On July 28, 2022, AABANY hosted its first-ever Membership Open House at King & Spalding LLP. With over 50 attendees, the Membership Open House gave new and prospective members the opportunity to speak with Board Members and Committee Chairs to learn about the work AABANY does and how new and prospective members can get involved.
Membership Director Christopher Bae in his introductory remarks welcomed attendees and thanked Board Members and Committee Chairs for coming. Former AABANY President Andy Hahn (2004) then highlighted the importance of getting involved with an organization like AABANY.
This AABANY Membership Open House spotlighted the Young Lawyers Committee, the Litigation Committee, and the Prosecutors Committee. Jasmine Chean from the Young Lawyers Committee, Lois Ahn from the Litigation Committee, and David Hsin-Tai Chiang from the Prosecutors Committee each spoke on why members should get involved with their committees.
Attendees were encouraged to network, enjoy food and drinks, and meet with the chairs of 23 committees that were present at the Open House. New and recent members were given the opportunity to participate in a raffle where two winners won either a Zoom or coffee meet-and-greet with former AABANY Presidents Andy Hahn (2004) or Brian Song (2019). Congratulations to Tian Chi Ma who won the raffle to meet Andy and to Stephanie Lu who won the raffle to meet Brian.
Thank you to King & Spalding LLP for hosting AABANY’s Membership Open House, and thank you to former AABANY Presidents Andy Hahn and Brian Song for volunteering for the new member raffle! Thank you to Co-Vice Presidents of Programs & Operations Joseph Eng, Jr. and Beatrice Leong, and Membership Director Christopher Bae for putting together this successful event!
We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Open House in October. In the meantime, if you have any questions about how to get more involved in AABANY and maximize your membership experience, feel free to reach out to the Membership Committee at email@example.com.
On June 9, 2022, the Membership & Solo and Small Firm Practice Committees hosted a #RestaurantSeries dinner at Lil Chef Mama. AABANY is trying to support small, Asian-owned businesses and restaurants through our Restaurant Series. “The Membership Committee’s #RestaurantSeries gives AABANY members an opportunity to meet fellow members and to get introduced to co-sponsoring AABANY committees while also supporting local businesses,” explains Membership Director Christopher Bae. “Whether the restaurants are Asian-owned mom and pop shops, established staples of the restaurant scene, or allies of the Asian-American community, join us in supporting and celebrating the resiliency of local businesses during this post-pandemic time.”
Located in FiDi next to Pier 17, Lil Chef Mama is a hidden gem. Click here to learn more about Lil Chef Mama!
AABANY members enjoyed unique dishes, from a whole fried fish to frog legs. Members also enjoyed staples like Thai iced teas. New connections were formed among the diverse group of attendees. We learned that Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee Chair, Carolynn Beck is a serial hobbyist. Her hobbies include Muay Thai, skydiving, and scuba diving, just to name a few.
Thank you to all those who came out. Membership Director Christopher Bae encourages everyone to join us at the next #RestaurantSeries. Keep an eye out for future dinners on our calendar at aabany.org/events.
On May 12, 2022 the Membership and Bankruptcy Committees hosted a dinner at Cafe China. The acclaimed restaurant is known for its classic Sichuan favorites such as cumin lamb and tea-smoked duck. Membership Vice Chair Ashley Shan planned the family style menu, and the group had a great time discussing food, tv and career goals.
We thank Will Hao, Bankruptcy Chair, for co-hosting!
