On June 29, 2022, QNS published an article congratulating Karen Lin for her historical primary victory in the race for Queens Civil Court Judge. Karen Lin, an AABANY member, is the first East Asian female judge elected in Queens.
Unofficial election results from the Board of Elections in the City of New York reflect that with over 97% of the scanners reported, Lin captured around 40% of the vote. Responding to her victory, Karen said, “It has been a long but exhilarating and inspirational day of talking with voters, and I am humbled and honored for the tremendous show of support all throughout Queens. I’m proud of the determined and focused campaign we ran and gratified for the support of my family and the community. On to the next step!”
To read the full article, click here. To learn more about Karen Lin’s profile, click here.
On June 10, 2022 AABANY Women’s Committee Co-Chair and AABANY Anti-Asian Violence Task Force member Jennifer Wu and AABANY Board Director Lawrence (“Larry”) Wee were recognized by Bloomberg Law in an article entitled “Why Paul Weiss Is the Pro Bono Go-To for Victims of Asian Hate.” Jennifer and Larry, both partners at Paul, Weiss, have represented some of the most high profile cases, including the families of GuiYing Ma, a grandmother who died after being bashed with a rock; Yao Pan Ma, an elderly man who was struck and kicked to death while collecting cans; and Zhiwen Yan, a deliveryman who was shot to death.
Jennifer and Larry spearhead their firm’s pro bono work fighting anti-Asian hate. They cite their close ties to New York’s Asian community as a reason for their work. Larry is a preacher at a church in Chinatown and Jennifer’s husband, Andy Woo, is a community organizer in Chinatown. Jennifer and Larry feel an urgent sense of responsibility to fight hate against the Asian community. Their urgency is well supported by AABANY’s second anti-Asian violence report, Endless Tide: The Continuing Struggle to Overcome Anti-Asian Hate in New York, which shows an increase in incidents despite media attention and calls by elected officials for change on the issue. (Paul, Weiss attorneys assisted in editing and drafting the Endless Tide report.)
Gaining the trust of victims and their families is not easy and requires great cultural sensitivity. “Often, they don’t trust people with money, and they’re worried that you’re in cahoots with authorities,” Jennifer said. She meets her clients in noodle shops in Queens rather than Paul, Weiss’ Manhattan office. Jennifer and Larry, both Chinese speakers, are the most visible members of Paul, Weiss’ fight against anti-Asian hate. They are grateful for the many additional partners, including Loretta Lynch, Jeannie Rhee, and Alan Halperin, who have been essential to the effort.
AABANY congratulates Jennifer and Larry on their well-deserved recognition. To read the full article, please click here.
On February 1st, 2022, CNBC introduced three families’ experiences handling the weighty emotional and physical fatigue of pandemic parenting, in an interview titled Parents struggle to survive pandemic angst.
Liz Mo, an AABANY Member, a former Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, and a practitioner of federal and state litigation and appeal, was one of the individuals interviewed.
She describes her experience during the pandemic as “lots of juggling,” working as a full-time attorney, with a 2nd Circuit Appeal oral argument next month and two federal trials scheduled this year, and taking care of her two sons. And although the release of the COVID-19 vaccine in December of 2020 offered many individuals hope of a return to normalcy, Mo stated she continued to stay at home and her level of cautiousness remained the same, since her children, only being two years old and four months old, are unable to get vaccinated.
Like many parents born from the age of “Pandemic Parenting,” Mo exactly embodies this newly carved parental identity, comprised of a conflated sense of the departmentalization of work life and home life. And as schools close, sociopolitical tensions strain, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues, it is no wonder parents feel such an acute sense of stress.
Despite this, Mo still offers everyone a piece of important advice, especially during an age of masks and separation:
“Everyone is strained, but to the extent we can help each other out, we can partner with each other, and all let out one great big scream together.”
On November 23, 2021 Akerman partner Lisa Lim and AABANY member authored an article in the New York Real Estate Journal outlining the potential benefits of adding affordable housing components to development projects. Speaking from her own extensive experience with such projects, she lays out four resources that make the buildings possible.
Now more than before, as America recovers from pandemic disruptions, affordable housing presents opportunities for “developers seeking a valuable and lucrative way to expand their own footprints, and simultaneously help meet an ever-growing need in the United States.”
On January 4, 2022, City Limits published an article entitled, “As NY Redistricting Forges Forward, Asian American Groups Push for ‘Unity Map’” detailing an independent coalition’s efforts to establish more equitable districts in the state.
As the redistricting process continues in New York, a coalition of three civil rights legal groups—the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Center for Law and Social Justice, and Latino Justice—seek to combat the fragmentation of minority communities. Altogether forming the Unity Map Coalition, the groups’ proposed “Unity Map” recognizes the rapid growth of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in New York and aims to preserve the political power of communities whose interests have historically been undermined in the redistricting process.
