2019 NAPABA Convention Review

Here’s a recap of everything you might have missed!

Looking at social media posts from the Convention, we were pleased to see so many attendees share our feeling that NAPABA is a family, a group of friends and colleagues, and most importantly, a community. No matter the field, the level of experience, or geographic location, we are one NAPABA.

We’re excited to head into 2020 with you all, but first let’s look back at this year’s Convention!

New Year, New Leadership 

Bonnie Lee Wolf was sworn in as NAPABA’s president. We are inspired by her vision for NAPABA and look forward to supporting her leadership! 

Using History to Inform Our Future

Through a re-enactment and historical materials, we revisited the importance of Korematsu v. United States, when Fred Korematsu challenged Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Individuals who played key roles in the successful effort to overturn Korematsu’s conviction in the 1983 case brought his story to life, connecting his values of equity and human rights to the issues we face today.

During the Saturday plenary, an inspiring group of LGBTQ attorneys reflected on the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that opened the door for inclusion for diverse communities and laid the groundwork for marriage equality to become a right across the country. However, true inclusion is still a work in progress. Panelists offered their look at the future of diversity and inclusion for the LGBTQ community.

Celebrating 31 Years

At our Anniversary Gala, we celebrated 31 years of NAPABA by looking to the future with a swearing-in of the 2019-20 NAPABA Board of Governors. Comedian, actor and writer Sheng Wang hosted the gala and Chef Kristen Kish and food critic Soleil Ho had a great conversation about identity, self-worth and success.

2019 Award Winners

We were honored to recognize this year’s award winners at the 2019 NAPABA Convention. We’re proud to have so many distinguished members, who inspire our work every day.

Trailblazer Awards

The Honorable Richard J. Chin. To see the award video, click here.
Julia Markley. To see the award video, click here.
Byung “BJay” Pak. To see the award video, click here.
Debbie Leilani Shon. To see the award video, click here.

Affiliate of the Year Award

To see the award video, click here.

APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award

To see the award video, click here.

Law Firm Diversity Award

To see the award video, click here.

Military and Veteran Service Award

Captain Lia Mitoko Reynolds. To see the award video, click here.

President’s Award

Dale Ho. To see the award video, click here.

Pro Bono Award

Karen King. To see the award video, click here.

Women’s Leadership Award

Debbie Leilani Shon. To see the award video, click here.

 Best Under 40

Vanessa E. Candelaria | Attorney, Law Offices of Vanessa Candelaria
Christina Chan | Assistant Attorney General, Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
Nooree Lee | Associate, Covington & Burling LLP
Cindy Lin | Partner, King & Spalding LLP
Laurie Rose Lubiano | IP & Product Counsel, The Climate Corporation
Catherine Y. Lui | Partner, Orrick LLP
Jessica Nguyen | General Counsel, PayScale, Inc.
Marc A. Pilotin | General Counsel, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency
Sid Shenoy | Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Christopher Thana Sukhaphadhana | Senior Counsel, Intellectual Property, Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc.
Jerry Vattamala | Democracy Program Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
Johnny Wang | Partner, Stinson LLP
Jovita T. Wang | Partner, Richardson Wright LLP
Bryant Y. Yang | Assistant U.S Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office
Bilal Zaheer | Partner, Locke Lord LLP 

Partners Network In-House Counsel Awards

Diversity Leadership Rising Star Award 

Laurie Rose Lubiano

Diversity Leadership Award

Michael C. Wu

NAPABA Gives Back

Thanks to everyone who joined us at our Community Service Project and Farewell Breakfast! We assembled over 200 care packages for the Asian Family Support Services of Austin. AFSS Austin is a nonprofit that helps Asian, immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault & trafficking. 

A Message from NAPABA Law Foundation

The NAPABA Law Foundation thanks everyone who donated during convention to support NLF’s fellowships, scholarships, and the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition.  

Whether by buying a Fred Korematsu or Judge Denny Chin bobblehead, wagering at Casino Night, bidding on silent auction items, or using text-to-give during the Gala, these proceeds will be used to advance access to justice for our communities.
 
Speaking of the text-to-give, congratulations on breaking the system! It appears that so many people were jumping on their smartphones to donate that our vendor’s system crashed! 
 
