AABANY is Proud to Launch The Whole Lawyer Podcast, Hosted by Jane Jeong

AABANY is proud to launch its official podcast series, The Whole Lawyer Project, hosted by Jane Jeong, which showcases Asian American attorneys and leaders throughout the nation and the human stories behind their success. 

For Jane, learning about the human stories  —  and sacrifices  — behind our external success is a personal passion and mission. As a member of AABANY’s Young Lawyers Committee, Jane previously wrote about her pursuit of wellness in the legal profession on the AABANY blog, where she published  The Ten Tips Our Asian Parents Never Told Us, Upside Down, and The (COVID) Days of Our Lives

Most recently, Jane shared her story with Law360, in an article entitled The Pursuit Of Wellness In BigLaw: Lessons From My Journey (subscription required). In a heartfelt account, Jane opened up about mental health and wellness issues in Big Law  —  including her personal experiences with the pressures of the industry, the costs of perfectionism, reaching an emotional breaking point and, as a potential blueprint for others, how she has set boundaries and made changes to her daily routine to take care of herself. “I conflated sacrifice with success and exhaustion with excellence. I just continued to reach and reach — demanding that I become the perfect attorney I knew I was not, waiting for the day I could finally stop acting and just be,” she writes. 

Together with Jane, AABANY is proud to further explore the human side of lawyering in The Whole Lawyer Project. The inaugural episodes of the podcast, which feature immediate past AABANY President Brian Song and AboveTheLaw Founder, David Lat, can be found under the tab for The Whole Lawyer Project on the AABANY blog. It can also be found on Spotify and iTunes. For anyone hoping to gain further insight into the human stories behind our external success, it is well worth a listen.


Whole Lawyer Project 01 – Brian Song

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Whole Lawyer Project 01 - Brian Song
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Hosted by Jane Jeong

We are excited to present to you the AABANY Whole Lawyer Project, which highlights Asian American attorneys and leaders throughout the nation and the human stories behind their success. For our inaugural episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Song, a litigation partner at BakerHostetler in New York City, the former president of AABANY, and a Lieutenant Colonel for the Judge Advocate General’s Corp of the U.S. Army Reserve. Together, we explore Brian’s childhood growing up as the child of Korean immigrants in environments where he was often the only Asian kid, and how feeling “other” impacted his own views on his Asian American identity. Brian also provides insight into his storied careers in the army and in BigLaw — including the advice he has for young lawyers and tips on how we Asian American attorneys can better speak up for ourselves.

AABANY President and Immediate Past President Listed Among City & State’s 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in New York Politics and Policy

Sapna Palla (top) and Brian Song (bottom)
Sapna Palla (top) and Brian Song (bottom)

AABANY is excited to announce that Immediate Past President Brian Song and President Sapna Palla have been included in the 2020 Power List of the 100 Most Influential Asian Americans in New York Politics & Policy, released by City & State. Song and Palla are jointly recognized as 52nd on the list. 

City & State wrote: 

The Asian American Bar Association’s mission is to ensure “the meaningful participation of Asian-Americans in the legal profession.” It has made strides under Sapna Palla, a partner at Wiggin and Dana LLP, who is the president for the 2020-2021 term, and under her immediate predecessor, Brian Song, a partner at the top law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP. The organization recently surpassed 1,400 paid members.  

Congratulations and thanks to Brian and Sapna to bringing AABANY to these new heights.

In addition to Brian and Sapna, several others among the honorees have worked with or been associated with AABANY, as members, community partners, or sponsors, to whom we also wish to extend our congratulations.

Among the top 10, AABANY has worked with Grace Meng, New York’s first Asian American US Congress Member; John Liu, State Senator and first Asian American to serve on the City Council; Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition; Ron Kim and Yuh-Line Niou, both state Assembly Members; and Margaret Chin, New York City Council Member.

