Congratulations to AABANY Past President Susan Shin on Being Honored by KAAGNY

AABANY congratulates its Past President Susan L. Shin on receiving the Community Role Model Award at the Korean American Association of Greater New York (KAAGNY) 60th Anniversary Fundraiser at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on January 13, for her leadership in the legal community. For more details, from Weil’s website, go to
https://www.weil.com/articles/susan-shin-honored-with-community-role-model-award-by-the-korean-american-association

Margaret Ling Receives Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service

On the evening of December 3, 2019, Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director and Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee, was the proud recipient of the Award for Outstanding Leadership in the Defense of Legal Rights & Exemplary Community Service. The award was given to Margaret by the Brooklyn Real Estate Board at their Annual Holiday Party & Community Recognition Awards Presentation. Margaret is a Member of the Advisory Board of Directors.

Margaret is pictured below with her award and with her colleagues Ashvini Persaud, Senior Business Banker of Capital One (left) and Sara Golan, Associate Broker, Nest Seekers International: The Serhant Team (right).

Join us in congratulating Margaret on this well-deserved honor and recognition.

Congratulations to James R. Cho and Linda S. Lin on Being Honored with the 2019 CUP Law Catalysts Award

AABANY is proud to announce that last week James R. Cho, Immediate Past President and Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of NY, and Linda S. Lin, Past President 2011 and Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at QBE North America, were presented with the 2019 CUP Law Catalysts award at the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) 10th Annual Lawyers Forum and Law Catalyst Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony was held at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP on November 12, 2019.

The CUP Law Catalyst award honors and celebrates the accomplishments of diverse legal professionals who are achieving extraordinary professional success while making significant and impactful contributions to their community.

James and Linda’s dedication to promoting diversity in the legal profession, their leadership as Past Presidents at AABANY, and service to the overall Asian American community make them highly deserving and outstanding recipients of this recognition.

This is not the first time that AABANY members have been honored with the CUP Law Catalysts award. Below is a list of ABBANY members previously recognized by the Council of Urban Professionals:

November 2018
Alice Hsu, AABANY Member

November 2016
Steve Chung, Past AABANY Board Member
Sonia Low, Past AABANY Board Member

October 2015
Austin So, Past In-House Counsel Committee Co-Chair

October 2014
Jean Lee, Past AABANY President 2012

October 2013
Dwight Yoo, Past AABANY President 2017

October 2012
Vincent Chang, Past AABANY President 2007

Please join us in congratulating James, Linda, and all the other AABANY members that have received this tremendous honor.

Also, please join us in congratulating the other 2019 CUP Catalysts in Law:

Adam Banks, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Tia Breakley, Managing Director & Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Compliance Officer – The Infrastructure Group, The Blackstone Group
Sarah Dodds-Brown, EVP & Managing Counsel, American Express
Stuart Downing, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
Chinyere Ezie, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
George Fatheree III, Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
Karen Hsu Kelley, Partner, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Jessica Lee, Partner, Loeb & Loeb LLP
Clarence A. Nesbitt, General Counsel, National Basketball Players Association 
Marianela Peralta, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Allegis Global Solutions, Inc. 
Pamela Rosado, Senior VP and Chief Counsel-Litigation, MetLife
Kimberly Spoerri, Partner, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Camelia Valdes, Prosecutor, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office

Congratulations to Karen King on Receiving NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award

We congratulate Karen King, AABANY Member and Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award during the Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. 

This award recognizes an attorney for outstanding achievement in Pro Bono service that involves impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights and provides direct legal services to individuals in furtherance of the administration of justice.

One of the pro bono cases that Karen was recognized for lasted for over 10 years and involved bias and discrimination in the promotion practices of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority against Asian American Police Officers. Karen found her work on the case to be very important for Asian Americans and rewarding for herself. In her video accepting the award, Karen remarked that young lawyers need to look for and seize opportunities to advance their careers “… and pro bono is an excellent way to do that.”

We are extremely excited and pleased that Karen received this prestigious honor. Please join us in congratulating her.

We commend Paul, Weiss on emphasizing, supporting, and encouraging their lawyers to engage in Pro Bono work and for being a Gold Sponsor.

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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Congratulations to Karen Yau

On Thursday, Oct. 17, at the 40th anniversary gala for Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Brooklyn Community Services, held at Affable Eatery in Brooklyn, Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Karen Yau was honored for her work in support of the community. Many AABANY members and leaders came out to celebrate with Karen, including Pro Bono Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha and Asako Aiba, Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair Kevin Hsi, AABANY Director of Technology and Professional Development Committee Co-Chair Francis Chin and Executive Director Yang Chen. Karen’s family, including her parents, were also in attendance.

