NAPABA Opposes Plan to Redefine “Public Charge” and Limit Legal Immigration

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) opposes the proposed changes to “public charge” published Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We urge our members and affiliated bar associations to join NAPABA in submitting public comments opposing the proposed policy.

Public charge policy has roots in long-time efforts to limit the admission of ‘undesirable immigrants,’ such as Chinese in the 19th century. The proposed rule would re-define a public charge as an immigrant who would be likely to receive government benefits from an expanded list of programs, including nutrition and housing assistance programs for children. The proposed rule will make it easier to designate an applicant as a public charge, and deny their admission to the United States or reject their permanent resident application. DHS also proposes stricter guidance for weighing certain factors when reviewing visa applications, such as age, income, health, English proficiency, and employability. NAPABA is greatly concerned with how these changes will negatively impact Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants, working families, and children’s health.

The proposal has already had a chilling effect on Asian Pacific American communities. Due to reports of these proposed changes, some immigrant families—including those with eligible U.S. citizen members—have unenrolled from important public services for which they qualify. If implemented, the new public charge rules would undermine the safety, health, and security of immigrant families by denying them the support historically provided to new Americans. Asian Pacific American communities will be particularly hard hit, as over 31% of new green card recipients are from Asian and Pacific Island nations and as there is significant variation in average income amongst Asian ethnic groups.

Take charge by submitting a comment on the proposed rule before the DHS proceeds with its final rulemaking by the deadline, December 10, 2018. NAPABA will be submitting comments as an organization, but individuals are encouraged to submit unique comments here. To see available resources, please click here. For more information, contact Oriene Shin, NAPABA Policy Counsel, at 202-775-9555 or oshin@napaba.org.

Volunteer for Thomas Tang Northeast Regional Moot Court Competition

image

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation presents its 2018 Thomas Tang Northeast Regional Moot Court Competition, and is in need of volunteers. This competition provides a unique and memorable experience for student appellate advocates. The event allows law students to showcase their writing and oral advocacy skills, and also to compete for scholarships totaling $10,000. In summary, this year’s problem is on whether a state university has the right to impose disciplinary sanctions on a student for non-curricular expressive conduct, and if it may expel a law student for off-campus expressive activity. For more information on this year’s problem, click here

The event will be held on Friday, October 19, 2018, from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the United States Court of International Trade, One Federal Plaza, New York, New York. NAPABA seeks volunteers for grading briefs and for day-of. Brief graders will review and score briefs submitted by the student teams before the competition, and the time commitment is flexible. Day-of volunteers are welcome to assist for either part of the event or the entire day, and will serve as bailiffs or judges for the oral argument rounds. For a complete schedule of the day’s events, click here. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Zoe Wong, the Northeast Regional Coordinator, at ThomasTangMootCourtNE@gmail.com. For more information, please visit NAPABA’s website here

NAPABA Names Goodwin Liu as Its 2017 NAPABA President’s Award Recipient

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is proud to present the 2017 NAPABA President’s Award to Goodwin Liu, associate justice of the California Supreme Court. The NAPABA President’s Award is given to NAPABA members who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the greater Asian Pacific American community.

The 2017 NAPABA President’s Award will be presented at the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 3, 2017.

“Justice Liu has been an exemplary leader in the legal profession and in the Asian Pacific American community,” said NAPABA President Cyndie M. Chang. “In addition to his frequent engagement with Asian Pacific American lawyers and law students throughout the country, Justice Liu’s recent publication, ‘A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law,’ has been a game-changer for awareness within and beyond our community of the successes and ongoing challenges that Asian Pacific Americans have experienced in the legal profession.”

The Portrait Project — a two-year study — revealed that Asian Pacific American lawyers have increased in number from 10,000 in 1990 to over 50,000 today, but they face challenges reaching the top ranks of the profession. For example, although Asian Pacific Americans are the largest minority group in big law firms, they have the highest attrition rates and the lowest ratio of partners to associates.

