Eugene Kim, Vice-Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, is one of the editors of the recently published book 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. by Asian & Loud, Kevin Wang (Editor), and Loretta M. Cheung (Editor). The book is a collection of 50 uncensored life stories written by 50 Asian authors from around the world representing different ages, careers, and perspectives.
Eugene joined the project at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic after coming across the I AM ASIAN page on social media. He became interested in the project because he grew up around Asians who did not feel that they fit the model minority myth. Eugene believed the theme of the book, figuring out and being comfortable with our place and identity, was important to share. People with privilege often get to dictate the narrative, but this book was providing a platform for Asians around the world to share their story.
As a public defender with the Legal Aid Society, Eugene did not have the time to write his own story, so he joined the project as an editor. He was assigned a set number of authors’ stories to edit and he finished in August 2020. Speaking about the book, Eugene said, “The beauty of 50 different stories is that each story is unique. And although some stories are different from others (i.e. an Asian rapper, athletes, and growing up in foster care), there are some stories that may seem similar. However, even the ones that read similarly to others, they are still original in their own way, so there is definitely something in the book for every reader.”
Please join AABANY in congratulating Eugene on his creative work. 50 People. 50 Stories. I AM ASIAN. is available in print and electronically. To view the book on Goodreads, click here.
On April 30, AABANY and Cleary Gottlieb co-hosted An Evening with Preet Bharara, at which former Acting US Attorney and current Cleary Partner Joon Kim engaged Preet in conversation about his new book Doing Justice. The event took place at Cleary and the room was filled to capacity, with those attendees who were not able to find seats standing along the sides.
After welcome remarks from Cleary by Managing Partner Michael Gerstenzang, AABANY President Brian Song offered some introductory remarks on behalf of AABANY and kicked off Joon Kim’s conversation with Preet Bharara. Preet spoke about his departure from the US Attorney’s office and the befuddling manner in which the President-Elect initially asked him to stay on as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, followed a few months later by his perplexing request, as President, for Preet to resign. Preet was confused by this request because he had been asked to stay on shortly after the 2016 election. When Preet received confirmation from the White House that the President indeed wanted him to resign, Preet refused, which led to his firing.
Despite starting the talk with President Trump’s firing of Preet, Preet pointed out that his book was not about President Trump. Preet stated that, in fact, the name Joon Kim shows up far more often in the index than Donald Trump. Preet spoke about his reasons for writing the book. He stated that for many years, he had wanted to write a sort “how to” manual for prosecutors who were at the start of their careers. He quickly realized that such a book would not make the bestseller list. Preet broadened his horizons and wanted to write a book that tackled questions like “What is justice? What is fairness? What is truth?” He realized that issues of truth and bias occur everywhere and affect everyone, not just in the law, but in society as a whole. He thus came up with Doing Justice, which is subtitled A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law.
The conversation covered numerous subjects and stories from Preet’s storied career as US Attorney in the Southern District, one of the nation’s leading prosecutor’s offices. During the Q&A that followed, Preet was asked what his inspiration was for becoming a lawyer. Preet responded that when he was in high school, he entered a public speaking contest and had to memorize and present a speech by legendary lawyer Clarence Darrow. This speech was Darrow’s summation in the case of People v. Henry Sweet, in which Darrow defended a black man accused of murder during an attack by white neighbors who did not want black people living in their neighborhood. Preet committed the following passage from Darrow to memory:
After all, every human being’s life in this world is inevitably mixed with every other life and, no matter what laws we pass, no matter what precautions we take, unless people we meet are kindly and decent and human and liberty-loving, then there is no liberty. Freedom comes from human beings, rather than from laws and institutions.
Preet admits that he might not have fully appreciated the meaning of those words as a teenager but understood it better every day as US Attorney.
We thank everyone who came out for An Evening with Preet Bharara, and we especially thank Cleary for providing the space, food, refreshments, drinks and copies of Doing Justice. It was a wonderful event, filled with inspiring ideas and stories. For the many young lawyers and lawyers-to-be in the room, there was ample reason given to devote at least some part of their legal careers to serve the public interest, and we thank Preet and Joon for providing us that inspiration.
World War II incarceration camp literature, adoptee subjectivities, post-9/11 narratives, and queer interventions. The Cambridge Companion to Asian American Literature (Cambridge University Press, August 2015) provides insight into the myriad historical formations, cultural movements, and literary genres that have shaped the Asian American literary landscape. Co-editors Crystal Parikh and Daniel Y. Kim toast the Companion’s publication with contributors and leading scholars Josephine Park and Joseph Keith. Ed Lin and lê thi diem thúy read from recent works. Introduced by Sukhdev Sandhu.
The Companion will be available for purchase at a 20% discount.
Co-sponsored by the NYU English Department and Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program in the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis.
Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU 8 Washington Mews New York, NY 10003
Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
For full details on this event and to register, please click on the link in the title.
The MBBA is working with Donaldson and Chilliest to collect books and toys for children in need this holiday season. We have confirmed the drop off locations: Civil Court Kings County, 141 Livingston Street, 7th and 10th Floors, Brooklyn, NY; Supreme Court Kings County, 360 Adams Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY; Supreme Court New York County, 60 Centre Street, 5th Floor Security, New York, NY, or 80 Centre Street, Room 101, New York, NY, or 71 Thomas Street, Room 200, New York, NY. Please stop by one of these locations and make your donation today!!! The deadline to drop off all books and toys is Monday, December 23, 2013.
Real Simple’s online book club chooses its December 2013 book.
Congrats to Helen Wan, author of The Partner Track, for getting her book selected as the Real Simple magazine December Book Poll pick of the month. Thanks to everyone from AABANY and other NAPABA affiliates who sent out numerous emails and used social media to get the word out to cast votes for Helen’s book. If you haven’t read the book yet, go out and get it. It’s a terrific read!
Helen Wan’s book, The Partner Track, has garnered praise and positive attention. Read this article in Inside Counsel magazine about the book’s success. Also, here is a review by David Lat which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Congratulations to Helen Wan! We are pleased to count Helen among our members in AABANY.