AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on June 12

On June 12 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 19 participants in attendance.  The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What is a motivational or inspirational moment or story that sticks out in your mind?” Members reported some favorite quotes: “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” (Tupac); “Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.”  (Yuri Kochiyama);  “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs).  Other members recalled moments with mentors which stayed with them. One partner told  a young associate: “Speak up for what you want, you have to ask.” “There is the argument you prepare, the argument you make and the arguments you wish you made.” “Learn from your mistakes.” “Apply to every scholarship and opportunity and you can reach your goals.”

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID, we have moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

This week, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 6 members stayed to discuss the upcoming elections, civil unrest and the latest news. 

We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Congratulations to Chris Kwok for winning a PBS Passport subscription this week!

 Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out. This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 19 , at 6:30 pm. Register by June 18 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366640

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on June 5

On June 5, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 25 participants in attendance. The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “Who is your favorite villain from television, movies, or literature?” Members reported their favorite villains as Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader of Star Wars, Khan Noonien Singh of Star Trek, Professor Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes, Negan from Walking Dead, Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, Tony Soprano, Jack the Ripper, Agent Smith of Matrix, Mother Nature in Disney films, Bridget Gregory of the Last Seduction, Thanos in Marvel Universe, Maleficent of Sleeping Beauty, Hannibal Lecter, and Joker in Batman (both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger).

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc. but due to COVID, we have moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

This week, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 12 members stayed to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes in the age of COVID, and the current protests happening in response to the death of George Floyd.

We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the calendar entry for the mixer to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Congratulations to Kevin Hsi for winning an Amazon gift card this week!

Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out. This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 12 , at 6:30 pm. Register by June 11 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366639

AABANY Hosts Weekly Zoom Membership Mixer on May 29

On May 29, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Mixer Membership Mixer, with 29 participants in attendance. In honor of Membership Director Beatrice Leong’s birthday, the icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What was your favorite or most memorable birthday memory or gift?” The overwhelming answer by most participants was “getting drunk on their 21st birthday.” Other answers included a one-week alcohol bender, birthday parties in McDonald’s with childhood crushes, Tokyo birthdays, birthdays where members took the LSAT and passed the bar exam. Members’ favorite gifts included a Voltron toy, a song written in their honor, and a 3D printed toy of the member’s likeness.

This mixer featured Trivia Night hosted by Sal Chan. Sal is Chief of Operations at the trial boutique Mukasey Frenchman & Sklaroff. Thank you, Sal! Anyone interested in joining Zoom trivia nights every Thursday can email Sal at  sal.chan@mfsllp.com.

We had enough attendees to form four teams. Three of the teams stayed through two full rounds of quetstions. The winning team was “Taking Back Monday.” Congratulations to team members Andrew Kao, Puja Sharma, Kevin Hsi and William LimDuring the game, we encouraged participants to donate to a fund, with the winning team getting to pick which charity or cause they wished to support. Taking Back Mondays kindly agreed to donate to AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinic. Thank you, Taking Back Mondays!

The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc., but due to COVID, we moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but people have stayed on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.

We are giving away door prizes during some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on aabany.org to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.

This week’s mixer will take place on Friday, June 5, at 6:30 pm. Register by June 4 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1366638. We hope to see you there.

Allen & Overy Hosts AABANY’s 2020 Annual Meeting of Members

On Tuesday, February 11, 2020, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Allen & Overy. President Brian Song called the meeting to order and established quorum. Elections were held for the 2020 Board of Officers and Directors, along with a vote on bylaw revisions to clarify and extend term limits.

President Brian Song presented the Year in Review while Executive Director, Yang Chen, presented the report of the Committees. After the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occuring, Immediate Past President James R. Cho and President-Elect Sapna Palla tallied the votes.

The following officers were elected and will begin their term on April 1, 2020:

Terrence L. Shen
President-Elect

Tiffany Miao
Vice President, Programs and Operations

David Sohn
Vice President, Programs and Operations

Margaret Ling
Development Director

William Hao
Treasurer

Christopher Bae
Secretary

Beatrice Leong
Membership Director

The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2020:

Jasmine Ball
Una A. Dean
Edward Y. Kim
Naf Kwun
Won Shin
Kazuko Wachter

Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board.