If you were unable to make a gift at Convention, you may donate via NLF’s website by clicking here. Remember, Harry Gee, Jr., and his family are matching the first $150,000 raised! Every dollar you donate will have double the impact!

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you to the amazing sponsors who supported the 2019 NAPABA Convention.

Premier Sponsor
Walmart

Jade Sponsors
Littler
Microsoft
Prudential

Platinum Sponsors
Akin Gump
Apple
Baker Botts
Comcast NBC Universal
Goodwin
Google
McGuireWoods
Nationwide
Paul Weiss
Seyfarth Shaw

For a full list of our 2019 sponsors, click here.

Save the Date

Join us for the 2020 NAPABA Convention 
November 5 – 9, 2020
Los Angeles, California 

Congratulations to Akin Gump on Receiving NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award

We congratulate Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. AABANY is pleased to count Akin Gump as a Silver Sponsor.

This award honors law firms that actively and consistently recruit, retain, and promote APA lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. One such lawyer is Alice Hsu, an AABANY member and Partner at Akin Gump.

Alice was interviewed in the acceptance video and stated that over the last few years Akin Gump has spent a lot of time working with pro bono clients and “brought together cross-racial, cross-ethnic coalitions to support challenging the travel ban, the census citizenship question, and DACA rescission. “

Please join us in congratulating Akin Gump on this well deserved honor.

Congratulations to Karen King on Receiving NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award

We congratulate Karen King, AABANY Member and Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, on being presented NAPABA’s Pro Bono Award during the Gala at the NAPABA Convention in Austin, Texas on Saturday, November 9, 2019. 

This award recognizes an attorney for outstanding achievement in Pro Bono service that involves impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights and provides direct legal services to individuals in furtherance of the administration of justice.

One of the pro bono cases that Karen was recognized for lasted for over 10 years and involved bias and discrimination in the promotion practices of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority against Asian American Police Officers. Karen found her work on the case to be very important for Asian Americans and rewarding for herself. In her video accepting the award, Karen remarked that young lawyers need to look for and seize opportunities to advance their careers “… and pro bono is an excellent way to do that.”

We are extremely excited and pleased that Karen received this prestigious honor. Please join us in congratulating her.

We commend Paul, Weiss on emphasizing, supporting, and encouraging their lawyers to engage in Pro Bono work and for being a Gold Sponsor.

AABANY Presented with Affiliate of the Year Award at NAPABA Convention

On Saturday, November 9, 2019, AABANY was honored to be presented with NAPABA’s Affiliate of the Year award at NAPABA’s National Convention in Austin, Texas. AABANY was selected to receive this award for its best practices and accomplishments in our community.

President Brian Song accepted this honor at the Dinner Gala, but he did not do so alone. He called upon Board members, Past Presidents, and founders, including Rocky Chin, Hon. Marilyn Go (Ret.), and Sylvia Chin to join him on stage to accept the award together on behalf of everyone at AABANY.

For three decades now, AABANY has been working tirelessly to support Asian Americans in the legal profession in New York. It means a great deal for the hard work of AABANY’s Board Members and Committee Chairs, the dedication of our members, and AABANY’s commitment to the overall Asian American Community to be recognized.

We congratulate and thank our entire AABANY family and our sponsors for supporting our mission and bringing AABANY to this Point. As Executive Director Yang Chen said in the video played before the award was presented, “this award is for everyone at AABANY.” 2019 marks the second time that AABANY received the Affiliate of the Year Award. AABANY first received this honor in 2008.

2019 NAPABA Convention | Luncheon Plenaries

Every year NAPABA at its national convention, strives to bring to the forefront vital issues of importance to the Asian Pacific American legal community. This year, NAPABA will feature two luncheon plenaries, a reenactment of Fred Korematsu’s fight for justice, and a panel discussion on the current issues facing the LGBTQ community in light of the ongoing debates in Texas and before the Supreme Court. Join us at the 2019 NAPABA Convention in Austin, TX as we explore these issues and many more.   

Luncheon plenaries are included in the Convention registration fee. You must be registered for the 2019 NAPABA Convention to attend these events. 

AABANY is excited to announce that it will be presenting the lunch plenary session at the NAPABA Convention on Friday, November 8, 2019. See details below.

