AABANY’s In-House Counsel Committee and Corporate Law Committee Present 2024 Winter Soiree at Le Chalet at Saks Fifth Avenue

The In-House Counsel Committee and the Corporate Law Committee of AABANY held the 2024 Winter Soiree on Thursday, January 25, 2024, at Le Chalet in Saks Fifth Avenue. This annual event was set against the stunning backdrop of an elegant indoor space and the breathtaking midtown skyline from the balcony, providing a perfect setting for a night to remember.

This Winter Soiree marks the first time we held it in-person, having held a virtual Winter Soiree during the pandemic in 2022. We also moved this event from summer to winter during AABANY’s 2024 fiscal year, so that we did not follow the AABANY dinner in May 2023 with another major event in June, the traditional time when we held our annual soiree for in-house counsel and law firm attorneys.

The Winter Soiree was an invite-only event, open to in-house counsel, law firm attorneys and sponsors of AABANY’s 2023 Annual Dinner and the 2024 Winter Soiree. The event enjoyed the attendance of numerous senior in-house lawyers, including many General Counsels, as well as senior attorneys and partners from law firms, making it an ideal opportunity for networking, reuniting with friends, and making new connections. The diverse group of attendees represented several companies across various industries and top global and regional law firms. We are grateful for the participation of many companies, including the following non-exhaustive list, encompassing a broad range of industries:

  • AIG
  • Bloomberg
  • Christian Dior Couture
  • Con Ed
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corp.
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Neuberger Berman
  • Pfizer
  • Sanofi
  • Taco Bell
  • Televisa/Univision
  • The Walt Disney Co.
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Zurich American Insurance Co.

The event began at 6:30 pm. Guests enjoyed an array of hors d’oeuvres, drinks, wines, and cocktails, accompanied by engaging conversations. Discussions at the soiree covered a wide range of topics, from potential referrals and collaborations to personal interests and hobbies. About an hour into the event,  AABANY’s In-House Counsel Committee Co-Chairs Anushree Bagrodia, David Sohn, and Kazuko Wachter, gave welcoming remarks and spoke about the work of the In-House Counsel Committee and AABANY to advance the legal profession and the AAPI community. Dennis Hopkins, Partner at Perkins Coie, a Platinum sponsor of the Winter Soiree, also addressed the crowd and spoke about the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the long relationship Perkins Coie has had over the years with AABANY. 

AABANY thanks all the Winter Soiree sponsors for helping to make the event possible:

Platinum

  • Broadridge 
  • Perkins Coie

Gold

  • Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • Davis + Gilbert LLP
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
  • Haynes and Boone LLP
  • Jenner & Block LLP
  • Littler Mendelson P.C.
  • Milbank LLP
  • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Silver

  • Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
  • Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone LLP
  • Herrick Feinstein LLP
  • Linklaters LLP
  • Rupp Pfalzgraf LLP
  • Wilson & Chan LLP

AABANY also thanks our 2023 Annual Dinner sponsors that make our year-round programming, including marquee events like the Winter Soiree, possible. For a full listing of all our 2023 Annual Dinner sponsors, go here.

We also appreciate the efforts of the Corporate Law Committee’s Co-Chairs Tracy Feng, Alice Hsu, Edward J. Lee, Vice Chair Ashley Wong, and the student volunteers for their invaluable assistance in helping us before and at the soiree.

Thanks to all who attended, and we hope to see you at next year’s Winter Soiree. To see more photos from the event, go to https://photos.app.goo.gl/UvrKhxuNYV4rE1aj8.

For more information about the In-House Counsel Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/149. For more information about the Corporate Law Committee, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/128.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring Committee Hosts Gathering at The Dawson with Insolvency Bankers and Consultants

AABANY’s Commercial Bankruptcy and Restructuring Committee teamed up with Restructuring Attorneys in New York (“RAINY”) to organize a mixer at The Dawson in midtown Manhattan.  In addition to attorneys, insolvency bankers and consultants from FTI Consulting, AlixPartners, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions were in attendance.  We look forward to more joint events in the future.

The Commercial Bankruptcy & Restructuring Committee was formed in order to raise awareness of bankruptcy related issues to non-bankruptcy practitioners, as well as provide networking opportunities for APA bankruptcy/restructuring professionals. To learn more about the Committee and how you can get involved, click here.

