AABANY Members: Join Directory of Neutrals from Underrepresented Communities

The New York City Bar Association ADR Committee and New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section are committed to increasing the selection of ADR professionals from historically underrepresented communities. To promote this goal, the two groups are compiling a directory of association members who are ADR professionals and self-identify as a member of a historically underrepresented community including but not limited to: a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as having a disability, or identify as a woman.

The directory is being built in partnership with the following bar associations (list in formation): The Asian American Bar Association of New York, The Caribbean Attorney Network, The Dominican Bar Association, The Hispanic National Bar Association, NY Chapter, The Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, The Metropolitan Black Bar Association, The Puerto Rican Bar Association, and The Women’s Bar Association.

If you are a City Bar member, AABANY member, or member of any of the partnering bar associations, and self-identify as a member of a historically underrepresented community and wish to be included in the directory, please fill out the following survey on or before July 23, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding this initiative or if you are a bar association leader and wish to participate in this initiative, you may contact Robyn Weinstein at robyn_weinstein@nyed.uscourts.gov or Catherine Carl at ccarl@nysba.org

Young Lawyers Committee Hosts “Attorney Well-Being During COVID-19” Event

On April 15, AABANY’s Young Lawyers Committee (YLC) hosted a fireside chat titled “Attorney Well-Being During COVID-19.” In the face of isolating social distancing protocols and prolonged remote working arrangements, Committee Co-Chair Janet Jun organized and moderated the event in hopes of spurring more dialogue on the subject of wellness in the legal profession. Janet was joined by former AABANY President Glenn Lau-Kee and YLC Co-Chair Jane Jeong, who also hosts and produces The Whole Lawyer Podcast. At the intersection of law and wellness, Glenn serves as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, and Jane is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Wellness Committee. Together, the speakers led a candid discussion about the current state of mental health awareness, challenges in the legal profession, and tips for achieving attorney wellness during COVID-19 and beyond.

Janet kickstarted the discussion by asking about the promises and pitfalls of current efforts to improve wellness in the legal profession. Glenn spoke optimistically about NYSBA’s Task Force on Attorney Well-Being, which consists of nine working groups, each dedicated to a specific wellness issue. As the head of the working group on bar associations, Glenn described the end goal of the Task Force as a wholesale culture change in the legal profession. Glenn observed that attorneys tend to experience higher levels of stress than other professionals, with young lawyers bearing the brunt of this pressure. While larger law firms have established more initiatives to promote lawyer well-being, small firms and solo practitioners are disadvantaged by limited resources. In this context, Glenn identified bar associations as a possible avenue for equalizing wellness resources. 

Diverging from Glenn’s opinion, Jane insisted that personal connections — not institutional initiatives — are the proper foundation for a more comprehensive culture of wellness. Invoking the fireside chat as an example, Jane stated that change starts at the individual level, with the creation of safe spaces for authentic conversations about personal mental health struggles.

Janet continued the discussion by asking about the source of rampant anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues in the legal profession. Glenn broke the problem down into three factors: (1) a lack of boundaries for down time, (2) client expectations and demands, and (3) financial pressures. Jane connected the first and third factors, explaining that the billable hour gives lawyers a systematic incentive to work ceaselessly. Deeming many lawyers to be perfectionists who are conditioned to tie their self-worth to external accomplishments, Jane also said that self-selection bias contributes to a workaholic legal culture.

AABANY Board Member Andy Yoo joined the discussion by asking about ways in which clients can help drive change. Glenn and Jane both responded by stating that leadership buy-in is an essential catalyst for change. As Jane explained, how CEOs and CLOs treat their employees trickles down to how employees treat external counsel.

Cynthia Lam, AABANY’s Co-Vice President of Programs and Operations, then asked the speakers to share their personal strategies for maintaining well-being. Glenn emphasized the community aspect of any individual effort to promote self-care. He urged lawyers to look beyond their own team members, who are all fixated on the same work, and reach out to family members, friends, and colleagues outside of their firms. Moving forward, Glenn hopes that bar associations will also play a greater role in providing lawyers with a sense of community. 

In enhancing her own mental health, Jane underscored the importance of setting and communicating boundaries with colleagues. She encouraged attendees not to cancel social plans for work except in the rare case of an emergency. Drawing on experience from her early career, Jane explained that by always saying yes to external requests, she had taught others that it was okay to overwork her. The lesson Jane derived from this experience was to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. 