Friday, Nov. 8 | 12 – 1:15 p.m. | Fred Korematsu’s Fight for Justice: A Reenactment of Korematsu v. United States.

Over seventy-five years ago, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, uprooting some 120,000 Japanese-Americans—two-thirds of them American citizens—from their homes on the West Coast and forcing them into concentration camps.

Although the rest of his family reported as ordered, Fred Korematsu refused to go. He was arrested, and convicted of violating the Executive Order and related military proclamations. He appealed his conviction first to the Ninth Circuit and then to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court affirmed his conviction as well as the convictions of Minoru Yasui and Gordon Hirabayashi, upholding the Executive Order.

In 1983, some forty years later, the federal court in San Francisco vacated Korematsu’s conviction after evidence was uncovered showing that the government had suppressed evidence that undermined its assertions in the cases before the Supreme Court that the relocation and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II without individualized consideration of loyalty was a matter of military necessity. Fred Korematsu spent the rest of his life teaching the lessons of his case. As he put it, “No one should ever be locked away simply because they share the same race, ethnicity, or religion as a spy or terrorist.”

This program will tell the story of Fred Korematsu and his fight for justice through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic documents and photographs. This is the eleventh of a series of historic reenactments presented by the Asian American Bar Association of New York.

Generously supported by Google

Featuring the AABANY Reenactment Team and special guests:

Judge Edward Chen
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Judge Denny Chin
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 

Kathy Hirata Chin
Crowell & Morning

Karen Korematsu
Fred T. Korematsu Institute

Dale Minami
Minami Tamaki LLP 

Peggy Nagae
White Men as Full Diversity Partners

Karen Narasaki
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Judge Marilyn Hall Patel
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (ret.)

Don Tamaki
Minami Tamaki LLP

Interested in continuing the discussion?
Join us for a special session in which our distinguished panel, including members of the coram nobis legal team and the judge who overturned Fred Korematsu’s conviction, will discuss Korematsu and its legacy from their own perspectives:

Session 308 | 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. | Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice: A Panel Discussion
The reenactment performed during Friday’s plenary session tells the story of Fred Korematsu and his fight for justice through narration, reenactment of court proceedings, and historic documents and photographs. Included in the cast are several individuals who play themselves, as well as others who lived through the proceedings as coram nobis team members. This program will build on the themes explored in the case reenactment and explore how the reversal came to be, how race and xenophobia and national security continue to impact our laws, and how we can use the lessons of the past to inform our actions today.

AABANY is also excited to announce that Glenn Magpantay, AABANY LGBT Committee Co-Chair, is slated as a speaker at the lunch plenary session on Saturday, November 9, 2019. See details below.

Saturday, Nov. 9 | 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. | Beyond Marriage Equality: The Next Stage of Inclusion

Lawrence v. Texas opened the door for inclusion for diverse communities, including laying the groundwork for marriage equality to become a right across the country. However, true inclusion is still a work in progress. Federal protections are incomplete. Some states are passing laws that discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, while others expand protections. And others try to find laws that take into account an individual’s and an organization’s religious beliefs. This session will connect the current issues faced by the LGBTQ community to the lived experience of community members and the on-the-ground debates going on in Texas and what attorneys can do in support of inclusion.

Generously supported by Paul Weiss

Moderator:

Angela G. Lim 
Grasshopper Ventures, Group, Inc. and Viz.ai, Inc. 

Speakers:

Alexander L. Chen 
National Center for Lesbian Rights and Harvard Law School

Associate Justice Sabrina Shizue McKenna
Supreme Court of the State of Hawai’i

Glenn Magpantay
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

John Nechman
Katine & Nechman, LLP and South Texas College of Law Houston

Have you registered for the NAPABA Convention? The advance rate deadline is just around the corner! Save up to $150 when you register in advance. Advance rates will only be available until Oct. 28 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

For more information and to register, click here.

In-House Counsel Application Extended until Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. ET

The in-house counsel (IHC) application for the NAPABA Connects Program has been extended until Monday, Aug. 12! NAPABA Connects will take place in Austin, TX at the 2019 NAPABA Convention from Nov. 7-10.  