AABANY is trying to support small Asian owned businesses and restaurants through our Restaurant Series, which will be held twice a month. Our next event is at Louie’s Pizza, whose owner and his father stood up for the victim of an anti-AAPI attack. Louie and Cazim courageously came to the help of an elderly Korean woman who was being robbed and attacked in front of their store and were themselves stabbed in the process. We hope you will join us in supporting the restaurant on May 28, 1pm at Louie’s Pizza (8134 Baxter Ave, Queens). For more information and to register, please visit https://www.aabany.org/events/event_details.asp?legacy=1&id=1638502. For more information, please email Membership Director Christopher Bae at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday, May 13, 2022, AABANY members celebrated AAPI Heritage Month with a night of laughs at the Very Big Very Asian Comedy Festival at the Broadway Comedy Club on West 53rd Street. Over twenty AABANY members and friends enjoyed a hilarious and wildly entertaining lineup of standup comedians of Asian descent. And the verdict was unanimous: the jokes were in fact “Very Big” and “Very Asian.” Big shoutout to the evening’s host, Vince Chang @vincechang21 for keeping things moving along at a lively pace. Vince Chang should not be confused with AABANY President Vince Chang (2007) who is now the President of NYCLA. Not to say that AABANY Vince Chang is not a funny guy … but standup Vince Chang is much funnier.
After Broadway Comedy Club, folks enjoyed a second round of drinks and networking at @iguananyc
Shoutout to @livingwithchriss and her team for putting together a great show AND giving AABANY our own private tables. And great job by the Membership, Student Outreach & Young Lawyers Committees for organizing a great outing for AABANY. Make sure to sign up for upcoming AABANY events at aabany.org/events.
On Monday, February 14, AABANY attended the Knicks vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder game at Madison Square Garden. The night’s theme was Celebrating Lunar New Year – the Year of the Tiger. The stadium banners featured red lantern designs to observe the holiday. The lively halftime show featured lion dancers and folk dancers.
AABANY cheered on the Knicks in custom Knicks Chinese New Year t-shirts. The game was suspenseful, as the Knicks built a lead in the fourth quarter but fell back to a tie with less than a minute left. In a finale that left audiences on the edge of their seats, the game went into overtime and ended with the Thunder winning 127 – 123.
Thanks to everyone who came, especially to Membership Director Beatrice Leong for organizing the event. To learn more about the Membership Committee, please visit http://www.aabany.org/?page=130.
Hard to believe this amazing park was once a pier seeing its last days in Lower Manhattan! Members braved the strong winds on this beautiful summer evening for our Membership Mixer at Little Island on July 30. Between small bites and beers, new friends were made, old acquaintances emerged, and we got to experience live performances, catch a great view of the sunset, and discover the newest TikTok-famous attraction. We were surprised by the unannounced visit of Simone Nguyen Chung, AABANY’s former Program Associate, who left AABANY to move to California where she attended UCLA Law School. She came to New York City last week to … take the California bar exam remotely. She said it was less distracting that way. Um … okay. Thanks for joining us, Simone, and best of luck to you in all your future endeavors!
In-person mixers are back– don’t let the summer pass you by! Click here to sign up now for some mingling at Yankee Stadium on August 6– guests are welcome! Registration deadline is August 5th; tickets are $5 for members and $20 for non-members (must prepay at full price, will receive refund upon actual usage of ticket).
On June 29, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Board Director and Real Estate Committee Co-Chair Margaret Ling moderated the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA) Opening Program titled: “Effective Marketing, Advocacy and Public Relations Strategy.” The panelists for the event were Edgar Chen, Esq., National Policy Director for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA); Elia Diaz-Yaeger, Esq., President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA); Tricia “CK” Hoffler, Esq., President of the National Bar Association (NBA); and Dinesh Kumar, Esq., Vice President of Public Relations for the South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of North America. The panelists discussed the role of minority bar associations in facing widespread social and political issues as well as the unique voice of advocacy that minority bar associations can utilize. The discussion also explored different ways of reaching membership through websites, newsletters, and other methods.
AABANY thanks Karl Riley, the Chair of the CBLA, for organizing the panel event as well as ABA for hosting the discussion at such a critical moment for the Asian-American community.
On May 20, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), along with the Asian Columbia Alumni Association (ACAA), Columbia Law School Association, and the Korean American Lawyers of Greater New York (KALAGNY), co-sponsored the Third Annual Hong Yen Chang Award Ceremony to honor Hyung Bak, Columbia Law School alumnus and General Counsel at Warby Parker.
