Congratulations to the Law Firm of Hugh H. Mo, P.C. for Receiving NAPABA’s APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award

The Law Firm of Hugh H. Mo, P.C (Mo Law Firm). is being recognized as APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). This award is presented annually to an acclaimed law firm that has demonstrated a strong commitment to advocating for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, while simultaneously upholding the highest ethical and legal standards within the field. This well-deserved recognition not only acknowledges the Firm’s outstanding legal work, but also its staunch commitment to Pro Bono representation of AAPI crime survivors and those facing race-based discrimination. The Mo Law Firm was presented with the award during the Saturday evening Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis, on November 11.

The Mo Law Firm, headquartered in New York City, is set apart by its distinguished father-daughter team among its legal staff. As founder and partner, long-time AABANY member Hugh H. Mo, and counsel, Elizabeth L. Mo, were both former prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Their careers embody the American dream and the immigrant ethos of upholding tradition while pursuing professional success. 

The son of one of China’s first female journalists and a law professor killed by the communists for his democratic beliefs, Hugh H. Mo immigrated to America at the age of nine. Growing up in NYC’s Chinatown, Mo witnessed firsthand the discrimination and oppression that the Chinese American community faced. After receiving his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, Hugh was ready to make his mark on the legal landscape of New York. He was the first Asian American appointed as an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan DA’s Office, and was also the first Asian American appointed as Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Police Department.

Continuing the legacy of her family’s dedication to the law, Elizabeth L. Mo embarked on her own remarkable journey. After graduating from Boston University School of Law, she became an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and served in both the Trial and Investigations Divisions. Her unwavering commitment to justice and her passion for advocating on behalf of the marginalized mirrors her father’s dedication. Today, this dynamic father-daughter duo collaborate and combine their wealth of experience and shared values in their pursuit of legal excellence and justice.

When asked about their initial reaction to receiving this prestigious award, both Hugh and Elizabeth expressed their deep gratitude towards AABANY and NABAPA. “Essentially, this recognition stands as a lifetime achievement award, not just for our Firm, but for both Liz and me, acknowledging our unwavering commitment as Asian American lawyers,” remarked Hugh, contemplating his distinguished career. Elizabeth echoed her father’s sentiments, adding: “We are so thankful to AABANY and NAPABA for supporting our careers and our Firm. Only in America could a firm like ours exist and prosper, and this recognition also serves as tribute to all of those that have come before us and people who we hope to inspire.”

With a combined 60 plus years of trial and investigation experiences, the Mo Law Firm has achieved remarkable success for its primarily Chinese clients. However, for this unique firm, legal representation goes beyond the courtroom. The Firm’s mission is tri-fold: vigorously advocating for their clients, mentoring AAPIs and championing the AAPI community’s causes. The firm represents a variety of corporate entities, foreign entrepreneurs, emerging start-ups, and governmental organizations, and individuals, domestic and overseas, delivering innovative legal advice and strategic counsel and problem solving in a variety of practice areas, including federal and state litigation, white collar criminal defense, commercial litigation, compliance and regulatory, business and tax matters.

Beyond that, the firm engages in extensive Pro Bono work, giving back to the community. “A lot of people think of Pro Bono as volunteer work, or being part of an overall effort to do good. I think that as an attorney, Pro Bono should be very much part of an attorney’s practice, career, as well as dedication,” firmly stated Hugh, who has dedicated his life to public service. Adding onto her father’s beliefs, Elizabeth portrayed Pro Bono as an endeavor that should not be marked by ability, but by obligation. “It is not about the ‘we can’s’ or ‘we should’s,’ but rather, by the fact that we must give back to the community,” she stated fervently. 

Elizabeth expanded on the interplay between her Asian American identity and her legal work. “As Asian Americans, we have a very unique cultural and language competency that not everyone has. It’s like being a unicorn— our firm is truly a unicorn in this industry. We would like to dedicate our skills and competencies to Pro Bono resources.” The Mo Law Firm has provided legal representation to victims of Asian hate crimes, individuals targeted by scams, students and healthcare professionals facing discrimination. Additionally, they have advocated for AAPI interests in unprecedented legal challenges, exemplifying their commitment to justice and community advancement over 30 years of legal practice. 

