On Thursday, September 7, 2023, students and practitioners alike attended the AABANY Oyster Happy Hour at Sagaponack NYC. Nearly thirty folks attended for a night of oysters, bar bites, and networking. The Membership Committee annually hosts this Oyster Happy Hour at Sagaponack NYC and, this year, strategically partnered with the Student Outreach and Young Lawyers Committees to give law students an opportunity to network with practitioners as they kicked off their fall semesters. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our co-sponsoring committees including the Military & Veteran Affairs Committee. And a special thanks to the folks at Sagaponack NYC for the great food and service as always. If you have any ideas for fun AABANY membership events, please email ChristopherSBae@gmail.com.
On Thursday, July 20th, 2023, the AABANY Membership Committee held the first event of the Meet the Board Series this year, at which attendees heard from AABANY President Karen Kim and AABANY Board Director Won Shin about their respective careers. The event was hosted by FTI Consulting in Midtown Manhattan, and co-sponsored by AABANY’s Women’s, Government Service & Public Interest, and Prosecutors’ Committees.
At the beginning of the night, attendees chatted and mingled over dinner before sitting down to participate in a Q&A session with Karen Kim and Won Shin moderated by Membership Director Christopher Bae. Christopher started by asking how the two became involved with AABANY, their most memorable cases, and how working with AABANY has changed their careers.
Won talked about his early career, starting with his work as a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz for six years, his position as Assistant Solicitor General at the New York State Attorney General’s office and his stint in complex frauds and cybercrime in the United States Attorney’s Office. Finally, Won described his entrance into his office’s appeals unit, where he now serves as Chief of Appeals of the Criminal Division.
Karen spoke about her work at a small firm doing mainly litigation, residential real estate, and construction law, before serving as Vice President of Operations and Strategic Development at Minority Corporate Counsel Association in D.C. and finally landing a position at QBE Insurance through former AABANY president Linda Lin. Karen believes her experience at the small firm she first worked at prepared her for her presidency at AABANY, because she worked on “a hodgepodge of everything” in both positions.
Christopher turned to the guests for one last question before taking inquiries from the audience. “So how do mentees make themselves stand out so that you would want to mentor them? What can younger attorneys be doing to find more than a mentorship in name and instead build an actual relationship with you?”
Karen paused to think of an answer. “Well, I like chocolate.”
After around half an hour of audience questions, Christopher concluded with a round of rapid fire questions for Karen and Won. We learned that Won’s favorite legal show is “Jury Duty,” and Karen’s favorite judge, past or present, is Judge Judy (the TV judge, not Hon. Judy Kim). The evening wrapped up with more mingling and enjoying food and drinks in FTI’s stylish and modern space.
Thank you to Karen Kim and Won Shin for sharing your experience and wisdom with us, and Christopher Bae for moderating an insightful conversation. We look forward to hosting more Board Members in the Meet the Board Series. To learn more about the Membership Committee, go here.
The happy hour provided a chance for members and guests of the three committees to reconnect (or connect for the first time) with friends, old and new. It was a welcome opportunity to socialize over delicious craft cocktails and appetizers, especially for those starved for in-person events after the long pandemic.
This event was a great kick-off to the new fiscal year. Thank you for all who joined us for the event, and we hope to see more of you at future events.
Please join the first quarterly meeting of the AABANY Litigation Committee, taking place via Zoom on May 31, to meet the Co-Chairs, hear plans for the upcoming year, share ideas for programs, and learn how you can get more involved. Register by May 30 here.
On Saturday, April 29, 2023, AABANY members celebrated AAPI Heritage Month (a few days early) with a night of laughs at the Very Big Very Asian (VBVA) Comedy Festival at the Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd Street. Nearly 30 AABANY members and friends enjoyed a hilarious and wildly entertaining lineup of standup comedians of Asian descent. As was the case for the VBVA Festival in 2022, the jokes continued to be “Very Big” and “Very Asian.”
Shoutout to James Han, the VBVA team and Broadway Comedy Club for putting together a great show and giving AABANY front row seats. Broadway Comedy Club regularly hosts special comedy events featuring AAPI comedians throughout the year – please check them out.
Congrats to Vishal Chander on winning the raffle, a swag bag of items featuring various AAPI vendors! Besides being an active AABANY member, Vishal is serving as a Co-Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee this year.
After Broadway Comedy Club, the attendees enjoyed ramen and conversations at Hide-Chan Ramen next door.
On March 23rd, 2023, AABANY held its first Indoor Golf Simulation event at Five Iron Golf- Flatiron to provide members an opportunity to learn how to golf. After a successful golf outing in the fall of 2022, the Corporate Law, Membership, and Women’s Committees decided to organize a more casual experience for its members. A golf pro was on-site to teach first time golfers. The evening was filled with lots of laughter, great food, a range of avid golfers to the less experienced, and career advice for its law student members.
On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, AABANY held its Annual Meeting of Members at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. President William Ng called the meeting to order and established quorum. The main order of business was conducting the election for the 2024 Board of Directors and Officers.
President William Ng presented the Annual Report of the Board and thanked the Board members for their service during the past year. Treasurer Evelyn Gong and Membership Director Christopher Bae presented the reports for their respective offices.
Executive Director Yang Chen presented highlights of Committee activities. Following the reports, awards were presented to honor AABANY leaders and committees for their dedication to AABANY over the past year. While these presentations were occurring, Immediate Past President Terrence Shen and President-Elect Karen Kim tallied the votes.
