On July 28, 2022, AABANY hosted its first-ever Membership Open House at King & Spalding LLP. With over 50 attendees, the Membership Open House gave new and prospective members the opportunity to speak with Board Members and Committee Chairs to learn about the work AABANY does and how new and prospective members can get involved.
Membership Director Christopher Bae in his introductory remarks welcomed attendees and thanked Board Members and Committee Chairs for coming. Former AABANY President Andy Hahn (2004) then highlighted the importance of getting involved with an organization like AABANY.
This AABANY Membership Open House spotlighted the Young Lawyers Committee, the Litigation Committee, and the Prosecutors Committee. Jasmine Chean from the Young Lawyers Committee, Lois Ahn from the Litigation Committee, and David Hsin-Tai Chiang from the Prosecutors Committee each spoke on why members should get involved with their committees.
Attendees were encouraged to network, enjoy food and drinks, and meet with the chairs of 23 committees that were present at the Open House. New and recent members were given the opportunity to participate in a raffle where two winners won either a Zoom or coffee meet-and-greet with former AABANY Presidents Andy Hahn (2004) or Brian Song (2019). Congratulations to Tian Chi Ma who won the raffle to meet Andy and to Stephanie Lu who won the raffle to meet Brian.
Thank you to King & Spalding LLP for hosting AABANY’s Membership Open House, and thank you to former AABANY Presidents Andy Hahn and Brian Song for volunteering for the new member raffle! Thank you to Co-Vice Presidents of Programs & Operations Joseph Eng, Jr. and Beatrice Leong, and Membership Director Christopher Bae for putting together this successful event!
We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Open House in October. In the meantime, if you have any questions about how to get more involved in AABANY and maximize your membership experience, feel free to reach out to the Membership Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, NAPABA’s premier lifetime honor, recognizes Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) attorneys who have spent their careers advocating for AAPIs within the legal profession, becoming pioneers in their field of practice. This year, Andrew (“Andy”) T. Hahn Sr., one of the 2021 Trailblazer Award recipients, will join the ranks of those distinguished for their contributions.
For Andy Hahn, leadership and service have always been integral components of his career path. Andy has accumulated a plethora of impressive accolades and achievements over his career spanning more than three decades, such as: US Army JAG officer, successful commercial litigator, and President of NAPABA, AABANY, and KALAGNY.
Andy has continually had to prove, both to himself and to others, that, as a son of Korean American immigrants, he could succeed in his career and find a place within American society as an Asian American.
“Growing up as a kid…I stuck out like a sore thumb,” Andy recalls. “I was subject to a lot of bullying and bigotry.”
It was this resentment of ostracization (as well as a fascination with guns and explosives in his youth) that motivated Andy to enlist in the military. He quickly found his niche in the armed forces, graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate from Cornell University, with ambitions to pursue a full-time military career in the Special Forces. Andy’s mother, disagreeing with his choice, instead encouraged him to aim for a career in law. Fortunately, becoming a lawyer was Andy’s additional career interest. After being granted a deferment from active duty, Andy completed his legal studies at Cornell Law School.
With a desire to meet more Asian lawyers with similar backgrounds as himself, Andy discovered AABANY early in his career. As an AABANY member, he met Chris Chang, one of the founding members of AABANY and a former chair of the Judiciary Committee. Chris became a valuable mentor to Andy as he explored the workings of the New York court system.
In the past, many Asian Americans practiced law within the transactional fields, such as corporate law and real estate law, and as Andy noted, “none of [the fields] which involved the adversarial process.” In Andy’s view, language barriers and improved career prospects in transactional law contributed to the lack of Asian Americans within litigation. As he gained litigation experience, Andy continued to stand out in becoming one of the first waves of AAPI attorneys to attain partnership at a big law firm in New York City.
Andy remains a firm believer in the power of mentorship and guidance for those just starting out in their careers. Recalling his experience meeting and mentoring law school students and graduates, Andy observed that many Asian Americans remain as “first generation Asian lawyers” within their families; these students or graduates could point to no one in their family who had been involved in the legal profession. At a time when Asian American interest in law is increasing, creating more opportunities for mentorship becomes even more critical.
