NAPABA Hosts Part 2 of its Summer Judicial Series, “APA Judges on the Federal Bench”

On May 7, AABANY co-sponsored a panel of Asian Pacific American judges as part two of NAPABA’s Summer Judicial Series. The event was hosted by the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). In addition to AABANY, the event was co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (APABA-DC), the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund (AEF), the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA), the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA), and the South Asian Bar Association of Georgia (SABA-GA).

In honor of Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month as well as to encourage the growing number of young Asian American lawyers aspiring to the bench, GAPABA and NAPABA organized the panel to share the stories and careers of trailblazing APA judges. The panelists were AABANY member Hon. Denny Chin, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Hon. James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, Hon. Sri Srinivasan, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, Hon. Jennifer Choe-Groves of the U.S. Court of International Trade, Hon. Theodore D. Chuang, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, and Hon. Lucy H. Koh, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The panel was moderated by GAPABA Board Member Michael C. Wu and Byung Jin (BJay) Pak, Partner at Alston & Bird. GAPABA President and Of Counsel at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Angela Hsu, GAPABA President-Elect and Associate General Counsel at Delta Air Lines Timothy Wang, and GAPABA Communications Co-Chair and Law Clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas Prathyusha Chenji were also in attendance.

Michael and BJay posed several questions to the panelists regarding their backgrounds and experience on the bench. All of the panelists expressed how their upbringing in the U.S. made them keenly aware of their “otherness” and in some cases, motivated them towards public service. Judge Chin (a former AABANY President, 1992-93) shared his background as an immigrant from Hong Kong and his experience growing up in New York City. Judge Chin also noted that, as one of the few Asians in his school and at his work, he was constantly under scrutiny and pressure to perform well. “I felt like Yao Ming,” he stated. Several panelists also reported that they still faced microaggressions in their professional lives, despite their position as judges.

When asked about their career paths and perspectives on diversity on the bench, all of the panelists described varied experiences in private practice, the legislative branch, and executive branch of the government before becoming a federal judge. Many of the panelists also expressed how diversity in the federal government could only lead to better and more informed decisions on behalf of the American people. Many of the panelists also shared their own stories about how they were inspired and encouraged by seeing diverse individuals serving in government and in public positions. All of the judges expressed how the justice system in America ought to be color blind and that all individuals should have the right to a fair trial regardless of their background. Judge Chin also discussed the importance of community and unity despite having diverse perspectives. When asked to respond to Supreme Court Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor’s discussion on the threat of disunity to national security, Judge Chin concurred, pointing out how even after President Biden’s election, Americans have yet to listen to each other without politicizing every single issue.

The moderators then closed the panel with several questions about advice any of the judges might have for young attorneys, law clerks, and others aspiring to become judges themselves. The panelists expressed how being a judge begins with being a good attorney. All of the judges emphasized the importance of relationships and teamwork, of maintaining a good reputation, and of being respectful and professional to all.

AABANY thanks NAPABA for hosting this series and also thanks the justices for their trailblazing example to the APA community. To watch a recording of the event, click here.

NAPALSA Conference Call for Panelists, Nov. 2-5

NAPALSA Conference Call for Panelists, Nov. 2-5


Apply to be a NAPALSA Mentor!

NAPALSA is looking for NAPABA members to serve as mentors for NAPALSA’s new Mentorship Program. The NAPALSA and NAPABA communities brim with passionate, generous, and tenacious individuals. This year, NAPALSA will be selecting and pairing a small group of NAPABA and NAPALSA members together to participate in a nationwide mentorship program that highlights NAPALSA students’ ambition for greatness and NAPABA members’ wisdom and goodwill.

As a mentor, you will guide current students as they develop crucial networking skills, plan their career, and navigate the legal world. Mentees will be expected to contact their mentor(s) at least two times before the NAPABA Convention, but are encouraged to reach out more frequently. As such, mentors will be expected to be accessible and receptive to the student. All mentorship pairs will be expected to attend a the Mentorship Gathering during the NAPABA Convention.

To be considered as a mentor, please fill out an application form here. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, May 5, 2017, at 7 p.m. EDT.

For more information about this mentorship program, please contact [email protected].

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 |


DEADLINE | May 5, 2017, at 7 p.m. EDT

The National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) is currently seeking interested speakers for panels to be presented during the 2017 NAPALSA Conference taking place during the 2017 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 2-5. Lend your expertise to a panel and provide real world knowledge and guidance to current law students!