The following awards were presented:
Committee of the Year: Intellectual Property Committee
The Intellectual Property Committee received the Committee of the Year Award for its outstanding contributions in promoting AABANY’s membership engagement and creating a vibrant community for IP law practitioners. The Committee successfully hosted several committee dinners and social events including their first concert event to see the ARKAI Duo. At the start of 2023, the IP Committee started a new program called “Dumplings & Discussion,” the inaugural event featuring Andy Yoo, SVP & General Counsel of Savvas Learning Company. The discussion covered topics including Andy’s role as general counsel, diversity, equity and inclusion, and his career path and trajectory.
Program of the Year: Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day
The Program of the Year Award was given to Christopher Bae, AABANY’s Membership Director. On June 4, 2022, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted an Inter-Bar Association Summer Family Day with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) and the South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY). Over fifty members and their friends and families gathered at the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center in Brooklyn to participate in spirited sports games and enjoy snacks and refreshments.
Member of the Year: Jennifer H. Wu
The Member of the Year Award was presented to Jennifer H. Wu, for her outstanding leadership inside and outside of AABANY. Within AABANY, she co-chaired the Women’s Committee and helped to put on some excellent events. She was also active in AABANY’s Anti-Asian Violence Task Force, in addition to the pro bono work she had been doing to advise and assist survivors and victims of anti-Asian violence in New York over the past couple of years. On top of all that, she co-founded her own patent litigation law firm Groombridge Wu Baughman & Stone
Congratulations to all the honorees for the recognition of their achievements and hard work during the 2023 fiscal year.
After the presentation of awards, William announced the election results. The following officers were elected and will begin their term one-year terms on April 1, 2023:
Joseph Eng, Jr.
Vice President, Programs and Operations
Vice President, Programs and Operations
The following candidates were elected as Directors to serve two-year terms starting on April 1, 2023:
P. Bartlett Wu
After the election results were announced, attendees stayed to network at Paul, Weiss. We thank everyone who came and participated in the Annual Meeting and the election. Congratulations to all the Officers and Directors who were elected to the Board to serve in the 2024 fiscal year that begins on April 1, 2023.
Special thank you to AABANY Director Larry Wee and the Paul, Weiss team for hosting AABANY’s 2023 Annual Meeting.
AABANY’s 2023 ski trip, co-sponsored with the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY), took place on Saturday, February 11 at Shawnee Mountain. The event was co-sponsored by the Corporate Law, Women’s, Young Lawyers, and Membership Committees.
A private charter bus left New York City Saturday morning for the hour-and-a-half drive to the Pocono Mountains. Over 30 AABANY and KALAGNY members, friends, family and children enjoyed favorable ski conditions at Shawnee on a sunny winter day under bright blue skies.
First timers and beginners participated in group and private ski and snowboard lessons. Skiers and snowboarders met for lunch by the hearth in the Hope Lodge at the base of the mountain. The ski day concluded with an après-ski dinner in the Kirkwood Room of the historic Shawnee Inn accompanied by candlelight and live piano music.
Thanks to all the co-sponsoring Committees and KALAGNY for organizing the event, and thanks to everyone who attended.
On Tuesday, January 24, forty AABANY members, family and friends celebrated Lunar New Year at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks took on the Cleveland Cavaliers. The night was filled with memorable moments: The New Asia Chamber Music Society performed the national anthem and there was a special lion dance performance during halftime. Two of our members caught t-shirts that were fired into the crowd by cannons and during the third quarter AABANY even got a shoutout on the Garden Vision big screen. And to cap it all off, the Knicks won a nail biter by a score of 105-103.
Thanks to the Membership Committee for organizing another successful event and shoutout to the Asia Practice, Bankruptcy, Career Placement, Mentorship, Military & Veterans Affairs, Women’s, and Young Lawyers Committees for co-sponsoring.
On December 25, 2022, the Asia Practice Committee, along with the Membership, Student Outreach, Women’s, and Young Lawyers Committees, partnered to host a Christmas dinner and gift exchange event at 99 Flavor Taste in Manhattan Chinatown. Fourteen attendees filled the upper level of this Chinese restaurant to enjoy hotpot and BBQ.
After all guests arrived, each attendee gave a one-minute self-introduction, which gave the guests a good opportunity to learn more about each other. While enjoying the delicious fare, attendees played Two Truths and a Lie, a fun icebreaker.
After everyone ate, the Christmas gift exchange took place, with order determined by lottery. To receive the gift, the recipient had to repeat the self-introduction of the gift giver.
After Christmas dinner, some attendees went on to enjoy an after-dinner karaoke party.
The event welcomed a wide range of attendees, including law students, corporate and tax law practitioners, retired professors and their significant others, who gathered to celebrate Christmas even though they do not have family around in New York, finding home and family among their AABANY friends.
Thanks to the Co-Chairs and Vice Chairs of all the co-sponsoring Committees for helping to organize and promote this enjoyable event and to everyone who came. We look forward to more fun events from these Committees in 2023 and hope you can join them!
The latest #RestaurantSeries dinner was held on Thursday, October 26, 2022 at NSA Noodle Bar in Brooklyn. #Restaurant Series dinners are intimate and informal get-togethers to connect current and prospective members with various AABANY committees, designed to support Asian-owned businesses in the wake of the economic disruption caused by the pandemic. The dinner featured Membership Committee Co-Chair Dianna Lam and Litigation Committee Co-Chair Lois Ahn. The NSA Noodle Bar provided a three-course prix fixe menu with delicious options including miso arancini, panko crusted takoyaki, miso honey burrata, truffle tonkotsu ramen, among others. The crowd favorite was hands down the miso honey burrata appetizer.
The food was great, of course, but the conversations were even better. The group, sitting in a cozy corner of the restaurant, exchanged life stories, and discussed career trajectories and goals, working as a big law associate vs. an in-house lawyer, and, in light of the upcoming winter season, the best places to ski/snowboard.
Big thanks to those who came out, and please be on the lookout for future #RestaurantSeries!