AABANY Celebrates 30th Birthday at NAPABA Convention

On Thursday evening, Nov. 7, AABANY celebrated its 30th birthday at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que, just around the corner from the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas, at which the NAPABA Convention was taking place. AABANY members who were attending the Convention came out in force and brought friends from various affiliates from around the country. Over 60 attendees filled a section of one of the event rooms on the second floor. Among the attendees were members who were there at the start of AABANY, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go, Hon. Denny Chin (who served as President from 1992-93) and his wife Kathy Hirata Chin. Past Presidents Vincent Chang, James Chou, and Dwight Yoo also attended, as did current President Brian Song. Membership Director Beatrice Leong organized the celebration; she secured the venue and placed the food order, and she also ordered the cake. The authentic
Texas barbecue fare was a big hit, and the cake came out with sparklers.

Thanks to all our members and friends for coming out to celebrate with us in Austin!

AABANY at NAPABA Gala Dinner

Congratulations to NAPABA on a successful National Convention in Austin, Texas. Affiliates from around the country gathered to celebrate with NAPABA at its 31st Anniverary Gala Dinner held on Saturday night, Nov. 9, in the Grand Ballroom of the JW Marriott in Austin. Comedian Sheng Wang hosted the evening, and the Keynote Speaker was Chef Kristen Kish, owner of Arlo Grey, in conversation with restaurant critic Soleil Ho. Congratulations also to all the honorees who were presented with awards at the Gala:

  • Military and Veteran Service Award – Capt Lia Mitoko Reynolds
  • APA Owned Law Firm Award – Willenken LLP
  • Law Firm Diversity Award – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • Pro Bono Award – Karen King
  • Women’s Leadership Award – Debbie Shon
  • Presidents Award – Dale Ho

AABANY was honored to be presented with the Affiliate of the Year Award. Read more about that here.

AABANY members could be found filling a few tables at the Gala Dinner … but where was Executive Director Yang Chen? He was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. That did not stop Membership Director Beatrice Leong from creating a cardboard version of our ED to attend the Gala and then join the AABANY group photo at the NAPABA Convention. Thank you, Beatrice!

AABANY Presented with Affiliate of the Year Award at NAPABA Convention

On Saturday, November 9, 2019, AABANY was honored to be presented with NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year award at NAPABA’s National Convention in Austin, Texas. AABANY was selected to receive this award for its best practices and accomplishments in our community.

President Brian Song accepted this honor at the Dinner Gala, but he did not do so alone. He called upon Board members, Past Presidents, and founders, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go (Ret.), and Sylvia Chin to join him on stage to accept the award together on behalf of everyone at AABANY.

For three decades now, AABANY has been working tirelessly to support Asian Americans in the legal profession in New York. It means a great deal for the hard work of AABANY’s Board Members and Committee Chairs, the dedication of our members, and AABANY’s commitment to the overall Asian American Community to be recognized.

We congratulate and thank our entire AABANY family and our sponsors for supporting our mission and bringing AABANY to this Point. As Executive Director Yang Chen said in the video played before the award was presented, “this award is for everyone at AABANY.” 2019 marks the second time that AABANY received the Affiliate of the Year Award. AABANY first received this honor in 2008.

PRESS RELEASE: THE ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK IS RECEIVING THE AFFILIATE OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AT ITS NATIONAL CONVENTION IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

NEW YORK – November 5, 2019 – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has selected  the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) as its Affiliate of the Year. This award recognizes outstanding NAPABA affiliates that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the greater Asian Pacific American (APA) community. AABANY will be presented the Affiliate of the Year Award during the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas, taking place November 7-10, 2019. AABANY President Brian Song will accept the award on behalf of the association at NAPABA’s Gala Dinner to be held on Saturday, November 9.

AABANY was formed in 1989 as a not-for-profit corporation to represent the interests of New York Asian American attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, legal assistants, paralegals and law students. The mission of AABANY is to improve the study and practice of law, and the fair administration of justice for all by ensuring the meaningful participation of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

Over the past three decades AABANY has worked tirelessly to accomplish its mission. For example, we have regularly conducted student outreach and held workshops throughout the year on resume writing, interviewing and networking skills to help law students succeed. We are also into the ninth year of our Mentorship Program that provides individual professional development specifically tailored to the needs of mentees, many of whom are law students. In addition, now in its second year, the AABANY Leadership Development Program assists and guides senior APA law firm associates and in-house counsel through an interactive leadership training program designed to develop and promote qualified APA attorneys for partnership at law firms and leadership positions at companies.

AABANY also plays an integral part in creating diversity on the bench through our Judiciary Committee’s initiatives. AABANY’s Judiciary Committee assisted dozens of judges of Asian American, South Asian, and Pacific Islander heritage in ascending to the bench.

In addition, we collaborate with the South Asian Bar Association of New York, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York and Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York to further the interests of APAs in the legal profession by offering CLE accreditation, co-sponsoring networking events, and supporting each other’s programs and activities.

Furthermore, we serve the APA community by holding a monthly Pro Bono Clinic in partnership with the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of NY. We mobilize the expertise and language skills of AABANY’s diverse membership to provide high quality and accessible legal assistance to the Asian community on the second Wednesday of every month, at Confucius Plaza in Chinatown. In 2018-19, the Clinic served between 21-51 clients with the help of 11-21 volunteer attorneys and 5-12 interpreters each month.

Moreover, in addition to providing free legal assistance to the Asian community, we promote APA history and awareness through our historic trial reenactments. The Hon. Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin have spearheaded this project for twelve years. The most recent reenactment, “Alice in Chinatown: Chol Soo Lee and His Fight for Freedom” retold the story of Chol Soo Lee, a young Korean American who was wrongly accused and imprisoned for a gangland murder in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 1970s. AABANY has made these reenactment scripts available to schools, community groups, other bar associations and anyone who wishes to perform them. AABANY’s reenactments project has become a template for other groups to encourage civic education and engagement in our communities.

Each new historic trial reenactment premieres at the annual NAPABA Convention, but this year, the AABANY Trial Reenactment Team will be reprising “Korematsu v. United States: Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice” in celebration of Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday. The cast will include luminaries such as Hon. Marilyn Hall Patel (Ret.), the judge who decided the coram nobis proceeding that overturned Korematsu’s wrongful conviction, and Dale Minami, the iconic attorney who led the team that brought about this historic outcome. Judge Patel and Dale Minami will be playing themselves, as will Karen Korematsu, Fred’s daughter, in the reenactment, which will be performed on November 8, at Friday’s Plenary Lunch Session during the NAPABA Convention.

Because of these significant contributions and achievements over the decades, AABANY has become one of the most prominent bar associations in New York and has been selected to receive the Affiliate of the Year Award from NAPABA for a second time. AABANY first received this prestigious honor in 2008 under the leadership of then-President and now Executive Director Yang Chen.

“AABANY thanks NAPABA for this important award and its recognition of our innovative efforts to engage our membership and the community,” states AABANY President Brian Song, a Partner at BakerHostetler in New York. “We are grateful for the leadership and dedication of our current and past Board Directors and Officers for bringing AABANY to this point. We especially thank and acknowledge our sponsors and our members for their support of our mission to promote the interests of APA lawyers and legal professionals and the larger community they serve. AABANY could not be NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year without the involvement and participation of everyone in the legal profession and community who have been integral to our growth and success over the last thirty years.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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NAPABA 2019-20 Board of Governors

NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers, regional governors, and at-large members of the 2019-20 NAPABA Board of Governors. They will be sworn into office during the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, TX.

Officers:

  • President I Bonnie Lee Wolf, Nationwide
  • President-Elect I A.B. Cruz III, U.S. Navy, Retired
  • Vice President for Finance and Development I Bruce Ishimatsu, Ishimatsu Law Group
  • Vice President for Membership I Bridgette Ahn, Law Office of Bridgette Ahn 
  • Vice President for Programs and Operations I Charles Jung, Nassiri & Jung LLP
  • Vice President for Communications I Avanti Bakane, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP
  • Treasurer I Gary Zhao, SmithAmundsen
  • Secretary I Jeffrey Javinar, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • Immediate Past President I Daniel Sakaguchi, Alto Litigation

Regional Governors:

  • NE Regional Governor I Brendan Wong, Bordner Ladner Gervais LLP
  • NE Regional Governor I David Sohn, Kings County District Attorney’s Office
  • Central Regional Governor I Gregory Schwartz, Billion Armitage
  • SE Regional Governor I Christine Han, U.S. Department of Labor
  • SW Regional Governor I Lance Ream, Xcel Energy 
  • NW Regional Governor I Craig I. Nakanishi, Cades Schutte LLP
  • Central California Regional Governor I Christopher Sukhaphadhana, Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. 
  • Southern California Regional Governor I Thy Bui, Constangy Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP
  • Eastern California/Nevada Regional Governor I Gino Barrica, Barrica Law LLP
  • Northern California Regional Governor I Hogene Choi, Baker Botts LLP

At-Large Board Members:

  • Kristy Gonowon, Allstate
  • Kristin Haugen, KC Haugen Law LLC
  • Peter Sabido, Chernoff Vilhauer LLP
  • Jen Won, Larson O’Brien LLP

Register for the 2019 NAPABA Convention

The advance rate deadline is just around the corner! Save up to $150 when you register in advance. Advance rates will only be available until Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

To register, click here.