The son of Taiwanese immigrants and the first in his family to become a lawyer, Justice Liu was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 2011. He was previously a law professor and associate dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law. An influential scholar and acclaimed teacher, he received UC Berkeley’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2009. He clerked for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge David Tatel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He has also worked as special assistant to the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C., and as senior program officer for higher education at the Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps).

Justice Liu serves on the Council of the American Law Institute; the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law; and the board of directors of the James Irvine Foundation. He has previously served on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and the governing boards of the American Constitution Society, National Women’s Law Center, and Public Welfare Foundation.

NAPABA congratulates Justice Goodwin Liu as the 2017 NAPABA President’s Award recipient.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of color in the legal profession.

To learn more about NAPABA, visitwww.napaba.org, like us onFacebook, and follow us on Twitter(@NAPABA).

NAPABA HIGHLIGHTS: The Portrait Project: A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2017 

                                                   For More Information, Contact:
                                                   Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                                   bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON —
Asian Americans have been the fastest-growing minority group in the
legal profession for the past three decades, but they have made only
limited progress in reaching the top ranks of the profession, according
to a new report released today by the National Asian Pacific American
Bar Association and Yale Law School.

The report, titled A Portrait of Asian Americans in the Law, is the first-ever comprehensive study of Asian Americans in the legal profession.

According
to the study, there are over 50,000 Asian American lawyers today,
compared to 10,000 in 1990. Asian Americans comprise almost 5 percent of
lawyers in America and roughly 7 percent of law school enrollment.
Asian Americans are the largest minority group in big law firms, but
they have the highest attrition rates and the lowest ratio of partners
to associates.

Asian
Americans comprise 3 percent of federal judges and 2 percent of state
judges, compared to nearly 6 percent of the U.S. population. Only three
out of 94 U.S. Attorneys in 2016 were Asian American, and only four out
of 2,437 elected district attorneys nationwide in 2014 were Asian
American.

The
two-year study — authored by California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin
H. Liu, recent Yale law graduates Eric Chung, Xiaonan April Hu and
Christine Kwon, and Yale law postgraduate associate Samuel Dong —
included a dozen focus groups and a national survey of over 600 Asian
American lawyers.

The
survey revealed that Asian Americans identify lack of access to mentors
and contacts as a primary barrier to career advancement. They also
report being perceived as careful and hard-working, but not assertive or
creative. “Whereas Asian Americans are regarded as having the ‘hard
skills’ required for lawyerly competence, they are regarded as lacking
many important ‘soft skills,’” the study found. More than half of the
Asian American lawyers surveyed said they “sometimes” or “often”
experience implicit discrimination in the workplace.

“Our
study shows that Asian Americans have a foot in the door in every
sector the legal profession,” said Justice Liu. “The question now is how
wide the door will swing open. Despite much progress, Asian Americans
still face significant obstacles to reaching the leadership ranks.”

“The
Portrait Project shines a light on the obstacles and challenges faced
by Asian American lawyers every day,” said Cyndie M. Chang, president of
the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. “While incredible
strides have been made over the past 25 years, much work remains to be
done to push past the stigmas and assumptions associated with Asian
Americans. The insights gleaned from this report will unquestionably lay
the groundwork for the road ahead.”

“This
project is timely and important — a must-read for anyone who teaches or
practices law,” said Heather Gerken, dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman
professor of law at Yale Law School. “Justice Liu is a trailblazer, and
it’s a testament to him that he is trying to ensure that other Asian
Americans have a chance to pursue their dreams going forward.”

“This
path-breaking project literally changes the face of Asian American law.
For too many centuries, Asian Americans have been the objects, not the
subjects, of American law: victims and litigants, not activists,
lawyers, or judges,” said Harold Hongju Koh, Sterling professor of
international law at Yale Law School and former legal adviser of the
U.S. Department of State. “This indispensable report finally provides
the facts behind the stereotypes, the deeply felt feelings behind the
faces.”

“The
Portrait Project provides important and necessary data on the advances
and areas for further improvement for Asian Americans in the legal
profession,” said Michelle K. Lee, former undersecretary of commerce and
director of U.S. Patent and Trade Office. “Much progress has been made,
but much work remains ahead. Particularly noteworthy are the
differences highlighted by the data along gender lines, which illustrate
the challenges faced by Asian Americans in the legal profession are
even more pronounced for Asian American women.”

