AABANY Descends on Las Vegas for the NAPABA Convention

From Nov. 3 through 6, NAPABA held its National Convention in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, for three days of programming, meetings, plenary sessions and the 34th anniversary Gala capping things off on Saturday night.

AABANY members and friends once again came out in large numbers, with nearly 100 people signed up for AABANY’s WhatsApp group, organized by Co-VP of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong. The group’s members updated each other on programs they planned to attend, made lunch and dinner plans, and connected with each other about various receptions, parties and events around Las Vegas.

Many bonds were made and strengthened among AABANY attendees over the course of the Convention, and many new connections were made with the approximately 2800 registered attendees from around the country.

We congratulate all the awardees and honorees recognized at the Convention, with special shout-outs to the following AABANY honorees:

  • Kathy Hirata Chin, Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award
  • Jeffrey Mok, Best Under 40
  • Christina Lee, Partners Network In-House Counsel Network Diversity Leadership Award

We also congratulate AABANY Platinum Sponsor Allen & Overy on receiving the Law Firm Diversity Award.

The AABANY Trial Reenactment Team presented its latest production, “From ‘Tokyo Rose’ to the ‘China Initiative’: Espionage and AAPIs” on Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, to a capacity audience. We were privileged to be joined by Brian Sun, attorney for Wen Ho Lee, who shared his personal recollections from that landmark case in which a Chinese-American scientist was wrongly accused by the US government of divulging US nuclear secrets to China.

Many AABANY members and leaders spoke on several programs throughout the Convention. If you are among them, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Please send us your photos and, if possible, a short recap about your program. You can send it to main@aabany.org.

Congratulations to Sandra Leung, NAPABA’s new President, and Anna Mercado Clark, NAPABA’s new President-Elect. Both were sworn in by the Hon. Denny Chin, together with the entire NAPABA Board, during Saturday night’s Gala.

Thanks to NAPABA for putting on a great Convention, which included many first-time attendees. By all accounts, everyone had a wonderful time, learned a lot, forged new connections and renewed existing ones. We look forward to more great things to come in the next year!

Announcing NAPABA’s 2022-2023 Board of Governors, with AABANY Member Anna Mercado Clark as President-Elect

NAPABA has announced its 2022-2023 Board of Governors. This board will be sworn in during the 2022 NAPABA Convention Las Vegas, Nov. 3-6. NAPABA’s strength comes from the many volunteers who hold leadership positions across its diverse membership. From its national Board of Governors to its local affiliate leaders, from its substantive committees and affinity network chairs to the chairs of its professional development programs, NAPABA is driven by the expertise, energy, and commitment of its membership. 

AABANY is especially proud of AABANY member and Board officer Anna Mercado Clark for being elected as President-Elect for the 2022-2023 Board of Governors. Anna currently serves as an Officer for AABANY’s Board as Development Director. She was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States as a twelve-year-old, graduating from Fordham Law School before interning for the Hon. Denny Chin. Anna is a partner at Phillips Lytle LLP and an adjunct professor at Fordham Law School. 

2022-2023 NAPABA Board of Governors

Executive Committee 

President: Sandra Leung

President-Elect: Anna Mercado Clark 

Treasurer: Annette Kwok

Secretary: Kristin Haugen

Immediate Past President: A.B. Cruz III

Executive Director: Priya Purandare

Directors 

Director: Angela Lim

Director: Marty Lorenzo

Regional Governors 

Central Regional Governor: Kristy Gonowon

Central California Regional Governor: Jen Won

Eastern California: Albert Montefalcon

Northeast Regional Governor: James Y. Lee

Northeast Regional Governor: Andrew Sarrol

Northern California Regional Governor: Mari Bandoma Callado 

Northwest Regional Governor: Elisa Dozono

Southeast Regional Governor: Zarra Elias

Southern California Regional Governor: Arlene Yang

Southwest Regional Governor: Stacey Cho Hernandez

At-Large Board Members

At-Large Board Member: Gene Kim

At-Large Board Member: Kenjiro LeCroix

At-Large Board Member: Terri Ann Motosue

At-Large Board Member: Vincent Roldan 

At-Large Board Member: Eileen Sullivan 

At-Large Board Member: Qiaojing Ella Zheng

General Counsel

General Counsel: James Kim

NAPABA Presents Its 2022 NAPABA Awards

For over a decade, NAPABA has annually honored outstanding organizations that make an impact in the legal profession and within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

NAPABA is proud to recognize these deserving innovative organizations for the following 2022 NAPABA Awards. All of these organizations will be celebrated at the 2022 NAPABA Convention from November 3-6 in Las Vegas .


Affiliate of the Year Award Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association

The NAPABA Affiliate of the Year Award recognizes outstanding NAPABA affiliates for their best practices and accomplishments in their local communities.