Speaking about memorable Pro Bono cases, Hugh shared an instance where he helped an Asian American high school student suffering from school bullying because of his racial identity navigate unjust felony and misdemeanor charges for making alleged terrorist threats on social media against his tormentors. After a back and forth battle with the District Attorney’s office, Hugh was able to secure a non-criminal disposition for the young man, allowing him to continue his education unfettered by a criminal record. Years later, Hugh learned that the young man not only graduated from college and law school, but was working as an Assistant District Attorney. The young man’s life journey would not have been possible without Hugh’s zealous advocacy on his behalf. “We as lawyers, if we have the capacity to do so, we should step up and do right every day. Lawyers should use our resources— our trade, our experience, our connections— to do good,” Hugh declared. Recalling the case proudly, Hugh believes that this case truly epitomizes the Mo Law Firm’s dedication to its ethos, the pursuit of justice and unwavering commitment advocating for clients beyond the call of duty. 

The Mo Law Firm’s approach to Pro Bono work goes far beyond legal representation, encompassing a holistic perspective. “To us, Pro Bono is not just about representing victims of hate crimes, but also supporting and mentoring the clients and other attorneys. It’s really so embedded in our firm’s culture that we don’t even think of it as Pro Bono,” Elizabeth explained. During his legal career spanning over four decades, Hugh has co-founded numerous APA civil and community organizations including: the Chinatown Health Clinic (predecessor to the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center), NYPD Asian Jade Society, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and most recently, the NYPD Asian American Police Executives Council (AAPEX). Most notably, Hugh and Elizabeth have been actively involved and supported AABANY and NAPABA throughout their legal careers, with Hugh serving as a founding member of AABANY and Elizabeth as a former Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee and currently as Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Government Enforcement and Compliance Committee. 

AABANY congratulates Hugh H. Mo and Elizabeth L. Mo for their well-deserved recognition as NAPABA’s APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year. Not only have they demonstrated exceptional legal prowess, their tireless dedication to the principles of justice and equity, especially on behalf of the AAPI community, is a profound testament to their values.

Please join AABANY in congratulating The Law Firm of Hugh H. Mo, PC on this award, along with all the honorees being recognized at the 2023 NAPABA Convention.

AABANY Congratulates Jennifer Wu on Receiving the NAPABA Pro Bono Service Award

AABANY congratulates Jennifer Wu, co-chair of AABANY’s Women’s Committee and Founding Partner at Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone LLP, as a recipient of  NAPABA’s Pro Bono Service Award. This recognition is well-deserved, acknowledging Jennifer’s exceptional commitment to Pro Bono service and unwavering dedication to advancing civil rights, aligning with NAPABA’s mission to promote justice, equity, and opportunity for Asian American Pacific Islanders. Jennifer’s exemplary legal and advocacy work also exemplifies the values and aspirations of the Asian American Bar Association of New York, making her an inspiring role model for the legal community at large. This award will be presented during the Gala on Saturday evening, November 11, at the NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis.

When asked what she felt when she first learned that she was getting this award, Jennifer recounts her initial feelings of overwhelming appreciation and gratitude for the NAPABA community. “To me, Pro Bono work has always been driven by a sense of purpose, with no expectation of accolades or recognition. Receiving the NABABA Pro Bono Service Award is like the cherry on top. It’s truly gratifying to receive recognition, particularly when you’re dedicated to serving a community that often goes unnoticed,” remarked Jennifer. 

Jennifer’s Pro Bono career has been as exceptional as it has been unconventional. Her Pro Bono work differs significantly from what is traditionally associated with legal Pro Bono services. While many high-profile cases commonly involve courtroom appearances and legal battles, Jennifer’s approach is distinct. She provides legal guidance and support, helping victims and their families navigate issues that are more practical in nature. “While this type of work may not conform to what is conventionally recognized by the legal community,” Jennifer stated, “I am deeply honored by NAPABA’s acknowledgment.”