“This
first-ever study of its kind is significant not only for its breadth
and the insights it provides on the so-called ‘bamboo ceiling’ in the
legal profession, but also because it provides a roadmap for how Asian
American attorneys can continue to break through and advance within the
profession,” said Ivan K. Fong, senior vice president and general
counsel of 3M, and former general counsel of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security.

“This
new empirical study is a significant contribution to our understanding
of the challenges faced by Asian Americans in the legal profession,”
said Ajay K. Mehrotra, director of the American Bar Foundation and
professor of law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. “It
is only by first identifying the factors that have impeded the long-term
leadership success of Asian Americans that we can find potential
solutions to this vexing problem.”

“The
Portrait Project has confirmed the existence of the bamboo ceiling. It
also shows that the future success of the Asian American legal community
requires more leadership and mentoring,” said Don Liu, executive vice
president and chief legal officer of Target Corp. “The study will be
tremendously helpful in removing the professional obstacles that exist
for Asian American lawyers.”

“The
Portrait Project not only points out the flaws of the hiring and
promotion system of workplaces toward Asian Americans, but also shows
what Asian Americans can do to succeed,” said Bijal Vakil, partner,
White & Case. “Change requires both mentoring Asian American lawyers
on strategies to effectively navigate the status quo of law firms in a
manner as personally authentic as possible and to continue pressuring
law firm leaders for inclusive leadership.”

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, 202-775-9555, bschuster@napaba.org. Questions about the study may be sent to portraitprojectresearch@gmail.com.                                                                              

The
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the
national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law
professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost
50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific
American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large
firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit
attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

Law, Intersectionality, and the Next Wave of Social Movements in the Trump Era: June 2-3, 2017

Brooklyn Law School is proud to host the joint 2017 Conference of Asian Pacific American Law Faculty and Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Law, Intersectionality, and the Next Wave of Social Movements in the Trump Era.”  The conference will take place on June 2-3, 2017 at Brooklyn Law School in vibrant, diverse, trendy downtown Brooklyn, New York.  From LGBTQ rights to DREAMers to the Movement for Black Lives to new forms of labor organizing among precarious, low-wage, on-demand workers, the social movements of today are increasingly operating at the intersections of multiple communities, identities, and structural injustices.  This in turn has created a unique confluence of alliances, collaborations, and common purposes in addressing underlying structural exclusions, inequities, and imbalances of power.  Yet as the 2016 election revealed so starkly, these movements for equality and inclusion have also provoked a virulent reactionary populism and counter-reaction.   

What are the opportunities, challenges, and implications of these 21st century movements?  As scholars and activists, what role can we play in forging new alliances and strengthening existing ones, advancing the goals of these social movements, and furthering longer-term political and social power? How do we encourage even more conversation between scholars and activists to effect real change? How do we ensure that these new alliances among multiple communities advance common goals without obscuring real differences? And how should we understand and gird ourselves against the various forms of counter-reactions, including counter-reactions based on the fear of a majority-minority America?  These are just some of the questions this conference hopes to address.

CALL FOR GROUP PANELS AND INDIVIDUAL PAPERS

GROUP PANEL PROPOSALS: We encourage the submission of group panel proposals relating to this year’s theme, “Law, Intersectionality, and the Next Wave of Social Movements in the Trump Era.”  A group panel would consist of 3-4 panelists.  We are especially interested in proposed group panels that feature both legal scholars as well as activists and/or scholars from other disciplines.  Panels might address questions such as (but not limited to): 

  • How are current social movements challenging long-standing inequities? What are the opportunities, difficulties, and implications of these 21st century movements?
  •  How have these movements (successfully or unsuccessfully) built longer-term political and social power?
  • How might we situate these movements in context of current law, courts, and political institutions?
  • Are these 21st century movements different from previous waves in American history? Or are they better understood in a historical tradition of racial, social, gender justice?
  • How should we understand the various forms of counter-reaction against these movements and the broader vision of a majority-minority America? 