From the top 11-50, AABANY congratulates:

  • Wayne Ho, President and CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council, which has partnered with AABANY on the Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic;
  • Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of the Asian American Federation, one of our community partners;
  • Frank Wu, President of Queens College, who co-authored our most performed trial reenactment, Building Our Legacy: The Murder of Vincent Chin
  • Preet Bharara who, as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, was a regular speaker at our annual Prosecutors Reception and an honoree at our Annual Dinner in 2015; 
  • John Park, Executive Director of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, one of our community partners; 
  • Margaret Fung, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, one of our community partners; 
  • Faiza Saeed, a Presiding Partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a Gold Sponsor of AABANY for many years;
  • Honorable Denny Chin, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and past AABANY President (1992-93), who currently helps lead our trial reenactments project.

From 51 – 100 on the list, we extend our congratulations to 

  • Jayasri Ganapathy, President of the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY), one of our sister bar associations and past AABANY member; 
  • My Chi To, Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services, and past AABANY member; 
  • Nancy Yao Maasbach, President of the Museum of Chinese America, one of our community partners; 
  • Wendy Cai-Lee, President and CEO of Piermont Bank, a Bronze Sponsor of the 2019 NAPABA Northeast Regional/AABANY Fall Conference; and 
  • Justin Yu, Chair of the New York Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which has partnered with us for many years for our walk-in Pro Bono Clinic.

AABANY is privileged and honored to have worked closely with so many of New York’s most influential Asian American in politics and policy. Congratulations to everyone who made the list, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration and to partner in the future.

In The News: Law 360 Article “Responding To DOJ’s Increasing Int’l Antitrust Extraditions” Co-Authored by Brian Song

On April 1, 2020, Law 360 published an article co-authored by Immediate Past President Brian Song. The article is entitled “Responding To DOJ’s Increasing Int’l Antitrust Extraditions.”

The article discusses how the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice is increasingly using extradition to prosecute individuals alleged to have violated U.S. law. It discusses various recent cases where extradition has successfully been exercised, mainly from Italy and Germany, by the Department of Justice solely based on an antitrust charge.

The article notes that foreign nationals facing prosecution by the Antitrust Division have few choices of recourse. They include pleading guilty in exchange for the possibility for lower sentences, hunkering down in their home country and not traveling abroad, and seeking to have the charges dismissed on constitutional or statute of limitation grounds from abroad.

However, since the options available to foreign defendants are limited, and given the success of recent extraditions, foreign defendants should consider their options very carefully.

To read the full article, click on the following links:

https://www.bakerlaw.com/webfiles/Litigation/2020/Alerts/Obrien-Law360s.pdf

AABANY Hosts First Membership Mixer via Zoom on April 1

On April 1, 2020, AABANY held its first Monthly Membership Mixer virtually on Zoom. Over 25 people joined Brian Song, who became the Immediate Past President, and Sapna Palla, who officially became the President of AABANY on the same day.

Brian remarked how it had been a tremendous honor for him to serve as President of AABANY for the past year. He was amazed at how the year went by so quickly and thanked everyone for their support and dedication in making 2019 a successful year for AABANY.

Sapna next spoke about how pleased she was to be taking on the Presidency and how AABANY’s theme of “Stronger Together: Unity in Diversity” is extremely fitting in the current situation. Sapna noted that AABANY is an exceptional community, and by sticking together, we will definitely get through this tough situation. She also encouraged people to reach out to each other professionally and socially via online platforms like Zoom until things return to normal.

Chris Kwok informed attendees about an upcoming webinar he is working on with NAPABA taking place on April 3. The webinar will discuss the rise in racist attacks against Asian Americans fueled by misinformation surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and what we can do to counter them.

Yang Chen and Chris Kwok also discussed the stimulus bill that recently passed to provide economic support to millions of Americans and businesses that are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. AABANY is working on distilling the bill down to clarify who it covers and the type of relief they are eligible for under the new bill.

Lastly, the virtual floor was opened up to all attendees for a free discussion. Members discussed the current situation and what AABANY can do to engage its members and serve the overall Asian American community in this new normal.

Overall, our first meeting on Zoom was very lively and went smoothly. In the coming weeks, AABANY is planning on hosting more and more programs online, including CLEs and informative webinars. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone that attended the mixer.

