural episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Song, a litigation partner at BakerHostetler in New York City, the former president of AABANY, and a Lieutenant Colonel for the Judge Advocate General’s Corp of the U.S. Army Reserve. Together, we explore Brian’s childhood growing up as the child of Korean immigrants in environments where he was often the only Asian kid, and how feeling “other” impacted his own views on his Asian American identity. Brian also provides insight into his storied careers in the army and in BigLaw — including the advice he has for young lawyers and tips on how we Asian American attorneys can better speak up for ourselves.