Andy believes that anti-Asian hate remains the single greatest threat to the AAPI community and AAPI legal professionals today. Until the onset of the pandemic Andy has never seen a high prevalence of anti-Asian hate during his decades of involvement with AABANY and NAPABA, but he notes that there always has been an “undercurrent” of perceiving Asian Americans as foreign. Despite the widespread social movements that have catapulted issues of race and diversity into the national spotlight, Andy feels that big law firm and corporate commitments to diversity and inclusion remain “a lot of lip service.”
“If you look at … the statistics, [attorneys of color] within law firms have not improved in the last two decades…. By the time you get to the leadership positions, it’s pretty much all white people.” For Andy, who serves as Chief Diversity Officer at Hawkins, Delafield, and Wood LLP, his formula for maintaining diversity at his own law firm is simple: recruitment, retention, and promotion. It’s a formula that organizations, such as AABANY, continue to advocate for.
In light of the challenges Asian Americans face, Andy observes positive changes within the Asian American community: “If there is any silver lining with some of this anti-Asian hate, it brings our community together…. We’ve learned … how to stand up for ourselves.” Certainly, through his career as a litigator, leader, and advocate, Andy has never ceased to stand up for himself, the legal profession, and the Asian American community. His achievements and accomplishments demonstrate his endless “vision, courage, and tenacity” needed to become a pioneer, as well as his willingness to break barriers and stereotypes in his career path.
NAPABA will hold a reception on Friday evening, December 10, for all the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award honorees at the Convention in Washington, D.C., and the awards will be presented at the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening. Please join AABANY in congratulating Andy Hahn on this well-deserved honor and recognition!
Congratulations to Andy Hahn, Partner, Duane Morris, and former AABANY, KALAGNY and NAPABA President, on being named one of the New York Law Journal’s Distinguished Leaders of 2017.
Q: What does it mean to be a leader?
A: Being an effective leader means self-sacrifice. It means that the leader places the needs of his or her constituents and/or organization over personal, self-interest. While the leader can delegate duties and responsibilities, he or she must also lead by example. This will entail the expenditure of much time and effort for the greater good. A good leader also must possess wisdom and judgment to do the right thing.
To read more of the Q&A with Andy Hahn, click the link in the title. Please join us in congratulating Andy on this spectacular and well-deserved recognition.
In an interview with Bloomberg last week, former AABANY President Andy Hahn examined the obstacles that face Asian Americans in the law, from high attrition rates and underrepresentation to pervasive stereotypes and biases. On the heels of Justice Goodwin Liu’s study, “A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law,” the interview explored Andy Hahn’s own experiences, from his time as an army lawyer to his tenures as president of both AABANY and NAPABA, and how those roles have made Andy intimately familiar with the challenges of Asian Americans in the law. Despite large growth since the 1990s, the Asian American legal community faces gross underrepresentation today, from clerkships and judgeships to partner and management roles. This has led Andy to his own “crusade” to galvanize Asian Americans into participating in the law. Follow the link in the title to read the full article published in Bloomberg Law.
Andy’s work as a leader in the legal profession has not gone unnoticed, as the New York Law Journal recently honored him with the 2017 Distinguished Leadership Award. To read the press release congratulating him for this achievement, click here.
Don Liu, Secretary and General Counsel of Xerox, and Andy Hahn, partner with Duane Morris, cordially invite you to a private showing of the Wedding Palace.
The Director, Christine Yoo, a rising Korean star in Hollywood, will attend the private screening and will introduce the film.
The comedy is about a Korean American wedding – the Korean version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The private screening of Wedding Palace will take place on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7 p.m. Mr. Hahn of Duane Morris will host the event at his law firm, located at 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036-4086 (map). It will be an informal event with no charge. To RSVP, please email Wanda.Thigpen@xerox.com by Monday, March 26, 2012.