Jennifer demonstrates her exemplary dedication to the community through her active involvement in a wide array of groundbreaking initiatives and Pro Bono cases. Through her legal work, Jennifer has taken on the crucial role of representing victims of Anti-Asian violence, advocating for justice, and providing essential support to their families. Jennifer’s Pro Bono services have been extraordinary— she has taken on the representation of nearly every individual who has lost their life to anti-Asian violence in the past two years in New York City. 

Notably, Jennifer Wu played a pivotal role in seeking justice for GuiYing Ma and her family, and raising awareness about the tragic incident. In March 2022, Jennifer orchestrated a press conference for GuiYing Ma’s family, and its subsequent national coverage in the New York Times granted them a vital platform to voice their story and demand justice. Then, in April of that same year, Jennifer worked closely with GuiYing’s family to craft an in-depth feature about her life, further shedding light on the incident’s impact. Currently, Jennifer is working with the Queens family attacked in a car and families of the Allen, Texas mall shooting, both of which are suspected to be hate crimes. 

Growing up in an immigrant family in New Jersey, Jennifer recounted how her upbringing has affected her outlook on the importance of Pro Bono service and civil rights advocacy. As the first lawyer in her family, it struck her that Pro Bono services were not available for those that needed them. “I noticed that organizations out there simply don’t solve the problems that my immigrant family faces,” observed Jennifer. Asian immigrants, in particular, face a host of unique challenges in gaining access to legal services. “Many immigrants find themselves in a challenging middle ground—they’re not considered poor enough to qualify for legal aid, but they also lack the financial means to afford a top-tier lawyer who can represent them effectively,” Jennifer stated.

This phenomenon highlights the pressing need for legal services that bridge the gap for immigrant communities, making it clear that there is a substantial segment of the population that falls into this underserved category. Armed with her personal experiences and profound understanding of the immigrant experience, Jennifer hopes to dedicate her legal career to addressing this gap in service, reshaping the legal landscape to better serve the needs of all members of society.

Furthermore, “the immigrant community is not assimilated enough [to know about] government services [and]  to trust the people that are there to help them. They don’t trust the police, they don’t trust the district attorney— they don’t even trust the hospitals treating them,” observed Jennifer. “When they don’t trust those institutions, their reaction is to withdraw, and not engage. This is okay, except when someone’s been really hurt. All of the sudden, they’re faced with these legal institutions that for their entire life, they’ve tried to avoid.”

Against this backdrop of general distrust of existing institutions, Jennifer views her Asian identity as a unifying force, a connection that can help close the gap between immigrant communities and the often intimidating legal system. Her immigrant background thus becomes a point of connection and relatability, enabling her to break down barriers and establish trust with individuals who may have been apprehensive about seeking help. Her commitment to building these crucial bridges not only helps immigrant families find the justice and support they need but also serves as a powerful testament to the impact of diversity and cultural understanding that facilitates the efficacy of her Pro Bono advocacy.

Aside from her illustrious Pro Bono career, Jennifer is actively involved in AABANY as a co-chair of AABANY’s Women’s Committee. When asked about her experience in the committee, Jennifer’s face lit up with a smile, and she warmly reflected on her involvement. “Though I’ve engaged in mentorship experiences in the past, they often felt awkward because they didn’t naturally evolve,” Jennifer declared, in an animated tone. “What makes the Women’s Committee so exceptional is that it provides an organic opportunity to connect and engage with a diverse and accomplished group of female Asian lawyers.” Her warmth and enthusiasm in discussing her role in the Committee demonstrates her dedication to empowering the next generation of legal professionals. To learn more about AABANY’s Women’s Committee, please click here.

Furthermore, Jennifer has been a prominent member of AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, contributing to AABANY’s two reports on Anti-Asian hate in NYC during the COVID era: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19 and Endless Tide: The Continuing Struggle to Overcome Anti-Asian Hate in New York. 