Overview
NAPABA Connects is an opportunity for law firm Convention sponsors at silver ($10,000) or higher level and solo and small firm ($3,000) level to foster relationships with IHC. All participants are invited to exclusive touch points intended to provide Connects participants with exclusive networking opportunities in an informal social setting during the Convention. Solo and small firm sponsors and gold or higher level sponsors may participate in formal one-on-one meetings to discuss potential work opportunities. All program participants must be registered and attending the NAPABA Convention.    

Not a sponsor? Click here to learn more about partnering with NAPABA!

In-House Counsel Application and Participation
NAPABA will offer participating IHC a registration reimbursement in the amount of $720. Only one IHC from each company may receive a registration reimbursement for conducting two one-on-one meetings and attending one touch point. Reimbursements will be disbursed after the Convention as concluded.

Participants must have outside counsel hiring authority and will be invited to participate in the program only if they are selected by law firm participants for one-on-one meetings. 

Touch Points

  • Friday VIP Sponsor Breakfast | 8-9 am
  • Saturday NAPABA Connects Reception | 5-6 pm

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Early Bird Registration for NAPABA Convention 2019 Now Open

Registration for the 2019 NAPABA Convention is now open! Join NAPABA in Austin, TX, Nov. 7-10, as NAPABA celebrates its 31st anniversary. Register before Aug. 25 to take advantage of NAPABA’s early bird rates. Make sure your NAPABA membership is current for even more savings!

Book Your Hotel

NAPABA offers a room block at the JW Marriott Austin! Take advantage of the $269/night discounted room rate.

Apply for a Scholarship

NAPABA offers scholarships to defray the cost of Convention. Learn more about NAPABA’s scholarships and apply today!

To register and learn more about the NAPABA Convention, please click here. To renew your membership or become a member, please click here.

NAPABA 2018 Officer Election Results and New Call for Nominations

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NAPABA congratulates the newly-elected officers of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2018-19 board year. They will be sworn into office at the 30th Anniversary Gala during the 2018 NAPABA Convention in Chicago, IL.
The following individuals were elected by the NAPABA membership:

  • President-Elect | Bonnie Lee Wolf
  • Vice President for Finance and Development | Courtney Fong*
  • Vice President for Membership | Alen Hsu
  • Vice President for Programs and Operations | Charles Jung
  • Vice President for Communications | Avanti Bakane
  • Treasurer | Gary Zhao
  • Secretary | Jeffrey Javinar

*Courtney Fong has withdrawn his candidacy to be Vice President for Finance and Development. You can read a statement from him here. As a result, the Nominating and Elections Committee is accepting nominations for election as the Vice President for Finance and Development of the NAPABA Board of Governors for the 2018-19 term. Submit a nomination here by October 22 at 5 PM. The updated Elections Timeline for this position is included below.

Oct. 22, 2018: Nominations may be submitted until 5pm ET/2pm PT
Oct. 24, 2018: Vice President for Finance and Development candidates announced and endorsements accepted
Oct. 25, 2018: Election ballot will be distributed to eligible voters by email on this date (Members must have joined or renewed by July 1, 2018, to be eligible to vote.)
Nov. 1, 2018: Candidate endorsements may continue to be submitted until 12pm ET/9am PT on this date. Votes must be cast by 9pm ET/6pm PT on this date in order to be counted
Nov. 2, 2018: Election results will be announced.

Lend Your Expertise to the 2017 NAPABA Convention

Call for Programs
NAPABA is excited to announce the 2017 call for programs, speakers, and plenary topics is now open! We invite all of our members to submit a program proposal and encourage you to present creative and timely legal topics in which you are passionate and experienced. If accepted, your program will be presented at the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. — the largest gathering of Asian Pacific American attorneys in the country.

For more information on how to submit a program proposal, please visit our Call for Programs page. The Call for Programs will close on March 20, 2017, at 5 p.m. EDT and no late submissions will be accepted.

Call for Speakers and Speaker Database
NAPABA is looking for speakers interested in serving on a CLE panel at the 2017 NAPABA Convention. Lend your expertise and add your name to our speaker database! For more information and to join, please visit our Call for Speakers page.

Call for Plenary Topics
Have an idea for a plenary topic? Your idea could be featured and presented during the Convention. For more information and to submit an idea, please visit our Call for Plenary Topics page.

Registration – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Registration – National Asian Pacific American Bar Association