In the News: AABANY Member Lisa Lim Discusses Affordable Housing Projects in the New York Real Estate Journal

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.” 

To read the full article click, here

In the News: AABANY Joins Push for Adoption of “Unity Map” in New York Redistricting Process

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. 


To read the full article, click here.

In the News: AABANY Member Jennifer Wu Quoted in NY1 Article on Hate Crimes

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.”

To read the full article, click here.

In The News: AABANY’S Karen King Co-Authors New York Law Journal Article in DOJ’s China Initiative

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: 

https://files.constantcontact.com/d6baf1e7801/f2add8b0-8343-4378-956c-6826d2ca9289.pdf

In the News: The Hon. Denny Chin Inducted as the First Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence

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 the News: Paul, Weiss Partners Jeannie Rhee, Lawrence Wee, and Jennifer Wu Offer Advice to Young Asian American Lawyers in “For Asian American Lawyers, Good Mentorship Is Crucial”

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.

In the News: Beatrice Leong Interviewed by Stefanie O’ Connell Rodriguez on Real Simple Magazine’s “Money Confidential” Podcast

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:

Android: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5tZWdhcGhvbmUuZm0vbW9uZXktY29uZmlkZW50aWFsLXJlYWwtc2ltcGxl/episode/NmI4NDAwNzQtZTBlNi0xMWViLTgzNjEtYzMwMDkzZGU1OTZh?sa=X&ved=0CAQQ8qgGahcKEwjgms-y2t3xAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQAg

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/i-want-prenup-how-do-i-ask-for-one-without-offending/id1552942976?i=1000528585386

Podcast Info: https://www.realsimple.com/money/money-confidential-podcast/money-confidential-prenuptial-agreement

In the News: AABANY Member Anna Mercado Clark Featured in The FilAm Article: “Lawyer Anna Mercado Clark’s Fork in the Road”

On June 30, The FilAm published a profile about AABANY Member Anna Mercado Clark, her decision to pursue the law, her professional background, and her Filipino identity. Born in the Philippines, Anna immigrated to the United States as a twelve-year-old and initially planned to pursue a career as a physician, even graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology. However,  she became interested in the law after learning about Bush v. Gore following the 2000 presidential election. Curious about the law and its “impact on society,” Anna attended Fordham University School of Law, where she interned for the Hon. Denny Chin, who was then a judge at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and who now serves in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. After graduating law school, Anna worked as a criminal prosecutor in the Queens District Attorney’s Office and then as an attorney for a private law firm, where she represented health care providers in medical malpractice cases. She currently is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP, where she leads the Data Security and Private Practice Team and the eDiscovery and Digital Forensics Team. Anna also serves as an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Fordham Law School.

Anna, who has described herself as “decidedly Filipino,” has always found ways to promote her Filipino identity. During her time at Rutgers, she served as president of the Rutgers Association of Philippine Students and helped plan the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue’s 2000 Conference. Currently, Anna serves in leadership roles in her law firm, in minority bar associations, and in the greater community. She credits her father, Dr. Daniel Mercado, for encouraging her to remain connected to and take pride in her Filipino identity. To read the full article, please click here.

In the News: Development Director Margaret T. Ling Discusses “Diversity in Law” with Attorney Kenneth Landau on His Radio Show Law You Should Know (Broadcasted by WHPC 90.3 FM)

On May 26, Margaret T. Ling appeared as a guest on Attorney Kenneth Landau’s Radio Show Law You Should Know to discuss “Diversity in Law.” Margaret, who currently serves on AABANY’s Board as Development Director and has been serving for many years as Real Estate Committee Co-Chair, touched on the importance of racial diversity on the bench and the resources AABANY provides for Asian Americans in law. In response to Landau’s questions, Margaret explained that she values AABANY for its advocacy work, given her own experience as a pioneer in the field of law, as one of only three Asian law students in her class. Margaret stressed that AABANY provides a beneficial space for networking and mentorship, for local and international students alike, as well as a Pro Bono & Community Service Committee and Legal Referral and Information Service that’s well-equipped to aid non-English speakers with its volunteers fluent in diverse Asian languages. Over her career, Margaret has witnessed progress regarding diversity in law, but she notes that the “Bamboo ceiling” continues to prevent Asians in law from achieving partnership or other higher-ranking roles. Now, she fondly mentors thirty students, advocating for diversity in law, in addition to her impressive case load.

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

In the News: Litigation Committee Co-Chair Luna Barrington Named Top Lawyer under 40 by Law360 Rising Stars

Out of over 1,400 submissions, AABANY Litigation Committee Co-Chair Luna Barrington has been recognized by Law360 as one of this year’s Rising Stars under 40, as she has secured defense trial verdicts in major class action suits against companies like C&S Wholesale Grocers and Johnson & Johnson. On June 4, Law360 published an article highlighting her recent accomplishments as a trial attorney, underscoring the massive damages she saved her clients by skillfully preparing for and conducting the trial with her trial team. Now a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, she recalls successfully advocating for a group of Mexican-American students in Tucson, AZ, pro bono, as among the proudest moments of her career: in federal court, Barrington fought a state statute banning a Mexican-American studies program in Tucson’s schools, denouncing it as a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. She is also a first-generation lawyer and the first in her family to earn a graduate degree. Please join AABANY in congratulating Luna on being selected by Law360 as one of this year’s Rising Stars under 40, a well-deserved recognition of her achievements and trial skills.

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).