2017 NAPABA REGIONAL CONFERENCES

Southwest Regional Conference | April 6-7, 2017, in Austin, Texas
Registration | Deadline: March 16
Registration for the Southwest Regional Conference is now active and available online. Click here to register today.

Hotel Accommodations| Deadline: March 16
The Southwest Regional Conference has secured a room block at the JW Marriott Downtown Austin. To book your hotel, please click here.

Sponsorship
Interested in sponsoring the Southwest Regional Conference? Contact Punam Kaji at punam.kaji@gmail.com for more information. As a conference sponsor, your name will be highlighted in conference materials!

For questions about the Southwest Regional Conference or APIS Conference, please contact:
Ann Chao Sheu, Chair | anncsheu@gmail.com
Punam Kaji, Chair-Elect | punam.kaji@haynesboone.com

Click here to visit the Texas APIS website for more information about the Southwest Regional and APIS Conferences.

Western Regional Conference | July 20-22, 2017, in Silicon Valley
Registration
Registration for the Western Regional Conference will open on March 16.

Call for Programs | Deadline Extended: March 21, 8 p.m. EDT
The deadline for the Call for Programs has been extended! We welcome all program submissions, particularly programs directed to issues particular to the Western Region of the U.S., current controversial issues, and legal issues related to advances in technology. Priority will be given to panels with confirmed speakers. If you would like to submit a program, please complete the form here.

Hotel Accommodations| Deadline: June 28
The Western Regional Conference has secured a room block at the San Jose Marriott. For more information on hotel reservations and to book a room, please click here. Space is limited so book today!

Questions? Email us at wrc@apabasv.com.

Click here to visit the APABA SV Western Regional Conference website.

Northeastern Regional Conference | Sept. 8-10, 2017, in Philadelphia
Call for Programs | Deadline: April 15

The Call for Programs for the Northeast Regional Conference has been extended to April 15. If you would like to submit a program for the Northeast Regional Conference on Sept. 9, 2017, please complete the Call for Programs available online here.

Questions | Please contact NEregional@apaba-pa.org.


Click here to visit the APABA-PA Northeast Regional Conference website. Find all of the NAPABA Regional Conference information on the NAPABA website.

CBAC Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
June 24, 2013

HNBA Contact: Erika Lopez (202) 223-4777 
NAPABA Contact: Emily Chatterjee (202) 775-9555 
NBA Contact: Erika Owens (202) 842-3900 
NNABA Contact: Mary Smith (405) 761-1723 

Coalition of Bar Associations of Color 
Reassured by Supreme Court’s Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin

WASHINGTON – The Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) – the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA) and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) – is reassured by the Supreme Court’s decision today to reaffirm the principle that diversity in higher education is a compelling national interest. We remain cautiously optimistic about the Court’s decision to send the case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Supreme Court partially vacated a lower court ruling that had upheld the right of the University of Texas at Austin to partially consider race in its admissions’ policy. However, in deciding Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, it left intact the precedent it set in Grutter v. Bollinger, which allows schools to consider racial diversity as an admissions factor.

Last summer, CBAC filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. The brief highlights the progress made in diversifying the legal profession since the Court’s ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger, while discussing the continued need for race-conscious admissions programs to further the diversification of the legal profession.

“We are encouraged that the United States Supreme Court’s ruling affirmed the Grutter v. Hollinger decision which allows racial and ethnic diversity to be considered as one of many factors in a carefully crafted admissions policy,” stated HNBA National President Peter M. Reyes, Jr. “These are important factors to consider when taking a holistic admissions approach, and the Court in a 7-1 strongly supports our position.”

“We are encouraged by the Court’s decision today in Fisher,” said Wendy C. Shiba, president of NAPABA. “A strong majority of the Court has stood in support of diversity as a compelling interest, and members of the Asian Pacific American community are heartened by this outcome. We see evidence of the importance of a diverse workforce every day in the legal profession, and are thankful that our nation’s commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion has been ratified today.”

“Today’s decision underscores diversity as a compelling interest for all institutions of education and higher learning,” stated John E. Page, President of the National Bar Association. “Even with strict scrutiny of the methods used to achieve such diversity, the US Supreme Court continues to agree that many factors, including race, can be a factor in an admissions program.”

“Diversity is important to educational opportunities for all and furthers classroom discussion and understanding,” said Mary Smith, President of the National Native Bar Association. “We are heartened that the Supreme Court has recognized the importance of diversity.”

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