To announce the release of the Endless Tide report, Jennifer delivered remarks at a press conference held on May 31 at the offices of Paul, Weiss in midtown Manhattan. During this event, Eva Zhao, the widow of Zhiwen Yan, the delivery worker who tragically lost his life in Forest Hills, spoke about her hardships and struggles in the wake of her husband’s murder. Significantly, the very next day, the perpetrator responsible for Zhiwen Yan’s tragic death was arrested, marking a significant breakthrough in a case Jennifer had worked diligently on. Jennifer’s relentless efforts and dedication in the Zhiwen Yan case played a pivotal role in bringing closure to the grieving family and securing justice for the victim. To read more about Jennifer’s involvement in this case, and her approach to anti-Asian violence casework, click here.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Jennifer on receiving the NAPABA Pro Bono Service Award, In the legal world and beyond, Jennifer Wu’s work serves as an embodiment of the power of empathy, cultural understanding, and unwavering dedication to justice. 

Beatrice Leong Honored with NAPABA’s Best Under 40 Award

In recognition of her legal prowess, dedication to service, and entrepreneurial spirit, Beatrice Leong, a prominent Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) woman solo practitioner, has been honored with the Best Under 40 award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Beatrice will receive the award on November 11th at the NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis, during the Gala on Saturday evening. The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is thrilled to celebrate this outstanding achievement and applauds Beatrice’s unwavering commitment to the legal profession and her community.

Empathy Born from Experience

Beatrice was set on becoming a prosecutor since she was in Junior High school. She was married to her high school sweetheart, she had finished law school, and she had an offer to intern with the Queens District Attorney’s office.

The discovery of her then-husband’s infidelity threw a wrench in her plans and forced Beatrice on a different path. Her consultations with divorce attorneys were disheartening. She failed the bar exam. “I felt like I was dying,” she said, looking back on that time. Nevertheless, she took matters into her own hands. The same drive and passion for justice that made her want to prosecute wrongdoers pushed her to become a divorce lawyer, the kind that she wanted for herself, and one that her future clients could safely rely on.

From personal experience, Beatrice understands the emotional and often heart-wrenching aspects of divorce and family conflicts. This has equipped her with a profound empathy that she channels into her legal practice. She is a compassionate advocate who walks alongside her clients through the tumultuous process of divorce, offering pragmatic guidance with a deep understanding of the emotions that accompany such challenges.

Redefining Success as a Solo Practitioner and Entrepreneur

Beatrice started her career in divorce and family law at matrimonial and family law firms in both Queens and Manhattan, first at Plaine & Katz LLP and later at Parmet & Zhou LLC and Kleyman Law Firm. She started her own practice, the Law Office of Beatrice Leong, in 2021. As the only solo practitioner among this year’s Best Under 40 honorees, Beatrice’s remarkable journey is an inspiration to young lawyers. Reflecting on her career, Beatrice emphasized the importance, especially for young AAPI lawyers, to recognize the value of their work and not be afraid to carve their own path.

Leadership in the Legal Community

Beyond her exceptional legal practice, Beatrice is dedicated to serving the AAPI community by playing an active role in both AABANY and NAPABA. She currently serves as a Co-Vice President of Programs and Operations at AABANY and a Co-Chair of NAPABA’s Solo & Small Firm Network.

Through AABANY, Beatrice met other AAPI lawyers, rare in her field, and people who could relate to being mistaken by court officers as an interpreter, intern or a litigant, because they do not fit the traditional image of a lawyer. She says that she found “her community” through AABANY: the pro bono clients she advised through AABANY, fellow AAPI lawyers, and AAPI law students.

Beatrice recalls being described as a “natural leader” by her peers at AABANY after she joined. More and more, she dedicated her free time to fostering connections between the organization’s members, drawing from a deeply held conviction that strength comes from unity. Later, she joined NAPABA to promote AAPI representation on a national level.