If you are interested in proposing a group panel along these lines, please email Professor Sabeel Rahman at sabeel.rahman@brooklaw.edu with a description of your group panel, including the names of the panelists you have enlisted, by February 28, 2017. Please write “CAPALF-NEPOC Group Panel Proposal” in the subject line of your email.

INDIVIDUAL PAPER PROPOSALS: We are also interested in individual presentations and papers.  These presentations may be on any topic, i.e., they need not be on the theme of the conference.  That said, depending on the number of individual paper proposals we receive, preference may be given to papers that are more closely tied to the theme of the conference.  After reviewing the individual paper proposals, the conference organizers will group the individual papers into panels based on subject matter.  If you are interested in presenting an individual paper, please email Professor Bennett Capers at bennett.capers@brooklaw.edu with a description of your paper by February 28, 2017.  Please write “CAPALF-NEPOC Individual Paper Proposal” in the subject line of your email.

CALL FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

CAPALF and NEPOC support and nurture the careers of law professors at every stage.  Your proposal for a workshop can involve one or multiple presenters or organizers.  Please list all names in the proposal. If you are interested in proposing and leading a professional development workshop, please email Professor Sudha Setty at ssetty@law.wne.edu by February 28, 2017. Please write “CAPALF-NEPOC Professional Development Workshop” in the subject line of your email.

CALL FOR WORKS IN PROGRESS

Works in progress are sessions devoted to giving authors helpful feedback on their writing projects in a safe and supportive setting.  The topic of your work in progress can be about any topic and does not have to relate to the conference theme.  If you are interested in presenting a work in progress, please submit a 1 to 2 page abstract and/or a draft to Professor Deseriee Kennedy at dkennedy@tourolaw.edu by February 28, 2017.  Please write “CAPALF-NEPOC WIP Submission” in the subject line of your email.

If you are interested in serving as a Lead Commentator for a work in progress, please also email Professor Deseriee Kennedy at dkennedy@tourolaw.edu by February 28, 2017 and state your areas of expertise.  Please write “CAPALF-NEPOC Volunteer Commentator” in the subject line of your email.

CALL FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS

Each year CAPALF and NEPOC recognize the achievements of outstanding teachers-scholars-activists of color in the legal academy.  Last year the Haywood Burns-Shanara Gilbert award went to the Northeast Corridor Collective of Black Women Law Professors.  Please consider nominating someone(s) for the following awards:

  • Haywood Burns-Shanara Gilbert Award for Outstanding Activist – Teacher – Scholar            
  • Professor Keith Aoki Asian Pacific American Jurisprudence Award
  • Professor Chris Kando Iijima Teacher and Mentor Award
  • Professor Eric K. Yamamoto Emerging Scholar Award

Please submit your nomination to Professor Elaine Chiu at chiue1@stjohns.edu by February 28, 2017.  Be sure to include a brief supporting statement and to write “CAPALF-NEPOC Award Nomination” in the subject line of your email.

PROGRAMMING FOR NEW AND ASPIRING LAW PROFESSORS

This year, we hope to include some programming specifically targeted to new and aspiring law professors, including the opportunity for aspiring law professors to do mock job talks.  So please share this announcement with new and aspiring law professors!

Columbia APALSA Third Annual Conference: On the Shoulders of Giants

image

The Columbia Asian Pacific America Law Students Association invites you to attend their third annual conference: On the Shoulders of Giants: New Horizons for Asian Americans in Law and Politics.  The conference will be held on Saturday, March 8 starting at 1pm.  Attend one of three panels on Immigration Reform, Minority Identity, and Professional Development or attend dinner with keynote speaker former NYC Comptroller John Liu.  Among the speakers at the conference will be AABANY President Mike Huang, President-Elect Clara Ohr and Board Member Karen Lim, who will be joining Helen Wan (author, The Partner Track) and Vivia Chen (blogger, The Careerist) on a panel entitled “Navigating the Career Ladder: Professional Development Strategies for Asian American Attorneys.”

CLE credit will be offered.  Tickets are available on our
website at http://blogs.law.columbia.edu/apalsaconference/.