Honoree Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA) is the country’s first AAPI bar association and has created meaningful programs and events for its members as well as for law students and the local community. Learn more about the SCCLA


APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award Yang Law Offices

The NAPABA APA-Owned Law Firm of the Year Award recognizes our membership’s law firms—solo, small, and large—that have achieved prominence and distinction, and have demonstrated a strong commitment to the AAPI community. Honoree Yang Law Offices has shown this commitment through their work across multiple locations in California and internationally. Learn more about Yang Law Offices.


Law Firm Diversity Award Allen & Overy

The NAPABA Law Firm Diversity Award honors law firms that actively, affirmatively, consistently, and enthusiastically recruit, retain, and promote AAPI lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. It celebrates law firm successes in recognizing the potential, supporting the promise, and raising the influence of AAPI lawyers. Honoree Allen & Overy has made diversity, equity, and inclusion one of their strategic priorities — fundamental to the kind of firm they want to be. Learn more about Allen & Overy.

[AABANY congratulates Allen & Overy on this recognition. Allen & Overy received the AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award at the 2022 AABANY Annual Dinner.]


NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Alamdar S. Hamdani for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas

WASHINGTON – Friday [October 14], President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Alamdar S. Hamdani to serve as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas. If confirmed, Hamdani would be the first AAPI to serve as a U.S. attorney in the state of Texas.

“NAPABA applauds the Biden-Harris administration for nominating Alamdar Hamdani to serve as a U.S. attorney,” said A.B. Cruz, acting president of NAPABA. “Mr. Hamdani is a well-qualified candidate who has a long history in public service and strong ties to Houston and its legal communities. 

“There is still a large gap for Asian Americans in the law, with only one Presidentially appointed U.S. attorney out of 94 judicial districts. The U.S. attorney is the chief federal law enforcement officer in their district, and the underrepresentation of AAPIs is concerning, especially as anti-Asian hate continues to deeply affect our community. NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Mr. Hamdani, and Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz for recommending and supporting his nomination. We also encourage Senators to consider recommending qualified AAPI candidates to serve as U.S. attorneys.”

Since 2014, Alamdar Hamdani has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas. Prior to his tenure in the Southern District of Texas, he served as deputy chief of the Counterterrorism Section of the National Security Division at the Department of Justice, and as a trial attorney in the same section. Hamdani has served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and was a founding partner of Hamdani & Simon, LLP. He is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Texas at Austin.

“Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the United States and Texas, with nearly one in five new Texans identifying as Asian American,” said Priya Purandare, executive director of NAPABA. “In the Houston area within the Southern District of Texas, the Asian American population grew by 53 percent in the last decade, and they comprise nearly nine percent of the population. Mr. Hamdani’s nomination is a step in the right direction in ensuring our community is represented. We urge the Senate to quickly confirm him.”

NAPABA Commends Justice Goodwin H. Liu as Recipient ABA Spirit of Excellence Award


WASHINGTONOct. 5, 2022. This week, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession announced California Supreme Court Associate Justice Goodwin H. Liu as a recipient of its 2023 Spirit of Excellence Award. Each year, the ABA honors lawyers who have excelled in their fields and who have demonstrated an abiding commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession with this prestigious distinction.

An accomplished jurist, scholar, and professor, Justice Liu is a nationally recognized expert on constitutional law, education law and policy, implicit bias, and criminal justice reform. A graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Yale Law School, and a former Rhodes Scholar, Justice Liu’s distinguished career includes serving as a former Supreme Court clerk, a key policy advisor at two federal agencies, and as a tenured professor and Associate Dean at the UC Berkeley School of Law. In 2011, Justice Liu was nominated and confirmed as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court.

Justice Liu is a towering figure in the Asian American legal community, and in particular for his groundbreaking work on the Portrait Project, a comprehensive, multi-year, data-driven study of Asian Americans in the law, conducted in partnership with NAPABA, which was a game-changer for raising awareness about the successes, challenges, and obstacles confronting Asian Americans in the legal profession.

“Justice Goodwin Liu has opened doors, broken down barriers, and been an unflinching champion of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, not just for Asian Americans, but lawyers of all backgrounds,” said Acting NAPABA President A.B. Cruz III. “NAPABA is proud of its longstanding partnership with Justice Liu on the Portrait Project, and it was a privilege to nominate him for the ABA’s Spirit of Excellence Award. He is an inspiration for our members and beyond, as a role model for overcoming adversity in the pursuit of excellence in the legal profession.” 

In 2017, Justice Liu was the recipient of the NAPABA President’s Award, given to NAPABA members who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to NAPABA, the legal community, and the greater Asian Pacific American community.

Also receiving the 2023 Spirit of Excellence Award are:

  • Hon. Roger L. Gregory, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit 
  • Reginald M. Turner, Immediate Past President of the ABA
  • Diandra Benally, General Counsel of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

The 2023 Spirit of Excellence Awards will be presented during a ceremony on February 4 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

NAPABA Announces that the 2022 Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition is Seeking Judges and Bailiffs

It is time for the 2022 Tang Moot Court Competition! Organizers are seeking judges for the upcoming moot court regional competition rounds.  Moot court judges must be law school graduates and not affiliated with any student teams competing this year.  