AABANY LGBT Committee Co-Hosts Asian American/South Asian Lawyers Networking Reception 2023

Nearly 50 members of the bar “came out” to celebrate the diversity within the LGBT, Asian American, and South Asian communities with the LGBT Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) and host Linklaters LLP.  A companion reception is planned for Washington DC hosted by Blank Rome LLP on Nov. 16. RSVP here

LGBT Asian American and South Asian attorneys in corporate, commercial, government, and public interest practice gathered to build peer-support and expand their network.  David Lat, Founder, Original Jurisdiction and Above the Law, shared welcoming remarks. Thank you for joining us again.  

Law firm sponsorships will help “Build Back the LGBTQ+ API community Better!”  in collaboration with the Asian American Federation.  Two years of lockdowns, a year of anti-Asian violence, and a record number of state anti-LGBT bills, have stunted the LGBTQ Asian community’s growth. Sponsors will support a series of training workshops for the LGBTQ Asian American community.   Thank you for all your support!

Smashing Good Time: AABANY’s Ping Pong Social at PingPod, presented by Solo and Small Firm Practice, Young Lawyers, and Immigration Law Committees

When it comes to bringing people together for a weekend afternoon of fun, networking, and friendly competition, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) knows how to serve up an ace. On Saturday, October 7, AABANY’s Solo and Small Firm Practice, Young Lawyers, and Immigration Law Committees organized an exciting Ping Pong social event at PingPod on the Lower East Side, and it was an afternoon filled with excitement, camaraderie, and impressive rallies.

Ping Pong enthusiasts from various legal backgrounds gathered at PingPod, each armed with a paddle and ready to showcase their skills. From beginners to seasoned pros, the event welcomed players of all levels. It was a fantastic opportunity for lawyers from both private and public sectors and recent law school graduates to let off some steam and engage in some friendly competition.

Participants also found themselves forging new connections, discussing legal topics, and even making potential career moves between rallies. Ping Pong truly served as the icebreaker, and the event demonstrated how professional connections can be made in the most unexpected settings.

Thank you to everyone for spending their Saturday afternoon with AABANY. Here’s to more exciting events and unforgettable moments brought by AABANY! Special thanks to Yen-Yi Anderson, Co-Chair of the Solo and Small Firm Practice Committee, Ada Wang, Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Committee, and Susan Song, Co-Chair of the Immigration Law Committee, for their hard work planning and organizing this event.

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Second Annual Oyster Happy Hour on September 7

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 [email protected]

AABANY Women’s Committee Hosts Second Annual Ice Cream Social on August 4th

On August 4, 2023, AABANY members gathered on the lawn of Madison Square Park for the second annual Ice Cream Social, presented by AABANY’s Women’s Committee. Organized by Co-Chairs Renee Yao, Wen Zhang, and Jennifer Wu, the event was a massive success. Twenty-nine members attended the event, enjoying ice cream from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. Special thanks goes out to Christina Seid, AABANY member and owner of Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, for providing the delicious ice cream.

On this particular Thursday in August, the city welcomed uncharacteristically beautiful weather, sunlight beaming down on attendees with not a cloud in the sky. Cool breezes throughout the evening helped maintain a pleasant temperature, perfect for an outdoor summer gathering. Attendees snacked on varied selections from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, sampling flavors ranging from chocolate chip to pandan and taro. Jennifer supplemented the ice cream with lemonades from Shake Shack, refreshing and sweet.

While enjoying their ice cream, members struck up conversations with one another, gathering in little clusters all across the bright green lawn. Smiles could be seen on everyone’s faces as they got to know each other, both personally and professionally. Jennifer’s two dogs, Katsu and Mochi, joined in on the fun, playing with each other and the attendees, receiving lots of pats and kisses. The event ended at 7 PM, with attendees regretfully waving their goodbyes as they headed home, hearts warm and stomachs full with delectable ice cream.

We are grateful to the Women’s Committee for hosting this lovely event. In addition, we thank the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for providing us with the tasty ice cream that made this event a success. Lastly, thank you to all of the AABANY members who showed up, sharing your time with us on a busy weekday evening. To learn more about AABANY’s Women’s Committee, click here. To learn more about the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, click here.

Get Involved with AABANY’s New Trusts & Estates Committee

AABANY is pleased to announce the launch of the Trusts & Estates Committee. This new committee serves as a professional and community network for AABANY members and non-members interested in the practice of Trusts & Estates law, which spans trusts, estates, and tax planning to Surrogate’s Court practice and litigation. The Committee is dedicated to providing a platform for networking, mentoring, and professional development, as well as opportunities for public service.