Since 2002, the NAPALSA Conference has taken place in conjunction with the NAPABA Convention. Law students have the opportunity to organize their own panels catered to law students as well as participate in the general NAPABA programming. This partnership provides law students the chance to further hone their skills and learn and network with current attorneys from diverse sectors.

If you are interested in serving on a NAPALSA panel, please complete an application form here. For questions regarding the NAPALSA Conference programming, please contact Gisela Camba at [email protected].

The deadline for applications is Friday, May 5, 2017, at 7 p.m. EDT.  

Did you know that the NAPABA Convention offers programming for current and prospective law students?

National Asian Pacific American Pre-Law Conference | Friday, Nov. 4 | 12–5 p.m.
The National Asian Pacific American Pre-Law Conference offers prospective law students the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the law school admissions process and the legal profession. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with current law students, admissions professionals, and attorneys in various practice areas. For more information on the pre-law conference and to register, please visit our website. Registration for the conference is free and will close on Oct. 21.

NAPABA is also offering scholarships to pre-law attendees to defray the cost of travel and lodging. Scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated financial need and interest in attending the conference. Application for the scholarship is available on our website and will close on Oct. 31.

NAPALSA Conference | Nov. 3–6
Since 2002, the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) Conference occurs in conjunction with the NAPABA Convention. Law students have the opportunity to attend workshops and events specifically catered to law students, as well as workshops and events at the general NAPABA Convention. The partnership gives law students the opportunity to develop skills as law students, future attorneys, and the chance network with and learn from current attorney from various sectors. Register for the NAPALSA Conference here.    

For questions/inquiries regarding the conference, please email Martina Chun at [email protected].

Registration for the 2016 NAPABA Convention will close on Oct. 21. NAPABA members save an additional $200 off the non-member rate. Not a member? Become a member today and save!

Check out NAPABA Saturday programming featuring 18 CLE breakouts and two NAPALSA sessions!


  • Women’s Leadership Network Breakfast & Plenary Session | Asian Pacific Americans in the Media
    Popular media has an extensive reach into the American social fabric, shaping the cultural imagination and social framework in the present and for generations to come. Stereotypical depictions of Asian Pacific Americans are both perpetuated and challenged by the media, which plays a critical role in defining social norms that affect the status of women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups in society. This plenary promises to inspire as actors and legal scholars share experiences, challenges, and solutions surrounding issues of representation, diversity, and equity in the media.
  • Luncheon & Plenary Session | Informal Conversation with Asian Pacific American Judges
    Get a rare opportunity to listen in as four groundbreaking Asian Pacific American federal judges talk candidly and informally about life on the bench, what it means to be an Asian Pacific American judge, their path to the bench, and tips that these distinguished individuals have for both litigators and aspirants to the bench.  Representing geographic, racial/ethnic, gender, and political diversity, this session promises to provide an interesting and thought-provoking look into the progress made by Asian Pacific Americans in the judicial system.
  • Basketball Tournament
  • Networking Receptions
  • Intellectual Property Committee Reception generously supported by IMS ExpertServices and Mayer Brown
  • International Law Committee Reception
  • 28th Anniversary Gala
    Join us for NAPABA’s most anticipated event of the night! Black-tie optional and traditional/ethnic formal attire encouraged.  

First time in San Diego? Take a tour of the city through one of the activities below!

  • AleSmith Brewing Company Tour & Tasting | $30
    San Diego is one of the largest craft beer capitals in the U.S. Find out why with a tour and tasting at San Diego’s second oldest and award winning brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company. AleSmith has been recognized by consumers and critics alike as one of the world’s foremost craft brewing companies behind accolades that include medals won at prestigious national and international beer competitions as well as being named Small Brewing Company of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. (Tour includes transportation and tasting tickets).
  • Old Town Trolley Tour | $30
    Voted the “best way to see the city,” this private Old Town Trolley Tour will show you all the key sights during your limited time in San Diego. Hop aboard to explore such places as Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Coronado Island, Little Italy, the Gaslamp District and more. (Transportation provided.)
  • San Diego Film Festival Film Screening | $25
    NAPABA has partnered with the San Diego Asian Film Festival to sponsor a film screening. Film TBD. (Transportation provided.)
  • Walking Tour of Historic Balboa Park | $50
    Take an escorted historical walking tour at Balboa Park in San Diego. Balboa Park is a national treasure just waiting to be explored. The park, named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, boasts trees planted by famous American gardener, Kate Sessions. Placed in reserve in 1835, it is one of the oldest sites in the U.S. dedicated to public recreational usage. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops, and restaurants as well as the San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. (Transportation is included; comfortable walking shoes are suggested).