Ultimately, Glenn and Jane urged attendees to carve out time for themselves to participate in communities and activities that are wholly unrelated to the law. While Jane personally benefits from working out, writing fiction, and doing yoga, she encouraged lawyers to access their own creative and reflective sides in whatever way works for them. Janet concluded the fireside chat by appealing to the desire of all attendees to be good lawyers. Only by striking a proper work-life balance can attorneys be fully enthusiastic about their careers and clients. To this extent, valuing well-being in one’s own life can help us all become more present in the lives of those around us.

AABANY thanks Janet, Glenn, and Jane for sharing their insights and leading this dialogue on the ever-relevant topic of attorney well-being. To learn more about the Young Lawyers Committee and its work, click here.

AABANY Mentioned in Law360 Article on Bar Associations in New York Condemning Violence at the U.S. Capitol

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) was recently mentioned in a Law360 article on New York state bar associations’ reactions to the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The article states: “The Asian American Bar Association of New York, one of the state’s most vocal attorneys group, endorsed a
statement published by its parent organization, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, decrying the storming of the Capitol as the act of militants.”

NY Lawyers Condemn Storming Of US Capitol By Mob
By Marco Poggio

Law360 (January 7, 2021, 4:34 PM EST) — Prominent New York state bar associations have condemned the violence that unfolded in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, in which a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol as the Electoral College vote certification was in progress, resulting in the deaths of four people. Read more here (subscription is required).

AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen Quoted in Albany Law School Newsletter

AABANY is excited to announce that Executive Director Yang Chen has been quoted by the Albany Law School in a newsletter sent out to admitted students.

Albany Law School wrote:

Law school offers incredible opportunities for learning and growth—both personally and professionally. And for those looking to expand their professional networks or boost their resumes, a bar association membership can be a great addition to coursework, extracurriculars, and journals.

It may sound like something you can only do after earning your J.D., but that’s not the case. Joining a bar association—an organization for legal professionals—at the student level has numerous benefits. Many organizations have specialized programming and offerings just for law students.

Want to know more? We spoke with representatives from several bar associations about some of the reasons for getting involved as a law student.

Read more.

NAPABA’s 2019 Survey of Asian Pacific American Attorney/Law Student Bar Association: Become Eligible for NAPABA’s Raffle and Win!

Last Day to Complete the Survey is May 13, 2019 | Take the Survey Now!

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is conducting a survey to assess Asian Pacific American attorney and law student engagement with bar associations and in particular affinity bar associations. The results of the survey will aid NAPABA in measuring our reach and effectiveness and assessing our priorities.

We need a few minutes of your time to complete a survey. Your feedback will help guide us as we strive to further NAPABA’s mission to:

  • Be the national voice for the Asian Pacific American legal profession;
  • Promote justice, equity, and opportunity for Asian Pacific Americans; and
  • Foster professional development, legal scholarship, advocacy, and community involvement.

The survey should take approximately 10-18 minutes to complete. Responses to the survey will be kept strictly confidential. The last day to complete this survey is May 13, 2019.

To show our appreciation to those that complete the survey, we will enter you into a drawing for one of the following prizes:

  • Complimentary registration for the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas from November 7-10, 2019;
  • Complimentary room upgrade to a Junior Suite at the Convention hotel, JW Marriott Austin; or
  •  One of three $100 Amazon gift cards.

We would greatly appreciate your candid, thoughtful, and detailed responses. 

Should you have any questions about the survey or need help completing it, please contact membership@napaba.org

COMPLETE SURVEY HERE 

Meet the Presidents of Affinity Bar Associations

Meet the Presidents of Affinity Bar Associations

NAPABA and CA APA Bar Assns Share Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Concerns on Access to Justice

News Release

For Immediate Release
April 21, 2017

For More Information, Contact: 

Brett Schuster, Communications Manager

bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

NAPABA and California Asian Pacific American Bar Associations Share
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s Concerns on Access to Justice

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and 21 of its California-based affiliates join California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye in expressing concern over the arrests of individuals by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at California state courts and the impact of these arrests on the administration of justice.

“NAPABA and Asian Pacific American lawyers in California share Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye concerns over the arrest of individuals for immigration-related violations at courthouses,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “Our legal system is based on the idea that our courts are open to every person who seeks redress and due process. Our courts are not able to fulfill their fundamental role when victims and witnesses fear coming to the courthouse. Public safety is ultimately damaged when the administration of justice is thwarted.”

As organizations representing lawyers committed to the fair administration of justice and open access of the courts, we remain concerned that individuals may be deterred from participating in our legal system out of fear of arrest based on their immigration status. Our courts must be able to hear and obtain all evidence to fairly adjudicate the disputes and questions before them, including from undocumented individuals.