The Annual Hong Yen Chang Award Ceremony is held in honor of the first known Chinese-American lawyer, Hong Yen Chang (1860-1926). Chang was, himself, a graduate of Columbia Law School and graduated with honors. He was recommended to bar admission, but was prevented from practicing in New York state because he was not a citizen. He brought suit and the New York Supreme Court ruled in his favor, licensing him to practice in New York in 1888. Chang then moved to California, hoping to be admitted to practice in the state but was rejected in 1890 due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. In 2015, more than a century later, the California Supreme Court admitted Chang to the California Bar. In May 2014, AABANY awarded Chang posthumous membership in the association, in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month. Chang was a trailblazer in the legal profession for all Asian Americans who came after him. The Hong Yen Chang Award is thus presented to Columbia alumni who embody Chang’s pioneering spirit and serve as role models and leaders in both their workplace and their communities.
This year’s award recipient, Hyung Bak, is the first lawyer in his immigrant family. As he was growing up, Hyung was all too aware of being “other” at school and at his workplace. He recounted how he was forced to develop a thick skin and persevere despite the comments and discrimination he faced. Hyung also described how he was often overlooked for networking functions, because of his race and the passive stereotypes associated with it. He also emphasized the importance of “claim[ing] your space at the table” as an Asian American to counteract these stereotypes and be heard. Now, Hyung works as General Counsel at Warby Parker, and is a leader in raising awareness surrounding the discrimination Asian Americans face daily. Hyung has led and participated in a number of different forums at Warby Parker about race and diversity, anti-Asian violence, bystander intervention, and many other topics in order to open up the conversation and create a safe space for individuals to discuss these issues. Hyung, through Warby Parker, has also been involved in initiatives to give back to businesses owned by people of color and to increase diverse representation in a number of different fields.
AABANY congratulates Hyung for this well-deserved honor and acknowledges his role as a leader in the Asian American community.
On August 28, 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 19 participants in attendance. The icebreaker question this week asked participants “What were your favorite moments as a Member of AABANY?” Members mentioned attending Fall Conference, Annual Dinner, and AABANY after parties. On Friday we said thank you to our Student Leader volunteers for their work during the pandemic. We were all impressed with these talented law students who found time to give back to New York’s Asian American community with COVID-19 relief assistance and rent relief applications, along with many other activities, led by Will Lee, Vice Chair of the Student Outreach Committee.
Congratulations to Long Dang, one of our illustrious Student Leaders, for winning a $50 VISA gift card!
The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID, we have moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but people have stayed on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.
Membership Committee will continue to host weekly Zoom mixers until it is safe to gather together again in person.
We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize.
Mixers are not recorded, and are LIVE, so don’t miss out.
On June 12 2020, the Membership Committee hosted their weekly Zoom Membership Mixer, with 19 participants in attendance. The icebreaker question posed to the participants was: “What is a motivational or inspirational moment or story that sticks out in your mind?” Members reported some favorite quotes: “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” (Tupac); “Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.” (Yuri Kochiyama); “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Steve Jobs). Other members recalled moments with mentors which stayed with them. One partner told a young associate: “Speak up for what you want, you have to ask.” “There is the argument you prepare, the argument you make and the arguments you wish you made.” “Learn from your mistakes.” “Apply to every scholarship and opportunity and you can reach your goals.”
The Membership Committee previously hosted Monthly Mixers at bars, ballparks, stadiums, operas, etc, but due to COVID, we have moved online to offer members a weekly outlet to share their feelings, see old friends, and make new connections. Mixers start at 6:30pm on Friday and the main event ends at 7:30pm but feel free to stay on after 7:30pm for smaller breakout groups.
This week, after the main mixer, a breakout group of 6 members stayed to discuss the upcoming elections, civil unrest and the latest news.
We are giving away door prizes in some weeks. In order to win, you must be a member and must RSVP on the aabany.org calendar entry to get a raffle number. Non-members can join the Zoom mixer but won’t be eligible to win a prize. Congratulations to Chris Kwok for winning a PBS Passport subscription this week!