AABANY also congratulates the other honorees at the gala dinner:

  • Dr. Gabriel Rincon, DDS
    Board of Trustees Chairman, The Family Health Centers at NYU Langone
  • Elizabeth Culkin, Principal, PS 176K
  • Hewett Chiu, Executive Director, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
    President and CEO, Academy of Medical and Public Health Services

Karen, in her acceptance speech, accepted the award on behalf of the Pro Bono Clinic, which has grown in number of clients served and number of volunteers participating, and which started serving clients in Brooklyn last month, in September. The next Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic will take place on November 21. Please help us spread the word. More details here: https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1291193 If you are able to volunteer there, contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.

Kathy Hirata Chin Honored with the Inaugural Hong Yen Chang Award at the New York County Lawyers Association on May 28th

Many congratulations to longstanding AABANY member Kathy Hirata Chin on being honored by the Columbia Law School Association and Asian Columbia Alumni Association with the inaugural Hong Yen Chang Award at the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) at 14 Vesey Street on Tuesday, May 28. The event was co-sponsored by AABANY, the Asian Practice Committee of NYCLA, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, and the Network of Bar Leaders. We were joined by many AABANY community members and Columbia alumni. Ms. Chin is a 1980 graduate of the Columbia Law School.

The well-attended reception began with AABANY Development Director Margaret Ling providing a brief history of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. She highlighted two key dates in Asian American history: May 7th, when the first Japanese immigrants arrived in the United States in 1842, and May 10th, when the transcontinental railroad was completed with the help of Chinese laborers in 1869.

Then, NYCLA’s secretary Jai Chandrasekhar welcomed guests to the reception and shared some of Hong Yen Chang’s achievements, including being the first Chinese person in the United States to graduate from an American law school, in 1886.

Next, the Hon. George B. Daniels shared some of Kathy Hirata Chin’s achievements as an accomplished litigator and community member.

Then, AABANY’s Executive Director Yang Chen read from the introduction to the Portrait Project, the first-ever comprehensive study of Asian Americans in the legal profession, which spoke on the progress today of Asian Americans as big firm lawyers, government attorneys, corporate counsel members, public defenders, judges and more—reaching “levels of legal participation unthinkable compared to just over 30 years ago.” He made this reference to comment on how far Asian Americans in the legal profession have come from Hong Yen Chang’s time and have yet to go.

Bridgette Ahn, the current president of the Network of Bar Leaders, then took the podium to share brief remarks on NYCLA’s work and mission. Rudy Carmenaty, the President of the Columbia Law School Association, followed up by illuminating more of Ms. Chin’s achievements and the reasons for holding the Hong Yen Chang reception.

Then, the honoree Kathy Hirata Chin shared an engaging presentation on Hong Yen Chang’s remarkable life, including many long forgotten and little known details about his achievements at a time when discriminatory laws and attitudes toward Asians were far more prevalent.

Finally, Ms. Chin was presented with the inaugural Hong Yen Chang award honoring her trailblazing achievements in the spirit of Hong Yen Chang. Her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, added his reflections. He stated, “Kathy is a wonderful, caring, gracious, hard working, brilliant person. And beyond that, she is a terrific lawyer, a pioneer in her own right as an Asian American woman—a litigator—making her mark at a time when law firms were still holding events at male owning clubs. And there were zero Asian American partners.”

Regarding Ms. Chin’s accomplishments, as stated in AABANY’s press release, “[she] has handled dozens of appellate cases, concentrating her practice in healthcare and real estate…. She has served on Governor Mario M. Cuomo’s Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department from 1992-1994; the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York from 1992-1999; the Gender Bias Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Race, and Ethnic Fairness; the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Task Force to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession; and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections from 2003-2006; and the New York County Lawyers’ Association Board of Directors. In April 2016, she was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the First Department Judicial Screening Committee. Since January 2016, Chin has served as a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council Committee on Civic Education & Public Engagement, focusing on historic reenactments as a teaching tool. With her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and teams of lawyers and judges from AABANY, she has developed and presented reenactments of famous cases such as Korematsu vs. U.S, to educate the community about the significant contributions of Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.”

Regarding Hong Yen Chang, according to AABANY’s press release: “In 1872, 13-year-old Hong Yen Chang came to the United States to be groomed as a diplomat. He earned degrees from Yale University and Columbia University’s law school and passed the bar exam. However, after passing the bar examination, he was first denied admission because of his lack of U.S. citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. A special act of the New York Legislature (N.Y. L.1887 c. 249) allowed his admission despite this bar and in 1888, Hong Yen Chang reportedly became the first Asian American attorney admitted to the bar in New York. Hong Yen Chang then moved to California and applied for admission to the bar there but was denied in 1890 due to his lack of citizenship. Not until 2015 was this exclusion remedied, when the California Supreme Court granted an application from members of the UC Davis Asian Pacific American Law Students Association for posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Kathy Hirata Chin on all of her achievements and on her well-deserved honor at the inaugural Hong Yen Chang reception.

