Media release from the Asian American Law Fund of New York:
New York, NY – The Asian American Law Fund of New York will hold its 2018 Summer
Reception on June 28, 2018 hosted by a leading international law firm, Paul Hastings,
LLP at its offices at 200 Park Avenue. Featured speaker will be the Honorable Toko
Serita, who presides over the unique & innovative Queens Human Trafficking
Intervention Courtroom, the oldest and largest court in New York dedicated to serving
trafficking victims and survivors. Justice Serita and this impactful court are subjects of a
new documentary entitled “Blowin’ Up”.
Justice Serita, a graduate of Vassar College & the City University of New York School
of Law, has been a longtime advocate for a coordinated judicial response to human
trafficking. She is the chair of New York’s Human Trafficking Working Group and is a
former co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). A
respected member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, Justice Serita
recently helped found the Asian American Judges Association of New York (AAJANY).
She is also a member of the statewide Criminal Jury Instructions Committee, the NYS
Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts and the National Association of Women
Judges (NAWJ). Justice Serita was selected as one of ten Japanese-American leaders
from the U.S. to be part of the 2014 Japanese-American Leadership Delegation (JALD),
sponsored by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
The Summer Reception will also recognize three outstanding law student recipients of
the Fund’s scholarship program: Henna Kaushal, Corinne Merdegia & Nishat Bella
Tabassum. Over 50 law students have received stipends from the Fund since the
program was initiated in 1997.
Henna Kaushal, whose immigrant father came to America from India seeking political
asylum from religious persecution, states in her essay: “my Sikh faith instilled in me a
deep commitment to community (sangat) and service (seva) and relentless optimism in
the face of adversity (chardi kala). Henna is interning at New York Civil Liberties Union.
After she graduates from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, she
intends to pursue her goals “as a public interest lawyer”.
Corinne Merdegia shares her Filipino parents’ commitment to enable “Asian immigrant
families seeking to fulfill their American dreams”. Corinne is interning at the Legal Aid
Society’s Immigration Law Court. After she graduates from the Sandra Day O’Connor
College of Law at Arizona State University, she intends to return to New York City and
use her experience in immigration practice “to serve the needs of New York’s diverse
immigrant community and protect the interests of Asian American families that call new
York City their home.”
Nishat Bella Tabassum is the 2018 AALFNY-SABANY (South Asian Bar Association
of New York) Public Interest Fellowship. She interning at the Kings County District
Attorney’s Office. After graduating from the City University of New York School of Law,
she looks forward to finding work in a law enforcement office.
About the Asian American Law Fund of New York
The Fund (originally the “AABANY Foundation”) was founded in 1993 by leading
members of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). One of the
early projects funded by the Fund was the Asian Crime Victims Project. The Fund
promotes projects and programs to inform the public on issues of concern to Asian
Americans, to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and promote understanding among
and between different ethnic groups, and to encourage better community understanding
of government and legal processes. The Fund is currently working with the Asian
American Bar Association of New York to support the AABANY Pro Bono Legal Advice
Clinic. It has also funded outreach & other legal service-related programs for the New
York Asian Women’s Center, Advocates for Children of New York, Coalition for Asian
American Children & Families and the MinKwon Center for Community Action.
The Asian American Law Fund of New York (“AALFNY”) is soliciting applications for positions on its Board of Directors.
is a non-profit organization established in 1993 by the Asian American
Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) to support non-profit, charitable
and education purposes, such as scholarships and internship programs in
the New York metropolitan area. AALFNY has an independent Board but
remains affiliated with AABANY and continues to work in close
coordination with AABANY on fundraising and pro bono programs. AALFNY’s
mission statement and information about its scholarships and past
projects can be found here.
apply, please submit a statement of interest and a current resume,
biography or CV listing your experience and accomplishments and any
honors received to date. As part of the statement of interest, please
indicate your experience with AALFNY, AABANY, NAPABA, or other relevant
organization, whether you have been an active member of such
organization, and describe any activities that you have participated in
or helped to organize. If you have not been an active member in any such
organization, explain what capabilities, resources, talents, skills,
expertise, experience or any other contributions you would be able to
make as a Board Director. Please also identify any activities indicating
a dedication and commitment to issues of importance to the Asian
Pacific American community.
During our Annual AABANY/AALFNY Summer Reception on July 20, we celebrated the opportunities afforded to diverse law students in the Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program (JMB JIP), the Asian American Law Fund of New York’s Community Scholarship Award Recipient Kamille Go, and the accomplishments of NYC Commissioner of Human Rights Carmelyn Malalis. We had over 170 attorneys, judges, and law students registered to attend.
JMB JIP is a collaborative effort between AABANY, AALFNY, the Asian American Judges Association of New York, Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage, Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation, Inc., the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York to offer law students with a strong commitment to diversity to enhance and complement their legal education as summer judicial interns in New York metropolitan area courthouses.
This reception not only offered the chance to celebrate but to connect in a welcome environment for mentorship and guidance. We thank the many law firms who sponsored this program and made it possible, including the evening’s host for the night, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
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AALFNY will honor Carmelyn Malalis, NYC Commissioner of Human Rights, at its Summer Reception on July 20. Carmelyn Malalis’ dedication to the poor and underrepresented makes her a fitting role model as AALFNY presents its Community Service scholarship award. Please be sure to join us for this event.
For the past decade, Carmelyn P. Malalis has worked as a partner at Outten and Golden LLP—one of the City’s premier plaintiff side law firms—and its co-chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Workplace Rights Practice Group and the Family Responsibilities and Disability Discrimination Practice Group. In these roles, Malalis has been tasked with a large litigation and negotiation docket, including class actions and individual client cases, and she advises clients on a broad array of employment-related matters. Malalis’s work also includes several advocacy and pro bono projects in collaboration with grassroots organizations and legal services providers advocating on behalf of low-wage and immigrant workers; LGBT employees; and women in the workplace. Prior to Outten and Golden LLP, Malalis worked as a litigation associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and she has served as a judicial law clerk for the U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis.
Malalis, whose parents come from the Philippines, co-chairs the Diversity in the Legal Profession Committee of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section. She is also a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Executive Committee. Malalis has previously served as an advisory committee member of the LGBT Rights Project at the Human Rights Watch, chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on LGBT Rights, and board member of Queers for Economic Justice.
Malalis earned her J.D. from the Northeastern University School of Law and received a B.A. in women’s studies from Yale University. She and her spouse live in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with their two children.
Please note that the deadline to register for the AABANY/AALFNY Summer Reception has been extended to July 16, 2015. Click here to register.
Each year, the Asian American Law Fund of New York awards up to three scholarships of up to $5,000 to law students that are committed to helping the Asian American community in New York. The Fund recognizes that at a time when money is tight, committing one’s time to our community service organizations can be a financial strain, especially when considering law school tuition and living expenses.
If you are a law student and are planning to work with a community service organization in the New York area during the summer 2015, you are eligible to apply. The completed Scholarship Application and all required materials must be postmarked by March 31, 2015. The recipients will be announced April 20, 2015. Click here to download the application.