Beatrice Leong’s journey is a testament to her unyielding dedication to her clients, her community, and the legal profession. Her personal understanding, professional excellence, and commitment to service make her a beacon of hope for those navigating the difficult waters of divorce and family law. Beatrice’s passion and expertise continue to inspire and make a profound impact, both in the legal world and the lives of those she serves.

Congratulations to Beatrice Leong on this well-deserved award and recognition! You can click here to learn more about the Best Under 40 award and read about other awardees. 

Please join AABANY in congratulating all of the honorees at the 2023 NAPABA Convention.

Brian Song Honored with NAPABA’s Military and Veteran Service Award

In recognition of his unwavering dedication to his military service, his career and his community, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) presented the 2023 Military and Veteran Service Award to Brian Song. The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is honored to join in celebrating this outstanding achievement and recognizing Brian’s profound commitment to the legal profession and his extraordinary service to his community. Brian will receive the award on November 11th at the NAPABA Convention in Indianapolis.

A Unique Journey of Service and Ambition

Raised by first-generation Korean immigrant parents who instilled in him a strong sense of duty and the value of service, Brian found his calling early in life. Like most immigrant parents, there were only three “acceptable” career paths in his parents’ eyes: doctor, lawyer, or engineer. From an early age, Brian wanted to be two things- a lawyer and a soldier.

After attending college on an Army ROTC scholarship, Brian faced the choice of starting his service obligation to the Army immediately upon graduating or seeking an educational delay in order to attend law school. Since a delay would allow him to realize his childhood dream of becoming a soldier and his career goal of becoming a lawyer, he chose to compete for the delay and ultimately for selection in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). His journey was influenced by his strong desire to give back to his country. It was an unconventional path but one that has led to remarkable accomplishments.

Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

Throughout his military career, Brian often found himself taking the road less traveled. As an Asian American officer, he was acutely aware of the scarcity of Asian American faces, especially in more senior ranks. He frequently found himself to be the only Asian American in the room during important discussions, a reality that further fueled his commitment to breaking barriers and opening doors for others.

One of the moments that resonated with Brian was the tragedy of Danny Chen, a young soldier who faced harassment and abuse in the military. Experiences like these strengthened his resolve to advocate for inclusivity and equity within the military. (You can read about AABANY’s participation in the 12th Annual Commemoration of Private Danny Chen here.) 

While he acknowledges that progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to shatter the so-called “bamboo ceiling” that restricts Asian Americans’ representation in the higher ranks of the military. The lack of representation in flag officer roles, i.e., generals and admirals, is a concern that remains. 

Service and Leadership in the Legal Profession

After law school, Brian’s legal career began in the JAG Corps, serving with distinction for four years on active duty from 2003 to 2007. At the end of his original military commitment, Brian volunteered to continue his service in the U.S. Army Reserve. Despite balancing a civilian career as an associate, and now as a partner, with several major law firms, Brian devoted the time and energy necessary for success in his military career. The Reserves are supposed to be one weekend a month and two weeks a year, but it is often more than that especially at the senior ranks. It is not possible to overstate the sacrifices that our military reservists make in order to continue to serve by balancing two careers along with family and other obligations.  

Notably, he was part of a pro bono legal team that filed a suit on behalf of Sikh American recruits who were denied religious accommodations to both practice their faith and join the United States Marine Corps. After an initial defeat in District Court, the case — Toor et al. v. Berger et al.— continues into the next phase as the plaintiffs seek meaningful religious accommodations throughout their respective careers in the Marine Corps. Brian and his co-counsels hope that the Marine Corps will conform to the policies adopted by the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. 

Bar Association Work: A Calling and a Community

Brian’s involvement with NAPABA and AABANY showcases his commitment to service not only in the military but also within the legal profession. Joining bar associations was a piece of advice from mentors who emphasized its importance for career development. Although he initially felt too busy, Brian realized the tremendous value in getting involved as soon as he joined AABANY.