AABANY November Membership Mixer

On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, AABANY’s Membership Committee held its Monthly Membership Mixer at Stout NYC – Grand Central. Over thirty attendees filled a section of the second floor that was reserved for our group, including our President, Brian Song, and many of our board members, as well as recent New York transplant, Michael Wu, chief legal officer and corporate secretary of Madewell, Inc. Our membership programs provide opportunities to network and to learn more about AABANY so keep an eye out for our future events including a lantern festival at Citi Field and a Lunar New Year celebration at a New York Knicks game.  To learn more about the Membership Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130
Thanks to Membership Committee Co-Chair Christopher Bae for the write-up and photos.

Congratulations to Brian Song on Being Honored by the Network of Bar Leaders

On Wednesday, June 12, the Network of Bar Leaders held its Presidents’ Dinner, a gathering to honor the Presidents of the Network of Bar Leaders’ member bar associations. The dinner was held at the Golden Unicorn in Chinatown, and AABANY was proud to be a Gold Sponsor at the event.

The program kicked off with opening remarks from New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Then, Hon. George B. Daniels, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, was honored, followed by his presentation of a keynote speech. As a multi-course banquet was served, some thirty-five Presidents from the Network of Bar Leaders’ member associations lined up to be presented with the President’s Awards by Hon. Jeffrey K. Oing, Justice of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.

AABANY congratulates its President Brian Song and all the Network of Bar Leaders’ member association Presidents who were honored and recognized at the Presidents’ Dinner. Many AABANY Board Officers and Directors and Committee Chairs were in attendance to celebrate with Brian Song and other bar association Presidents and leaders in attendance.

Photo courtesy of Network of Bar Leaders

We also congratulate Network of Bar Leaders President Bridgette Ahn on this highly successful event. To learn more about the Network of Bar Leaders, visit https://www.networkofbarleaders.org/ . For more photos from the event, see the Network of Bar Leaders’ album at https://photos.app.goo.gl/xyoR66SUX78UEDTL9

March Monthly Membership Hour

On March 20, 2019, our Membership Committee held its last Monthly Membership Happy Hour of the fiscal year at Karaoke City in Midtown Manhattan. A crowd of AABANY members and future members gathered to meet and mingle over drinks, delicious Korean food, and karaoke.

Both Brian Song, President-Elect, and Yang Chen, Executive Director, gave a shout out to David Sohn, Membership Director and Membership Committee Chair, for all his hard work in putting together the Monthly Membership Happy Hours as a unique way to let prospective members learn about AABANY.

We thank the Litigation Committee and the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee for co-hosting this successful happy hour, with more than 30 attendees. If you are not already a member, we hope your attendance brings you closer to becoming a member or renewing your membership. And thanks to all the members who came out.

To learn more about joining AABANY go to https://www.aabany.org/page/130

Chinese American Veterans of World War II Honored with Congressional Gold Medal

On December 20, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act into law. The Act finally recognizes the achievements and contributions of Chinese Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Second World War.

The bill passed due to the efforts of everyone involved in the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project. The mission of the project was to recognize, honor and celebrate the military service of approximately 20,000 Chinese Americans who fought in the Second World War.

Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director, Issues Committee Chair and Asia Practice Committee Co-Chair, participated in the effort to get the legislation passed. Chris served on the Steering Committee of the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project and acted as Legal Counsel to the Committee.

Brian Song, AABANY President-Elect, and Chris Kwok, as AABANY Issues Committee Chair, also advocated for passage of the bill at NAPABA Lobby Day in Washington, DC, during APA Heritage Month in 2018.

AABANY commends Chris Kwok and Brian Song for their efforts and advocacy in support of getting this very important legislation passed.

To learn more, see: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/chinese-american-wwii-vets-receive-congressional-gold-medal-n950986

Stay Tuned with Preet (featuring Bassem Youssef) – Apollo Theater

Stay Tuned with Preet (featuring Bassem Youssef) – Apollo Theater