The bylaw revisions were passed.

The following awards were presented:

Committee of the Year: The Young Lawyers Committee

For their outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s mission and their service to our members and the community at large.

Program of the Year: The AABANY Trial Reenactments Project under the auspices of the Professional Development Committee 

For enhancing and contributing to public understanding and awareness of major contributions by Asian Americans to the social, political and legal history of the United States.

Member of the Year: Beatrice Leong

For her contributions to the growth of AABANY’s membership under her leadership as Membership Director.

Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2019 fiscal year.

We would like to thank our members for attending and participating in the annual meeting, and we also thank John Hwang and Allen & Overy for hosting the meeting in a beautiful space, treating us to a delectable selection of food and drinks.

In The News: Beatrice Leong Interviewed on “This is Uncomfortable”

On January 30, 2020, AABANY Membership Director Beatrice Leong was interviewed by Reema Khrais on her podcast called “This Is Uncomfortable.” During the interview which was broadcast on NPR, Beatrice shared a very personal story about why she decided to become a divorce lawyer. After graduating from college Beatrice and her long time boyfriend, someone she had been with since the age of 16, got married and moved in together. He worked as a financial consultant, and Beatrice went to law school. However, their relationship took a turn for the worst when Beatrice uncovered his infidelity. After a long back and forth internally, she realized divorce was her only choice. Having graduated from law school, she decided to be her own advocate and joined a family law practice to learn more about divorce law. Beatrice recounted her own consultation with a divorce attorney, found it cold and unsympathetic, and believed that she would make a better matrimonial lawyer, one who understands the emotional trauma that her clients may be undergoing.

The interview talks about the complicated dynamics that accompany a divorce, including how financially and emotionally draining it can be. To hear more of Beatrice’s story, click on the following link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/this-is-uncomfortable-reema-khrais/divorce-story/

Congratulations to Beatrice on her interview. If you would like to meet her in person and talk with her about her experiences, consider going to the Membership Mixer on February 19. Details at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1325644

AABANY Goes to the Opera: “La Bohème” at the Met

On Nov. 14, the Membership Committee together with the Asia Practice, Intellectual Property, and Real Estate Committees hosted a Night at the Opera, gathering about 30 AABANY members with friends and family to see a performance of “La Bohème” at the Met in Lincoln Center.

Before the performance a group of attendees mingled and enjoyed drinks and quick bites at the bar outside the Family Circle. Then, at 7:30, everyone went inside to take their seats. The AABANY contingent took up nearly three rows of seats.

For some it was a first-time experience that was greatly enhanced upon the discovery of subtitles that appeared on a thin bar that stretched across the row. Each person could see the subtitles displayed directly in front of them.

The sets were breathtaking and the score by Puccini was classic and timeless. The performances were excellent, and the main cast included two Asian Americans, with Hei-Kyung Hong playing the tragic character Mimi.

By all accounts, this event was a hit among those who attended. Talk is already brewing about another Night at the Opera. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone who came, and thanks especially to Membership Director Beatrice Leong for organizing the event.

AABANY Hosts Screening of the Documentary “Blowin’ Up”

On Thursday, April 11, AABANY hosted a screening of “Blowin’ Up,” a feature documentary that explores the complex realities of sex work in New York City and the compassionate approach of a human trafficking court in Queens County. The film features AABANY member Honorable Toko Serita, Queens Supreme Court, as well as other heroines of the Human Trafficking Intervention Court, that work with victims of sexual exploitation who face prostitution-related charges.

After the screening, Beatrice Leong, AABANY Government Service and Public Interest Committee Co-Chair, led a panel discussion featuring speakers from the NYPD/FBI Joint Human Trafficking Task Force and a Queens Assistant District Attorney who prosecutes human traffickers. The panelists talked about how they worked together to prosecute the traffickers and how one can identify and help a suspected trafficking victim. The panel gave important insight into how gangs and traffickers target their victims, and the audience learned that many victims are new immigrants, local high school students or children in the foster care system. “Drugs can only be used once, but a person can be used over and over.”

If you suspect someone is a victim of trafficking,  you can email New York Police Department, at ved@nypd.org or visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/acs/youth/identify.page to report them.

We thank Beatrice Leong and Emily Arakawa for providing the photos and write-up for this blog post.