Brian’s contributions to the Asian American legal community have been profound. He established the Military & Veterans Affairs Committee at AABANY and later led the Military & Veterans Network at NAPABA. He hoped to bridge the gap from those transitioning from the military to civilian life, foster greater understanding among the legal community and veterans, and create a platform to discuss legal issues in which veterans have special expertise. From 2019 to 2020, Brian served as AABANY’s President. 

Brian’s service, his legal accomplishments, and his deep involvement in bar associations make him a true trailblazer and an inspiration. We extend our warmest congratulations to Brian Song for receiving the 2023 Military and Veteran Service Award from NAPABA. Brian’s dedication to both his country and the legal profession is truly remarkable, and we are proud to celebrate Brian’s achievements. Click here to learn more about the Military & Veteran Service Award.

Please join AABANY in congratulating all the honorees at the 2023 NAPABA Convention.

AABANY Co-Sponsors Inaugural Hon. Randall T. Eng Award Program

AABANY co-sponsored the Inaugural Hon. Randall T. Eng Award Program on May 31, 2023, organized by and held at the Appellate Division, Second Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Congratulations to Hon. Randall T. Eng, Retired Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department for this award named in recognition of his tremendous and trailblazing career and impact on the AAPI community. 

Congratulations to Congresswoman Grace Meng, 6th Congressional District. As the first and only Asian American Member of Congress from New York State, it is only fitting that she is the first recipient of the Hon. Randall T. Eng award. Congresswoman Meng’s advocacy for the AAPI community is impactful and far-reaching and AABANY applauds her tremendous work and service, including her work towards the creation of a national museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture. 

Congratulations to Presiding Justice Hector D. LaSalle and the Appellate Division, Second Department with the successful launch of the Hon. Randall T. Eng Award Program. 

The Program included remarks from:

Hon. Lara J. Genovesi, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department

Hon. Hector D. LaSalle, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department

Letitia James, New York State Attorney General

Melinda Katz, District Attorney of Queens

Hon. Lillian Wan, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department

Karen Kim, President, AABANY

Chief Judge Hon. Rowan D. Wilson was also in attendance, as well as the distinguished judges of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Associate Judges of the Court of Appeals, Hon. Madeline Singas, Michael Garcia, and Anthony Cannataro, for their attendance.

It was a privilege to collaborate with the Hon. Lillian Wan and the co-sponsoring bar associations: KALAGNY, FALANY, SABANY, MUBANY, and SAICBAQ. This event provided a meaningful and memorable way to celebrate and close out AAPI Heritage Month.

Won Shin Honored with Prosecutor of the Year Award by the Society of Asian Federal Officers

On May 5, 2023, the Society of Asian Federal Officers held its 32nd Annual Awards and Scholarship Banquet at Golden Unicorn Restaurant. AABANY Board Member, Won Shin, Chief of Appeals, U.S. Attorney’s Office, S.D.N.Y., was awarded Prosecutor of the Year. Charlie Lai and Jack Tchen, Founders of The Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA), received the Civilians of the Year award.

Pictured are (left to right): David Sohn, Karen Kim, Won Shin, Katherine Loanzon and David Chiang.

Congratulations to Won Shin on this well-deserved award and recognition! Click here to read AABANY’s press release on Won Shin being awarded Prosecutor of the Year by the Society of Asian Federal Officers.

AABANY Holds its 2023 Annual Meeting of Members at Paul, Weiss on February 15

On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.  President William Ng called the meeting to order and established quorum. The main order of business was conducting the election for the 2024 Board of Directors and Officers.

President William Ng presented the Annual Report of the Board and thanked the Board members for their service during the past year. Treasurer Evelyn Gong and Membership Director Christopher Bae presented the reports for their respective offices.

Executive Director Yang Chen presented highlights of Committee activities. Following the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occurring, Immediate Past President Terrence Shen and President-Elect Karen Kim tallied the votes.

