Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Presented with Certificate of Commendation at NYS Senators’ Lunar New Year Virtual Celebration

New York State Senators John Liu (11th District, Queens), Andrew Gounardes (22nd District, Brooklyn), Brian Kavanagh (26th District, Manhattan) and Toby Stavisky (16th District, Queens) hosted a Lunar New Year virtual celebration Tuesday evening, February 16, featuring performances from AAPI youth and community honorees. The event was well-attended by city, state and federal elected officials, as well as community leaders and their organizations.

Senator Kavanagh presented May Wong, Esq., and Olympia Moy with a certificate of commendation to recognize the work of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee in providing invaluable legal assistance to the AAPI community during the pandemic. May Wong and Olympia Moy were proud to accept the certificate on behalf of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee. In their acceptance speech, they detailed the committee’s success in creating a one-day “in-person” clinic in July 2020 to assist tenants with paper applications for the COVID Rent Relief Program. When the COVID Rent Relief Program was extended to February 2021, law students volunteered again to establish a two-week remote hotline service to assist non-English speaking tenants apply via telephone. They were able to assist callers in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish with the help of the committee’s community partners, Chinatown CLT and GOLES. May Wong and Olympia Moy concluded their speech by expressing gratitude towards the State for its effort in addressing the State’s housing and poverty crisis and strongly encouraged the State to “direct emergency financial relief to tenants and property owners in meaningful programs that can provide permanent rental assistance and increased access to rental subsidies.”

Thank you to all the attorney volunteers and law students who helped AABANY and the community, especially May Wong, William Lee, Karen Lin, Nicholas Loh, Xinyi Shen, and Olympia Moy.

Congratulations to the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee on this well-deserved recognition! To learn more about the Committee and all its wonderful work, go to probono.aabany.org. They are always looking for more volunteers so email them at clinic.volunteer@aabany.org if you can help.

AABANY Hosts Weekly Membership Mixer on February 12, 2021 to Celebrate Lunar New Year

On February 12, 2021, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly virtual Membership Mixer, with 18 participants in attendance. This week AABANY held a virtual Lunar New Year celebration to welcome the Year of the Ox. 

Participants were asked: “What is your favorite New Year superstition or favorite memory?”  Participants answered that they followed the superstitions not to wash hair, sweep the floor, wear head to toe red clothing, and not arguing on the third day of the new year. Their favorite memories were seeing the Dragon dancers in the Chinatown parade, getting red envelopes, and eating a feast with their family. 

Congratulations to Long Dang, who won a $100 red envelope.

Our weekly Friday mixers are open to everyone, but only members who register for the weekly mixers through the calendar entry on the AABANY website have a chance at winning a prize. Thank you to the In-House Counsel Committee for co-sponsoring this week’s mixer prize.

Please join us this week in the Remo room, for smaller group breakouts on February 19, 2021. To register for this week’s mixer, please sign up online by February 18 at https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1468895.

New York Law School AALSA Alumni Lunar New Year Reception

On February 20, 2020, Margaret Ling, AABANY Development Director, hosted the New York Law School AALSA Alumni Lunar New Year Reception at New York Law School. Margaret is a New York Law School Alumni, Class of 1983, and is also a Board Director of the New York Law School Alumni Association. She mentors many of the Asian Law students and took this opportunity to connect them with alumni. The event was also attended by Dean Anthony Crowell and Elizabeth Briand of Development Affairs. Many thanks to AABANY for their support and Nancy Yang, AALSA President and Class of 2020.

AABANY Presents: Lunar New Year Celebration and Networking Event at Chase Bank

On January 28, 2020, Margaret Ling, AABANY Real Estate Committee Co-Chair, hosted and organized the Lunar New Year Celebration and Networking Event at Chase Bank located at 41-22 Bell Bvd, Bayside, New York.

Over 50 attorneys attended the reception. A lovely buffet was served, and entertainment was provided by master paper cutting artist Mr. Hou-Tien Cheng. AABANY’s Real Estate Committee collaborated with the following organizations to present this event: Queens County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee; KALAGNY; Big Apple Abstract Corporation; Chase Bank; and Forchelli, Deegan and Terrana, LLP. Margaret Ling, who is both the Co-Chair of the AABANY Real Estate Committee and the Co-Chair of the Queens County Bar Association Diversity and Inclusion Committee, will continue to organize these joint collaborative bar events in the near future.

We thank everyone that attended and wish everyone a prosperous Lunar New Year!

AABANY Celebrates Lunar New Year at Mayer Brown

On January 22, 2020 AABANY co-hosted a Lunar New Year party with the Financial Services Network of NAPABA at the offices of Mayer Brown. Over 50 attendees enjoyed food, wine and drinks. Kendrick Nguyen, founder of Republic Bank, spoke briefly about his journey from being a lawyer to CEO of a start-up with 60 employees.

We thank Mayer Brown and all who attended this event.

Congratulations to Michael J. Rhee

On February 21, 2019, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) at St. John’s University School of Law recognized Michael J. Rhee as the 2019 APALSA Honoree during their Lunar New Year Reception at China Blue-Tribeca. AABANY congratulates Michael J. Rhee on his recognition as the 2019 APALSA Honoree.

Michael J. Rhee received his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1998 and went on to lead a remarkable legal career. Mr. Rhee had served as a Special Counsel in the real estate department at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP.  Currently, Mr. Rhee is Vice President and General Counsel of the Durst Organization, one of the most prominent real estate companies in New York City. As Vice President and General Counsel, Mr. Rhee advises on leasing, acquisitions, construction and development activities, as well as the corporate and legal needs of the company. Mr. Rhee also oversees insurance and collections and manages outside counsel.

Michael J. Rhee is not only a distinguished member of the legal community, he is also an active one. He has been an AABANY member since 2015, and he is a member of the In-House Counsel Committee. Mr. Rhee is also a member of the Leadership Advisory Council of the Korean American Lawyers Associations of Greater New York. Please join AABANY in congratulating Mr. Rhee on this well-deserved recognition.

From left to right: Christopher Arcitio (St. John Law Alum & Former AABANY Intern), Anna Chen (St. John Law Alum & Former AABANY Intern), Michael J. Rhee, Yang Chen (Executive Director at AABANY)