Thanks to Kevin Hsi for providing the photos for this blog post.

Congratulations to Joon Kim on Receiving the Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, Joon Kim, Partner at Cleary Gottlieb and AABANY member, was presented with the Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award at the New York State Bar Association’s “Smooth Moves: Career Strategies for Attorneys of Color” program at Lincoln Center. The Hon. George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award recognizes lawyers who demonstrate commitment to legal excellence, community service and mentoring. The program was sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Joon Kim has led a distinguished career over two decades at high levels of government and in private practice at Cleary Gottlieb, personally trying over a dozen federal jury trials and actively participating in dozens more. He is also a regular speaker and panelist at leading industry conferences on criminal and regulatory matters.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Joon Kim for this well-deserved award and honor.

Photo courtesy of Cleary Gottlieb. Used with permission.

PRESS RELEASE: AABANY CONGRATULATES KATHY HIRATA CHIN ON BEING SELECTED TO RECEIVE THE INAUGURAL HONG YEN CHANG AWARD BY THE COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL ASSOCIATION AND ASIAN COLUMBIA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AT THE NEW YORK COUNTY LAWYERS ASSOCIATION

NEW YORK – May 24, 2019 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that Kathy Hirata Chin, Partner at Crowell & Moring LLP and longstanding member of AABANY, will be honored at the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) at the Inaugural Hong Yen Chang Reception on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The Columbia Law School Association and Asian Columbia Alumni Association are recognizing Ms. Chin with this honor, and the reception is co-sponsored by AABANY, the Asian Practice Committee of NYCLA, the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, and the Network of Bar Leaders. Ms. Chin is a 1980 graduate of Columbia Law School.

In 1872, 13-year-old Hong Yen Chang came to the United States to be groomed as a diplomat. He earned degrees from Yale University and Columbia University’s law school and passed the bar exam. However, after passing the bar examination, he was first denied admission because of his lack of U.S. citizenship due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. A special act of the New York Legislature (N.Y. L.1887 c. 249) allowed his admission despite this bar and in 1888, Hong Yen Chang reportedly became the first Asian American attorney admitted to the bar in New York. Hong Yen Chang then moved to California and applied for admission to the bar there but was denied in 1890 due to his lack of citizenship. Not until 2015 was this exclusion remedied, when the California Supreme Court granted an application from members of the UC Davis Asian Pacific American Law Students Association for posthumous admission of Hong Yen Chang.

“Although the very first Asian American lawyer in New York State was admitted over 130 years ago, the legacy of exclusion, discrimination and bias continues to preserve a Bamboo Ceiling in 21st century America,” states AABANY President Brian Song. “We are grateful that Kathy Hirata Chin has been a vital champion, role model and trailblazer in the fight for diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and are proud to count her among our most prominent members. We congratulate her on being selected to receive the Hong Yen Chang Award.”

Kathy Hirata Chin is an accomplished litigator who has handled dozens of appellate cases, concentrating her practice in healthcare and real estate. After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton University and graduating from Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and Editor-in-Chief of The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Ms. Chin joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, becoming one of the first minority and women Partners in 1990.

Nominated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Ms. Chin served on the New York City Planning Commission from 1995-2001. Nominated by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Ms. Chin served on the New York City Commission to Combat Police Corruption in 2003. She has also served on Governor Mario M. Cuomo’s Judicial Screening Committee for the First Judicial Department from 1992-1994; the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Eastern District of New York from 1992-1999; the Gender Bias Committee of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Race, and Ethnic Fairness; the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s Task Force to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession; and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye’s Commission to Promote Public Confidence in Judicial Elections from 2003-2006; and the New York County Lawyers’ Association Board of Directors.

In December 2012 and again in December 2014, she was nominated for appointment to the State Court of Appeals by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination. In April 2016, she was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the First Department Judicial Screening Committee. Since January 2016, Kathy has served as a member of the Second Circuit Judicial Council Committee on Civic Education & Public Engagement, focusing on historic reenactments as a teaching tool. With her husband, the Hon. Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and teams of lawyers and judges from AABANY, she has developed and presented reenactments of famous cases such as Korematsu vs. U.S, to teach lawyers and the community about the significant contributions made by Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.

Ms. Chin has played a critical role in initiating and sustaining change within many organizations, in the legal profession and the community. Please join AABANY in congratulating Ms. Chin on this well-deserved honor.

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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Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org

Follow our blog at www.blog.aabany.org

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aabany

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aabany

Find us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/aabany
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