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: Intellectual Property Committee

The Intellectual Property Committee received the Committee of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s membership engagement and creating a vibrant community for IP law practitioners. The Committee successfully hosted several committee dinners and social events including their first concert event to see the ARKAI Duo.  At the start of 2023, the IP Committee started a new program called “Dumplings & Discussion,” the inaugural event featuring Andy Yoo, SVP & General Counsel of Savvas Learning Company.  The discussion covered topics including Andy’s role as general counsel, diversity, equity and inclusion, and his career path and trajectory.

Program of the Year: Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day 

The Program of the Year Award was given to Christopher Bae, AABANY’s Membership Director.  On June 4, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted an Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY). Over fifty members and their friends and families gathered at the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center in Brooklyn to participate in spirited sports games and enjoy snacks and refreshments.

Member of the Year: Jennifer H. Wu

The Member of the Year Award was presented to Jennifer H. Wu, for her outstanding leadership inside and outside of AABANY. Within AABANY, she co-chaired the Women’s Committee and helped to put on some excellent events. She was also active in AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, in addition to the pro bono work she had been doing to advise and assist survivors and victims of anti-Asian violence in New York over the past couple of years. On top of all that, she co-founded her own patent litigation law firm Groombridge Wu Baughman & Stone

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2023 fiscal year.

After the presentation of awards, William announced the election results. The following officers were elected and will begin their term one-year terms on April 1, 2023:

Joseph Eng, Jr.

President-Elect

Beatrice Leong

Vice President, Programs and Operations

Jeffrey Mok

Vice President, Programs and Operations

Jasmine Ball

Treasurer

Shirley Bi

Secretary

Christopher Bae

Membership Director

Varuna Bhattacharyya

Development Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2023:

Katherine Loanzon
P. Bartlett Wu

After the election results were announced, attendees stayed to network at Paul, Weiss.  We thank everyone who came and participated in the Annual Meeting and the election. Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board to serve in the 2024 fiscal year that begins on April 1, 2023. 

Special thank you to AABANY Director Larry Wee and the Paul, Weiss team for hosting AABANY’s 2023 Annual Meeting.

AABANY Honored with the New York State Bar Association Bar Leaders Innovation Award for the Anti-Asian Violence Task Force (AAVTF)

On September 20th, 2022, AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force was honored with the prestigious Bar Leaders Innovation Award in the category of large-sized bar association (2,000 members or more) at the New York State Bar Association headquarters in Albany, making AABANY a recipient of this award for the third year in a row. Beatrice Leong, Esq., AABANY’s Co-Vice President of Programs and Operations, went to Albany to accept the award from the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Bar Leaders, on behalf of AABANY.  

On September 20, Beatrice met with bar leaders from across New York state during a Bar Leaders Symposium and discussed how AABANY was able to maintain membership and actively keep its members and community engaged. During the reception following the Symposium, Beatrice accepted the award on behalf of AABANY. In her acceptance speech, she emphasized why AAVTF was created and the impact the Hate Eradication Active Response Team (“HEART”) had on helping community members navigate the criminal justice process. Beatrice also described how AAVTF worked with community organizations, the police, local prosecutors, elected officials, and law firms to gather data on hundreds of hate incidents while also directly assisting survivors. The event concluded with a dinner among the assembled bar leaders, providing another opportunity for Beatrice to share how AABANY was able to bring its leaders and members together to fight anti-Asian violence in New York City.

In AABANY’s press release about the award, President Willam Ng further commented: “With the support and acknowledgment of NYSBA and other partner organizations, AABANY and its AAVTF are confident that we can create safe and just communities and legal systems for Asian New Yorkers and all New Yorkers.” To read the press release issued by AABANY, please click here.

To read the AAVTF’s Endless Tide report, please click here.

To support the efforts of AAVTF, please click here.

To learn more about the HEART project, please click here.

Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship Application Available Now

APPLICATIONS DUE 5:00 P.M. (Eastern) MAY 20, 2022

THE ROBIN MANGASER TIZON MEMORIAL LAW SCHOLARSHIP

The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship is sponsored by the NFALA Foundation in collaboration with FALA New York. Robin Mangaser Tizon, Esq., MBA, was a beloved wife, daughter, sister and proud Filipina-American lawyer. Robin was born the third of four daughters, whose immigrant parents instilled in their children the value of education and service to one’s community.  Throughout her life, Robin devoted herself in advocacy of many causes, including Filipino veterans’ rights, adolescents with cancer, and immigrants’ rights.  She also had musical talent and a fine eye for design, enlivening any event with her singing, dancing, and keyboard skills.

After overcoming stage III ovarian cancer at the age of 23, Robin achieved her dream of becoming a lawyer, graduating from Rutgers School of Law-Camden in 2013 with a JD/MBA degree.  Robin focused her practice on intellectual property law.   She served as a valuable leader of NFALA and FALA New York where she found inspiring mentors and lifelong friendships.  Indeed, as one of the first members and original Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee since FALA New York’s inception, Robin was instrumental in establishing the FALA New York brand and lasting communications strategy.  Throughout her long battle with cancer, Robin remained committed to her duties at FALA New York.

OVERVIEW

NFALA Foundation scholarship awards are given to law students who demonstrate exceptional aptitude for the study of law and strong commitment to serve or contribute to the Filipino-American community as future leaders in the legal profession.  The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship was established to honor Robin’s memory and supports talented law students who embody her spirit and commitment to service.  Each scholarship recipient will receive $800 to $1,000, depending on the number of recipients selected in a given year.  

ELIGIBILITY

NFALA Foundation scholarships are made available, on a competitive basis, to students who are enrolled in their Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), or Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) at an accredited U.S. law school (Fall 2022 first time enrollees should submit a statement from your law school certifying that you are a law degree candidate enrolled at least part-time).  

The NFALA Foundation strongly encourages applications from applicants reflecting diverse cultural and experiential backgrounds, people with disabilities and of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds, work experiences, national origins, sexual orientations and ages.

CRITERIA

The Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship is awarded on the basis of:

  1. Essay;
  2. Resume;
  3. Two (2) letters for recommendation (from persons not related to you);
  4. Official or unofficial copies of your law school transcript (or for an incoming first-year law student, proof of enrollment); and
  5. Any further submission showcasing the applicant’s creative talents, particularly in the field of visual arts or music (optional).

IMPORTANT DATES

April 15, 2022                The scholarship application is available

May 20, 2022        The application and supporting materials must be received by 5:00 PM Eastern Time

June 1, 2022         Scholarship Awardee is notified by this date

TBD         Scholarship presentation at the FALA NY annual dinner to be held in June.

INSTRUCTIONS

You may apply for the Robin Mangaser Tizon Memorial Law Scholarship by emailing a completed application (view here), along with supporting documents listed under Criteria, to RobinMangaserTizonScholarship@gmail.com  by 5:00 P.M. (Eastern) on May 20, 2022.  Applications must be submitted in one PDF file with the title “Robin Mangaser Tizon Scholarship Application – [Applicant Name]” that consists of all application materials.

Your essay should be no longer than 500 words.  Of all the parts of the application, your essay carries the greatest weight.  Please emphasize any experience you have that shows your commitment to serving the Filipino- American community, as well as your need for financial assistance.

Please submit two letters of recommendation (recommendation letters for law school admission or other programs and positions are acceptable).  It is not necessary to submit more than two recommendation letters.  If you submit more than two letters, the committee may only review the first two letters received.  Letters may be sealed or unsealed and sent directly by the recommender or by the applicant.  An application is not excluded from consideration if no letter of recommendation is provided, though it is highly recommended.

Creative submissions are optional only, but provide the applicant an opportunity to showcase creative talents.  Applicants may either a) submit a link to RobinMangaserTizonScholarship@gmail.com with the content showcasing the applicant’s creative talents and provide any necessary permissions to view, or b) request an FTP link via that email for the applicant to upload materials.  All creative works must be the applicant’s original work or composition, with recordings of performances or music compositions being no longer than five minutes and a maximum of 5 images (.jpg, .png, etc.) or original written works (maximum of 500 words).  

Please click here for application form.