If adopted by Governor Kathy Hochul, the “Unity Map” would replace drafts developed by the state Independent Redistricting Commission, drafts which have been influenced by the coalition’s input but that have failed to fully address issues relayed by community members. Legal groups, such as AABANY, in addition to pro-democracy groups have signed onto a letter requesting another opportunity from state lawmakers to provide public comment before the governor approves draft maps.
On December 8, 2021, NY1 News published an article titled “NYPD civilian panel investigates hate crimes as cases double.” The NYPD tasked a civilian panel to review more than a hundred cases potentially motivated by bias. The article highlights the following:
Reported hate crimes doubled this year to 503 as of Dec. 5
There were 249 arrests in these cases
Of the 503 reported hate crimes, 129 of them were against Asians
Jennifer Wu, Co-Chair of AABANY’s Women’s Committee and a Partner of Paul, Weiss who has represented hate crime victims pro bono, is quoted in the article: “When people experience economic stress or a plague, a majority of people tend to blame a class of people.”
On November 8, 2021, the New York Law Journal published an article co-authored by Pro Bono & Community Service Committee Co-Chair Karen King, together with fellow Morvillo Abramowitz Partner Telemachus Kasulis. The article is entitled “DOJ’s China Initiative’s Three-Year Anniversary: Growing Pains and Uncertainty.”
The article discussess how the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” encourages discrimination and racial profiling against Asian Americans. The China initiative was started three years ago to combat economic and national security threats from the Chinese government. The article reveals how in reality only a small portion of cases involved actual charges of economic espionage or conspiracy. In one instance, a Chinese Canadian engineering professor, Anming Hu, was wrongly prosecuted for being a Chinese spy and was acquitted of all charges this past September.
The authors note a parallel of the China Initiative to other discriminatory acts: “Critics continue to liken the China Initiative to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, McCarthyism, and racial profiling against Muslims in the wake of the September 11th attacks.”
The article relates that the Biden administration has only made five new cases public. The authors note that the Biden administration appears to be stepping away from non-disclosure cases in which ties to the Chinese government appear weak.
To read the full article, click on the following link:
On September 14th, The New York Law Journal reported that Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (and past AABANY President, 1992-93) became Fordham Law’s first ever Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence. This distinction allows Judge Chin to continue his role as a Judge while devoting more of his time to teaching and building connections with the law students at Fordham. Judge Chin is especially excited to teach classes that deal with Asian Americans and the law saying the topic is “dear to my heart.”
To read the full article, click here (subscription required).
In “For Asian American Lawyers, Good Mentorship Is Crucial,” a Law360 Guest Column published on August 16, Paul, Weiss partners Jeannie Rhee, Lawrence Wee, and Jennifer Wu discussed the importance of mentorships and common setbacks and stereotypes faced by Asian American lawyers. Wee and Wu are both AABANY members. Wee is a co-chair of AABANY’s Corporate Law Committee and a former AABANY Board Director, while Wu is a co-chair of the AABANY’s Women’s Committee. Rhee, Wee, and Wu stated that finding good mentors is vital for professional development and career advancement, but also took care to note that the mentor-mentee relationship is two-sided. The authors recommended that mentees find ways to anticipate their mentors’ needs and assist them, while also encouraging mentors to be good listeners and step into their mentees’ shoes. While they maintained that these relationships can help young lawyers learn to manage some challenges associated with being an Asian American in the legal profession, they also recommended that Asian American lawyers should seek out a range of mentors, whether they share the same cultural background or not.
As mentors, Rhee, Wee, and Wu encouraged younger lawyers to take risks, speak up during meetings and challenging cases, and actively seek out promotions and leadership opportunities, especially since Asian Americans can be seen as risk-averse and face obstacles such as the bamboo ceiling. The authors also cautioned young Asian American lawyers, warning them that they will encounter stereotypes and that not everyone would acknowledge that they are minorities. However, they urged young Asian American lawyers to be their best, most authentic selves and to engage in positive, open communication about race-related issues. They also encouraged Asian American lawyers to become active in affinity groups and seek out organizations dedicated to the Asian American community and the career advancement of Asian American lawyers. The link to the full article is here.
On July 12, 2021, AABANY Membership Director Beatrice Leong was interviewed by Stefanie O’ Connell Rodriguez on Real Simple Magazine‘s “Money Confidential” podcast. During the interview, which was broadcasted on all major podcast streaming sites, Beatrice, who is a divorce lawyer, discussed the benefits of obtaining a prenuptial agreement before marriage.
The interview talks about the practicality of a “prenup” and the stigmas tied to obtaining one. To hear more about prenups, click on the following links: