AABANY Members: Join Directory of Neutrals from Underrepresented Communities

The New York City Bar Association ADR Committee and New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section are committed to increasing the selection of ADR professionals from historically underrepresented communities. To promote this goal, the two groups are compiling a directory of association members who are ADR professionals and self-identify as a member of a historically underrepresented community including but not limited to: a person of color, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, as having a disability, or identify as a woman.

The directory is being built in partnership with the following bar associations (list in formation): The Asian American Bar Association of New York, The Caribbean Attorney Network, The Dominican Bar Association, The Hispanic National Bar Association, NY Chapter, The Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, The Metropolitan Black Bar Association, The Puerto Rican Bar Association, and The Women’s Bar Association.

If you are a City Bar member, AABANY member, or member of any of the partnering bar associations, and self-identify as a member of a historically underrepresented community and wish to be included in the directory, please fill out the following survey on or before July 23, 2021.

If you have any questions regarding this initiative or if you are a bar association leader and wish to participate in this initiative, you may contact Robyn Weinstein at robyn_weinstein@nyed.uscourts.gov or Catherine Carl at ccarl@nysba.org

AABANY Member Profile: Vincent T. Chang Becomes First AAPI President of NYCLA

Vincent T. Chang, active member of AABANY since 2000 and former AABANY President in 2007, was inducted as the first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) on May 28, 2021. In his new role, Vince is prepared to lead NYCLA in supporting diverse communities, reaching out to more young attorneys and law students, and closing the justice gap to serve those in the community who are most in need.

Since high school, Vince gravitated towards pursuing a career in the legal profession. Involved in both his high school and college debate teams, Vince found overlapping aspects between debate and law. In presenting an argument, he noticed both involve research, assembly of evidence, and oral presentation. After graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School, he clerked for the Honorable Robert Krupansky of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before joining Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in 1989. Being familiar with litigation from his experience in debate and serving as a judicial clerk in a Federal appellate court, Vince chose to practice in litigation. Currently, Vince is a Litigation Partner at Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch LLP in New York specializing in complex commercial litigation matters in the financial industry, including investment banking, hedge funds, and mortgage backed securities.

Outside of his work at the law firm, Vince is an active member of numerous bar associations and organizations, and has served and continues to serve in various leadership positions. To name a few, Vince previously served on the New York State Bar Association Committee of Bar Leaders, on the Board of Directors at Legal Services NYC, and is currently the Vice President of the Asian American Law Fund of New York. Although he might be affectionately called a “Bar Junkie,” Vince did not participate in bar association work until later on in his career.

The first bar association Vince joined was AABANY, and he appreciated both the social and intellectual aspects of the association. He enjoyed the opportunity to learn about different areas of law while also being able to network and meet prominent lawyers. One of his fondest memories of serving as President of AABANY in 2007 was hosting the Annual Dinner because it was a rare event for 500 to 600 AAPI lawyers, including General Counsels and Judges, to all gather in the same room in New York City. This was especially significant because at the time there were at most 400 members in AABANY compared to the 1,500 members AABANY has now.

At AABANY, Vince also played a prominent role in organizing the AABANY Trial Reenactments. With a goal to educate lawyers and the public about the notable trials and cases in U.S. history involving AAPIs, Vince assisted Judge Denny Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin to develop scripts for the productions. Since 2007, Vince has starred as a cast member in numerous reenactments at the annual NAPABA conventions and at other events. He most recently played Fred Korematsu in the “Fred Korematsu and His Fight For Justice” reenactment in November 2019 at the NAPABA convention.

Today, Vince is the first AAPI President of NYCLA, which was the first bar association to admit women and lawyers of color into its membership. He views his role as both an honor and a serious responsibility—an honor because past presidents include esteemed individuals and a responsibility because of his duty to represent AAPIs and serve as a role model. At a time when diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the forefront of many bar associations’ and law firms’ missions, NYCLA plans to be more interactive with young lawyers, especially diverse attorneys, by reaching out to law schools, affinity bar groups, and law firms. Vince also plans for NYCLA to remain relevant on public policy issues and respond to them in a timely manner. He hopes that “taking positions that affect diverse communities will make them notice and realize NYCLA is on their side.”