For a complete schedule of our Saturday programming and a look at what the rest of Convention has to offer, view the Convention agenda here.

Early-bird registration for the 2016 NAPABA Convention will close on Aug. 26. NAPABA members save an additional $200 off the non-member rate. Not a member? Become a member today and save!

Press Release: New York Asian American Law Students Excel at National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention in New Orleans

November 18, 2015  

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(718) 228-7206

NEW YORK – November 18, 2015 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to congratulate Christina Nguyen and Azizah Ahmad on their recent honors from the NAPABA Law Foundation (“NLF”), which were presented on November 7, 2015 at the NAPABA Rising Convention at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, Louisiana. NAPABA is the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and it established the NLF in 1994. The NLF awards scholarships on a nationwide basis to law students who demonstrate a commitment to serve or contribute to the Asian Pacific American community as future leaders. We also congratulate Katherine Zhang, who was elected as Northeast Regional Director of the National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (“NAPALSA”) at the NAPABA Rising Convention.

Christina Nguyen, a third-year law student at St. John’s University School of Law and former AABANY Legal Intern, received one of the two UPS/NLF Gold Mountain Scholarships for $5,000, awarded to law students in the Asian Pacific American community who are the first in their family to go to law school. Azizah Ahmad, first-year law student at Brooklyn Law School and former Senior Programs Associate for NAPABA, received one of two Anheuser-Busch/NLF Presidential Scholarships of $7,500, awarded to the law students who demonstrate particularly outstanding leadership potential to serve the Asian Pacific American community, as selected from all of the scholarship applicants by the NLF in consultation with the President of NAPABA. Katherine Zhang, who was elected as the Northeast Regional Director of NAPALSA, is a second-year law student and the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (“APALSA”) at Brooklyn Law School.

“We at AABANY are proud of Christina and Azizah to have their achievements and leadership potential recognized by the NLF with well-deserved scholarships,” said Yang Chen, Executive Director of AABANY. “We also congratulate Katherine for her election to Northeast Regional Director of NAPALSA. All three students exhibit traits that will serve them well as future leaders in the legal profession, both within the Asian Pacific American community and beyond. Congratulations to Christina, Katherine and Azizah.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to [email protected].

Correction: A previous version of this press release erroneously identified the scholarship that Christina Nguyen won as the $2,000 NLF Scholarship. This was incorrect. She received one of the two $5,000 UPS/NLF Gold Mountain Scholarships. 

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).


Additional information about AABANY is available at

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Call for Attorneys: Help Out NAPALSA at the NAPABA Conference

Interview/Resume Review Program

NAPALSA is seeking attorneys to participate in their mock interview/resume review program during the NAPABA Conference in New Orleans! Interested attorneys will be matched one-on-one with students from around the country for a short 20-30 minute mock interview session. Any questions about the program may be directed to [email protected]. Please fill out the form if you are interested in participating.

Law Student Eight Minute Mentoring

NAPABA attorneys – please register to attend the mentoring program with law students taking place on Saturday, Nov. 7, from 4-5 p.m. This important program and benefit to law students is part of the Convention registration form.

NAPALSA Conference: Call for Speakers

The National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) Conference will be held in conjunction with the 2015 NAPABA Convention, November 5-8. Maria Deguzman, the NAPALSA Conference Committee Chair is very thankful for all of the members who have already volunteered to participate in this year’s conference. However, NAPALSA is still seeking experienced attorneys to speak about getting involved in social justice issues and doing social justice work.

All interested members should e-mail Maria Deguzman at [email protected].


The National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) has again partnered with NAPABA this year to create a unique networking and professional event for law students to interact and learn from current Asian Pacific American legal practitioners. NAPALSA is now seeking attorneys from all sectors to volunteer for Resume Reviews on Friday, November 7, and Mock Interviews on Saturday, November 8.

The purpose of these programs is to enhance and improve students’ professional development skills for the current job market. Each session would allow law students to have a one-on-one experience with an attorney for fifteen minutes either to have their resume critiqued or to conduct an interview. If you are interested in participating in the resume reviews, mock interviews, or both, please email your bio to NAPALSA Conference Chair Jeanna Lee at [email protected] by September 22, 2014.