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: 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).

In the News: Law360 Covers AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum

AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum held on June 15 and 16 was recently covered in a June 21 Law360 article titled “Manhattan DA Candidates Split Over Hate Crime Strategy.” In the run up to the primary election on June 22, AABANY posed questions to seven Democratic candidates (Tahanie Aboushi, Alvin Bragg, Liz Crotty, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, Diana Florence, Lucy Lang, and Eliza Orlins) and one Republican candidate (Thomas Kenniff) on issues important to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, specifically related to how they would address the surge in anti-Asian violence in New York City. Most of the candidates stated that they would use enhancements to charge perpetrators of hate crimes. In addition, most of the candidates supported creating a hate crimes unit in the DA’s Office, which is one of the proposals offered in AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ report on anti-Asian violence. Only Tahanie Aboushi and Eliza Orlins pledged they would cut the district attorney’s office budget in half. By decreasing the prosecution of low-level offenses, Aboushi and Orlins said the office would be able to focus on more serious crimes, including hate crimes that involve violence. The Law360 article also incorporated Democratic DA Candidate Dan Quart’s stances on the questions posed at the Forum as he was not able to participate due to a prior engagement.

To read the full article, click here. To view the recordings of AABANY’s Manhattan DA Candidates’ Forum, click here for day 1 (Lucy Lang, Alvin Bragg, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, and Tahanie Aboushi) and here for day 2 (Diana Florence, Thomas Kenniff, Eliza Orlins, and Liz Crotty).

In the News: Incoming President-Elect William Ng Quoted in Law360 Article About Ways Employers Can Help Asian Workers Amid Anti-Asian Violence

William Ng, incoming President-Elect at AABANY, was recently interviewed for a Law360 article published on February 26, 2021 titled “3 Ways Employers Can Help Asian Workers As Attacks Surge.” Law360 asked legal experts for tips they could share with employers on how they can create a safe environment for their Asian American employees at work during the rise of anti-Asian violence.

The first tip legal experts shared is to acknowledge the problem. Employers need to recognize and denounce the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and bigotry. By doing this, it gives a voice to the Asian American community and lets them know that they are supported. The second tip is to have a game plan. William Ng suggested to Law360 that employers should have a plan for exactly how they will handle a situation of anti-Asian harassment or violence. He stated, “It’s just being aware of these issues and understanding, ‘Hey, if this happens, what will we be doing?'” Suggestions William Ng provided include assembling a security management team and being in contact with local law enforcement. The third tip experts suggested is that employers should use training to empower bystanders such as offering bystander intervention training and implicit bias training.

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

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.


AABANY Mentioned in Law360 Article on Bar Associations in New York Condemning Violence at the U.S. Capitol

The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) was recently mentioned in a Law360 article on New York state bar associations’ reactions to the violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The article states: “The Asian American Bar Association of New York, one of the state’s most vocal attorneys group, endorsed a
statement published by its parent organization, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, decrying the storming of the Capitol as the act of militants.”

NY Lawyers Condemn Storming Of US Capitol By Mob
By Marco Poggio

Law360 (January 7, 2021, 4:34 PM EST) — Prominent New York state bar associations have condemned the violence that unfolded in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, in which a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol as the Electoral College vote certification was in progress, resulting in the deaths of four people. Read more here (subscription is required).

Join AABANY in Supporting Portrait Project 2.0

A recent Law360 article entitled “Why Are Law Clerks So White” reported:

Take any five federal law clerks, and at least four of them would probably be white. And nobody can be certain why.

California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu has some guesses about the reasons black, Asian and Latino lawyers are largely shut out of these prestigious positions that can turbocharge a lawyer’s early career. But he says it’s impossible to pinpoint reasons or patterns because so little data exists.

“We actually don’t even know the most basic things about those opportunities,” Justice Liu told Law360. “It would be interesting if we could know even basic things, like do women judges get more women clerks? We have impressions of that, but we don’t know with any precision whether these things are true.”

The article went on to talk about how Justice Liu plans to address these questions in Portrait Project 2.0. AABANY is supporting this research as a Silver Sponsor. AABANY challenges its members to donate to Portrait Project 2.0. AABANY will match member donations up to $5,000. Join AABANY in advancing the work of Portrait Project 2.0. Read more at https://www.aabany.org/page/PortraitProject20

To read the full Law360 article go to https://www.law360.com/articles/1156019?utm_source=ios-shared&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=ios-shared

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