During her State of the Judiciary Address, the Chief Justice stated: “…when we hear of immigration arrests and the fear of immigration arrest in our state courthouses, I am concerned that that kind of information trickles down into the community, the schools, the churches, the families and people will no longer come to court to protect themselves or cooperate or bear witness.”

She made these points in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly expressing her concern “…about the impact on public trust and confidence in our state court system.”

The following Asian Pacific American bar associations join in this statement:

  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Asian American Prosecutors Association
  • Asian Americans Criminal Trial Lawyers Association
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Los Angeles
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association – Solano County
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
  • Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance
  • Asian/Pacific Bar Association of Sacramento
  • Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • Japanese American Bar Association
  • Korean American Bar Association of Northern California
  • Korean American Bar Association of Southern California
  • Orange County Korean American Bar Association
  • Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego
  • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of Northern California
  • South Asian Bar Association of San Diego
  • Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association
  • Taiwanese American Lawyers Association
  • Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

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On July 16th, NYCLA and AABANY honored Glenn Lau-Kee for his historical accomplishment of becoming the 117th President of the New York State Bar Association and the first Asian-American to hold this position.

Margaret Ling, Chair of NYCLA’s Asian Practice Committee and co-chair of AABANY’s Real Estate Committee, began the program by introducing Presiding Justice of the Second Department, Hon. Randall T. Eng, to present the first remarks of the evening.

Margaret then introduced representatives from the many organizations Glenn has impacted or been part of, many of whom shared personal stories of their work with or connection to Glenn. Among the speakers were Lewis Tesser, President of NYCLA, Bridgette Ahn, Vice President of Programs and Committees for KALAGNY, Nadine Fontaine, Immediate Past President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, Rosevelie Marquez Morales, Co-Chair of NYSBA’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, Alex Lee, Vice President of Finance and Development for NAPABA, and Clara Ohr, President of AABANY.

NYCLA’s Solo and Small Firm Committee was a co-sponsor of the event, and Co-Chairs Tsui Yee and Paige Zandri offered remarks on behalf of that committee. Tsui also co-chairs AABANY’s Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. Vince Chang, a Past President of AABANY, presented remarks on behalf of NYCLA’s Federal Courts Committee, another co-sponsor of the event.

Representatives from Federal, State and City government were on hand to honor Glenn. The Governor’s Office, represented by Mecca Santana, Chief Diversity Officer, presented a greeting letter from the Governor to Glenn. Sandra Ung, Chief Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Grace Meng, presented a commendation to Glenn from Congresswoman Meng’s office. Jimmy Yan, Chief Deputy General Counsel for New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, offered congratulations on behalf of the Comptroller.

All of the speakers extolled Glenn for his outstanding record of leadership and status as a significant role model for Asian American, minority and under-represented groups.

After all the speeches were given, Glenn’s father, Norman Kee, a trailblazer in his own right, introduced Glenn. Glenn expressed his gratitude for the honors bestowed upon him at the reception. He urged everyone, especially young lawyers, to get involved in bar associations – any bar association – as a way to develop as lawyers and serve the profession.

Congratulations to Glenn on his historic achievement, and thanks to Margaret Ling for organizing the reception and NYCLA for hosting it. Thanks to all the government officials, bar leaders, friends and family who came out to celebrate.

NAPABA ACKNOWLEDGES THE SUFFERING OF WWII COMFORT WOMEN AND OTHER HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

May 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) acknowledges the suffering of WWII Comfort Women and other victims of human trafficking and opposes human trafficking in all of its forms.

In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 121, which recognized that the Government of Japan, in the 1930’s through the end of World War II, forced women to provide sex to soldiers in its Imperial Armed Forces. The U.S. Department of State in its 2003 Japan Report referenced thousands of these victims of sexual slavery, commonly referred to as “Comfort Women,” who were kidnapped or coerced from countries including China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and the Philippines.

Memorials in honor of Comfort Women have been erected in the U.S. and throughout the world. One such Comfort Women memorial was erected in July 2013 in Glendale, California, and a lawsuit, Gingery et al. v. City of Glendale, was filed earlier this year to force its removal, which caused controversy and spurred dialogue, particularly about differing Japanese and Korean viewpoints of the wartime and post-war treatment of Comfort Women.

“NAPABA members and affiliates across the country—including members of Korean American and Japanese American bar associations—have long worked together in multiethnic coalitions to support civil rights and justice for all of our communities,” said Bill Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “I am heartened to see that the Asian Pacific American legal community refused to allow historical disagreements and the controversy over the Glendale memorial to divide us.”

NAPABA strongly condemns human trafficking, past and present, and supports fact-based measures to educate the public about Comfort Women and other victims of human trafficking.

###

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.