Pang-Mei Natasha Chang, Co-Chair of the Committee, is a member of Dunnington Bartholow & Miller LLP’s estates, trusts and private clients practice group, as well as its international France desk, and charitable, not-for-profit and religious institutions practice groups. She counsels both domestic and international individuals, businesses and charitable organizations in estate and trusts planning, and wealth transfer planning. She represents clients of all ages, and advises in insurance planning, IRA/retirement benefit planning and the use of trusts for not only estate planning but asset protection. She also serves on the Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee of the New York City Bar Association, where she has participated as a writer and presenter. 

Yi W. Stewart, the other Co-Chair of the Committee, works at the firm Farrell Fritz as a trusts and estates litigation associate. She performs pretrial discovery, conducts legal research, and prepares motions and memoranda of law for litigated Surrogate’s Court proceedings. Prior to joining Farrell Fritz, Yi served as associate law clerk to the Hon. Rita Mella for three years in New York County Surrogate’s Court, where she assisted the Surrogate with decisions on typical contested probate and accounting matters, complex issues of will construction and reformation, as well as novel issues such as a fiduciary’s authority to administer digital assets stored in Google and Apple accounts.

To contact the Committee Chairs for this Committee, click “Contact Us” at the top of the AABANY website and fill out the form, and tell us in the Comment field what in particular you would like to know about the Committee and its activities.

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Meet the Board Series Event Featuring President Karen Kim and Board Director Won Shin

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.

AABANY Labor & Employment Law Hosts Kick-Off Meeting at Littler Mendelson, P.C.


The Labor & Employment Law (“L&E”) Committee of AABANY held its kick-off meeting on the evening of June 8, 2023 in person at Littler Mendelson, P.C.’s New York City office.  20 people attended the kick-off meeting: practicing attorneys (including the L&E Committee chairs), law students, and recent law school graduates.  At this kick-off meeting, the L&E Committee chairs and all attendees introduced themselves to the rest of the group; firm attorneys, in-house counsel, a mediator/arbitrator, and other legal professionals shared their respective experiences in the profession to provide some advice to the law students, recent graduates, and junior attorneys in the room.  Following this initial portion of the kick-off event, all attendees networked and conversed over light refreshments for the rest of the evening.

The L&E Committee will be creating more networking opportunities by hosting more meetings, informational panels or sessions, and social events throughout the rest of the year.  The next event is currently being planned.  Once the details for the next L&E Committee event are finalized, we will update the AABANY calendar and send email updates.  If you are interested in attending our future L&E Committee events (which are sometimes also co-hosted by other AABANY committees), please check AABANY’s calendar and update your email preference in your account to receive the L&E Committee’s emails. 

For more information on the L&E Committee, click here.  Additionally, if you have any ideas or suggestions for an event through the L&E Committee, please fill out AABANY’s “Contact Us” form.

AABANY Student Outreach Committee Presents – Pre-OCI Series: How to Navigate Biglaw Firms

On July 5, 2022, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee hosted a virtual panel discussion to provide advice for the On-Campus Interviewing (OCI) process and biglaw firm recruiting. The event, part of the Student Outreach Committee’s Pre-OCI Series, ran from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm on Zoom. The panel was moderated by Student Outreach Committee Co-Chair Long Dang (Columbia Law School ‘22, Summer Associate ‘21 – Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP) and featured the following panelists:

  • Charlene Hong (Cornell Law School ‘23, Summer Associate – Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz)
  • Victor Roh (Harvard Law School ‘21, Consultant – Boston Consulting Group)
  • Sharon Yang (Fordham University School of Law ‘23, Summer Associate – O’Melveny & Myers LLP)

Panelists discussed strategies for structuring a successful bid list, how to ask for interview opportunities, and shared their insights on networking. The main takeaways included prioritizing individual values, building professional relationships early on, and being proactive with respect to reaching out to recruiters and upperclassmen. The discussion was followed by a Q&A session, where audience members asked questions about extracurricular activities and tips on answering common interview questions. Panelists graciously stayed after the event’s end time to answer additional questions from the engaged audience. 

AABANY thanks the Student Outreach Committee for organizing the event and all panelists, moderators, and students who attended. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, please visit https://www.aabany.org/page/121. Upcoming events in this series include “How to Get a Small/Mid-Sized Firm Job” on July 20, 2022, and “How to Get an In-House Job” on July 21, 2022.