A common theme of Vince’s work is the pursuit of justice to not only improve the legal profession, but to also improve the quality of legal representation for individuals in the community. He has served on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary to review federal judicial nominees; sat on a NYCLA panel at a public hearing to address the impact of budget cuts on the Judiciary; served on the Disciplinary Committee for the First Department to prosecute disciplinary complaints against lawyers in Manhattan; and worked on other initiatives to minimize the justice gap. Vince plans to continue working on this at NYCLA as “access to justice is a hallmark of what bar associations and NYCLA are aiming for.” One program NYCLA has planned is to support attorneys who represent indigent persons through the Assigned Counsel Plan (18b). Under the proposed program, by increasing the rate at which assigned counsel are paid, there will hopefully be an increase of lawyers interested in doing 18b work, which will further decrease the access-to-justice gap. NYCLA also hopes to revive their Special Masters Program to provide an opportunity for young attorneys to gain experience working with the court system, and to close the gap between court workload and staff gap. At NYCLA’s AAPI Heritage Month Celebration on June 2nd, Vince vowed to continue to uphold NYCLA’s focus on sustaining the rule of law including the importance of practicing diversity, equity and inclusion in furtherance of fairness and justice for all.

Please join AABANY in congratulating Vince on becoming the first AAPI President of NYCLA and for doing all the work he does to support communities. We wish Vince great success in his vital new role as NYCLA President! To learn more about NYCLA, visit its website at https://www.nycla.org/. AABANY members who join NYCLA for the first time are eligible to receive 50% off their annual dues the first year and 25% off the second year. For more details, click here.

AABANY Congratulates Kenneth Chin as Recipient of the NYSBA 2020 Diversity Trailblazer Award

AABANY congratulates Kenneth Chin on being presented with the New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Trailblazer Award at the John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award Ceremony on Jan. 27, 2020 at the New York Hilton Midtown. Ken is a Partner and the Banking and Finance Chair at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and longstanding member of AABANY. The award recognizes Ken for his transformative work to promote and achieve diversity and inclusion at his firm and in New York’s Asian American community.

Read our full press release here.

Here is the intro video for Glenn Lau-Kee when he was honored back in April during the Museum of Chinese in America’s Celebration of Community Heroes. The video mentions Glenn’s leadership as AABANY President (1997-98) and as the first Asian American President of the New York State Bar Association (2014-15). AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen appears in the video, along with other community leaders, to salute Glenn and his contributions to not just the Asian American community but the larger community as well. Thank you, Glenn, for all that you do. You are truly an inspiration to us all and a genuine Community Hero. Congratulations, again!

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK HONORED WITH BAR LEADERS INNOVATION AWARD FROM NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 30, 2017

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director

(212) 332-2478

New York – January 30, 2017 – The Asian American Bar Association
of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that it was honored with a 2016 Bar
Leaders Innovation Award for its Seventh Annual Fall Conference: Speak Up | Rise Up |
Lift Up. The award was bestowed
by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Committee for Bar Leaders of New
York State, at the NYSBA Annual Meeting held at the Midtown Hilton in
Manhattan, during the final day of the conference on January 27.

According to NYSBA, “the award is presented in statewide
recognition of local, minority, ethnic, specialty, special purpose bar
associations, and the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York for outstanding
service to the public and the profession through innovative projects and programs
that serve to enhance public understanding of the law, advance and promote the
work of the legal profession, and support the best interests of the public.”
AABANY received its honor in the category of medium-sized bar associations (500-1,999
members). Other honorees included the Association of Black Women Attorneys, the
Dominican Bar Association, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Women’s
Bar Association of the State of New York, and the Caribbean Attorneys Network.

AABANY’s Seventh Annual Fall Conference took place on September 24,
2016 at the New York offices of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
LLP. As a primarily volunteer-driven organization with about 1,100
members, the 2016 Annual Fall Conference attracted more than 400 attendees. The
Conference offered 19 separate CLE and non-CLE programs, the second annual
Diversity Career Fair & Expo, Pitch Sessions, Judiciary Bootcamp and Group
Mentoring. Building on past successes, AABANY tackled each aspect of this
year’s conference with an innovative approach and an eye towards impact. The
Fall Conference accomplished many objectives: giving important updates on the
hottest legal trends, establishing a leadership pipeline to both the top of
AABANY’s organization and the top of the profession, providing a forum for
meaningful business and personal connections to be made, and exposing
participants to different career options in New York.

“On behalf of AABANY, we
thank NYSBA’s Committee for Bar Leaders of New York State for this important
award and its recognition of our innovative efforts to engage our membership and
the larger legal community to which it belongs,” said AABANY
President-elect Dwight Yoo, Partner at Skadden, Arps. “Organizing and
presenting this conference for the seventh consecutive year called upon
tremendous team work among AABANY’s leaders, members and supporters. This award
was truly earned by the talents and energies of all who participated in it. We
are humbled and pleased to receive this honor.” 

For more information, please
contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any
inquiries to main@aabany.org.

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).

###

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission – Newsletter June 2016

Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission – Newsletter June 2016