Thank you in advance for supporting the law students and providing them with valuable oral argument training. Please see judging opportunities below and sign up at the link provided.     

For questions, please email thomastangmootcourt@gmail.com.

Regional Competitions via Zoom

The regional competitions will be held online via Zoom on Friday September 30th, Friday October 7th, and Saturday October 8th.  Sign-ups for the Zoom oral arguments are below (please note the applicable time zones for each round):

Friday October 7th and Saturday October 8th, Regionals 2-3 | SIGN UP

We are also seeking bailiffs (law students may volunteer as bailiffs) — please contact thomastangmootcourt@gmail.com if you are interested in serving as a bailiff.

NAPABA Launches New Anti-Bullying Resources for Lawyers & Families

COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the mental health concerns of children and the epidemic of bullying impacting K-12 students across the country. As attorneys, NAPABA members are often asked to serve as a resource for those in need. 
 
ANTI-BULLYING RESOURCE GUIDE
For lawyers, we have created a guide on responding to acts of bullying and harassment in K-12 schools. This guide and accompanying CLE webinar will provide you with model responses and a guide to working with impacted families. We thank our partners at the American Arbitration Association/International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation (AAA/ICDR Foundation) for their support of this project. We thank the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania, the Asian American Psychological Association, Act to Change, and the Sikh Coalition for offering their resources and guidance. 

Download the Guide here.

IN-LANGUAGE ANTI-BULLYING POSTERS
For students and families, we have created a multilingual poster on how to recognize and navigate the impacts of bullying. You can share this resource in your local community, with impacted families and students, and clients. This project was created in partnership with the Asian Pacific Islander Health Forum (APIAHF).  

Download the Toolkit here.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge John Z. Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit


WASHINGTON – 
Today, [Sept. 7], the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge John Z. Lee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Lee is the first Asian American appellate judge to serve on the Seventh Circuit. 

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Lee on his historic confirmation to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit,” said A. B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “Judge Lee is an experienced jurist with a decade of experience as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Moreover, Judge Lee’s story, the son of a coal miner and a nurse who immigrated to the United States when he was only five years old, resonates with many in our community.”

Judge Lee is an active member in the AAPI legal community, serving as a former Board Member of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago Area (AABA Chicago) and continues to be active with both AABA Chicago and NAPABA. He was the President of the Board of Directors for the Coordinated Advice and Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS), a co-founder of the Willow Creek Legal Aid Clinic in Hoffman Estates (a joint program between CARPLS and Willow Creek Church), and the President of the Board of Directors of Asian Human Services. 

In addition to his service as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since 2012, Judge Lee worked in private practice and as a trial attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College.

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Judge Lee and Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth for recommending and supporting his nomination..
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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Arun Subramanian to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York


WASHINGTON – 
Today, [Sept. 2], President Joe Biden nominated Arun Subramanian to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. If confirmed, Subramanian would be the first South Asian American judge on the Southern District of New York.

“NAPABA congratulates Arun Subramanian on his nomination,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “Mr. Subramanian is an experienced trial and appellate attorney with a strong track record of pro bono service. A child of immigrants, he became the first lawyer in his family, and we are proud to see him represent our community. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm him.”

Subramanian is a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP where he chairs the firm’s pro bono practice and focuses on consumer protection, antitrust, commercial class actions, and contract and tort litigation. In 2021, Subramanian was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Evidence. Subramanian clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for Judge Dennis Jacobs, and on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for Judge Gerald E. Lynch. He is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Case Western Reserve University. 

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Arun Subramanian and Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for recommending and supporting his nomination.
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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting APA communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

Important Deadlines Coming Up for the 2022 NAPABA Convention

The Countdown is On!

3 Months Until the 2022 NAPABA Convention! #NAPABA22

Are you ready to join us this November in Las Vegas for the largest annual gathering of Asian American and Pacific Islander legal professionals? This unforgettable event is the opportunity to discover meaningful insights, grow your network, and bolster your legal knowledge alongside diverse thought leaders.

Early Bird Prices End in Two Weeks

Register for the NAPABA Convention by August 23 at 11:59 pm ET for the lowest rate possible and save up to $150 off the cost of the advance registration rate.

To put you in control of your Convention experience, the Plenary Luncheons and the Gala Dinner are available for purchase a la carte–add these ticketed events to your registration cart for an additional fee.

Registration and housing are now connected: unique booking links to NAPABA’s available room blocks are provided in your confirmation email AFTER you register for the Convention.

REGISTER NOW

Convention Scholarship Applications Due Tuesday

The NAPABA Convention offers one of the best values among legal education conferences. To further support our membership, scholarships are available to defray registration, airfare, lodging, and/or ground transportation expenses. Members are urged to apply for scholarships by August 9 at 8 pm ET. Law student scholarships are also available and applications are due September 30.

Learn more about the scholarships and eligibility requirements here.

Have questions or need more information about the Convention and why you should attend? Visit our website or email us.