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 24, AABANY co-sponsored a hybrid Women’s Leadership panel, together with the Asian Financial Society, the Chinese Finance Association, East West Bank, and MSCI which hosted the event and the reception afterwards. Around 30 attendees joined in-person, with the rest participating by Zoom.
The panel of industry leaders were:
Jennifer Wu Partner, Paul, Weiss and AABANY Women’s Committee Co-Chair;
Janny Cheung, FVP-CRE Manager, Eastern Region CRE, East West Bank;
Chengying Xiu, Shareholder of Becker & Poliakoff, Chairwoman of AFS;
Angelene Huang, Executive Director, VisWise Global and board member of TCFA; and
Jigar Thakkar, Chief Technology Officer and Head of Engineering, MSCI.
The panel was moderated by Cara Chen (Executive Director, Client Coverage (Hedge Funds), MSCI).
The discussion focused on allyship and how women of color can meaningfully advance in their careers including through the support of bar associations like AABANY. Jigar talked about his practice of communicating with diverse people not just about what they have done right but the challenges of running a company; Janny Cheung talked about the diverse and supportive environment at East West Bank that treats everyone like individuals and that has allowed women like her to succeed; Chengying Xiu talked about the importance of speaking from the heart and being true to yourself; Angelene Huang talked about starting an organization that brings together Asian American professionals and how much she values toughness; and Jennifer talked about her journey from a premed student to a litigation partner and how as a first generation lawyer, other people had dreams for her that she did not have for herself.
Thank you to Asian Financial Society for inviting AABANY to co-sponsor and to Jennifer Wu for representing the Women’s Committee as a panelist. To learn more about the Women’s Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/122.
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.”
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.
The New York Law Journal recognized Jennifer H. Wu on October 10, 2018 with a Rising Stars Award, given to 29 of the region’s most promising lawyers under 40. Awardees are acknowledged for their influence in their practice areas in New York and beyond, developing unique practice niches, employing creative uses of technology, amassing robust books of business, demonstrating strong leadership qualities, showing expertise in litigation or transactional work, contributing to the improvement of their institutions, and committing themselves to pro bono, charitable and professional volunteer work.
Jennifer is a partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s Litigation Department and focuses her practice on patent litigation matters. Jennifer frequently goes to jury and bench trials in federal district courts and trials before the International Trade Commission. She also represents clients in appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. She has litigated patents in a wide variety of technical areas, with a particular emphasis on pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Jennifer’s work on biologics includes litigating issues of first impression as to the BPCIA, and her patent litigation experience also extends to GPS devices, DNA sequencing technology, and medical devices.
Jennifer directs Paul, Weiss’s first pro bono project expressly for Asian Americans, helping parents of special-needs children obtain services from the New York City Department of Education. Jennifer has also worked with the Innocence Project for over a decade, including on eyewitness misidentification, death penalty, and Shaken Baby Syndrome issues. She is a Board member of the Federal Circuit Bar Association; co-chair of the Women’s Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York; a Board member of Friends of UNFPA, which supports the work of the United Nations reproductive health and rights agency; and an Advisory Board member of the NYU Law Alumni of Color Association.
For more information on this award, please click here (subscription required).
Please join us in congratulating Jennifer Wu on this well-deserved honor and recognition.