Thanks to the Volunteers at the April Queens Pro Bono Clinic in Flushing 

On Wednesday, April 10th, AABANY Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee hosted their Queens Pro Bono Clinic at the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) Community Center in Flushing. With the help of AABANY, PBCS, and AAFE staff and volunteers, 22 clients were assisted with housing, immigration, and employment issues.   

One of the clients paid $300 to an attorney to help her write a letter to management regarding a bed bug infestation matter. For someone with young children and a large family, the legal expense of $300 is financially burdensome. A housing attorney volunteer referred her to free legal services and advised her to document the situation and mobilize neighboring tenants to seek relief from the landlord. She was extremely grateful that the PBCS Committee, through the Pro Bono Clinic, offers free legal consultation and referral services. 

In another case, a client came to discuss student loans and consumer debt and thought that her only option was bankruptcy. After discussing the NYS Exempt Income Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and specific student loan forgiveness options, she felt relieved that she had more choices and greatly appreciated the information she received. 

Here are some clients’ responses: 

“Perfect management. Impressive lawyers.”

“Excellent! Thumbs up for Ms. May Wong.” 

Please join us at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic on May 15, 2024, at AAFE Community Center, 111 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002. Sign up here by May 10 to volunteer:  https://forms.gle/SD2VMY8X6yE4vsxW9.

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming  Bring-Your-Own-Lunch (BYOL) Sidebar Meeting to discuss updates on the law, common issues asked at the Pro Bono Clinics, and other miscellaneous topics, please contact [email protected].  

Thank you to the volunteers and community partners for supporting the Queens Pro Bono Clinics!

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Shadowers
Beatrice LeongJennifer Shi
Eugene KimJing Liang
Gary YeungJuliet Romero
Kevin HsiShi Tang
Lina LeeYuhan Chen
May WongNuala Naranjo (AAFE)
Richard InInaki Herrera (AAFE)
Shirley LuongGabriel Hisugan (AAFE)
Willow Liu

Thank You to the Volunteers at the March Pro Bono Clinic in Brooklyn

On March 9, 2024, the AABANY Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee held its Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Brooklyn Community Services Center, the first Brooklyn clinic of the year. Beginning at 12:30, attorneys, interpreters, and other volunteers met with community members who presented legal issues pertaining to immigration, criminal, divorce, and housing law. 

Thanks to the efforts of volunteer interpreters, the majority of whom were law students and recent JD graduates, the Pro Bono Clinic was able to meet with Spanish and Mandarin-speaking clients with limited English proficiency. This unique aspect of the clinic allowed our volunteers to overcome language barriers, enabling clients to express and understand their matters with greater ease. They also had the assistance of a volunteer attorney with criminal law experience providing legal advice on the two criminal cases presented. One client traveled from Warwick, NY to seek legal advice. Clients whose matters required the retention of an attorney were referred to AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS), which connects clients to qualified lawyers within AABANY’s panel of attorneys. 

The PBSC Committee would like to thank the CPC, Councilmember Alexa Avilés, State Senator Senator Iwen Chu, Councilmember Justin Brannan, and all of their Brooklyn community partners and volunteers for joining them at the Brooklyn Pro Bono Legal Clinic. 

Please consider joining the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic on April 17th, 2024 at AAAFE Community Center 111 Norfolk St New York, New York 10002. Although volunteer registration is closed, you can email [email protected] if you are still interested in volunteering at the clinic on 4/17. 

Feel free to check out www.probono.aabany.org for more information about upcoming legal clinics. 

Thank you, everyone! 

Volunteer AttorneysInterpreters & Shadowers
Andrew WuKaila Chen
Anna ChenJialin Zhu
Beatrice LeongJuliet Romero
Francis ChinLucy Liu
Kwok Kei NgNandar Win Kerr
Johnny ThachYiming (Roselyn) Chen
May WongWillow Liu
Megan GaoYiyang (Leo) Shen
Victoria ChengLi Zhi Lin – CPC
Yan SinJenny Lin – CPC
Maver Monclez – CPC

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic in November

On November 15th, 2023, AABANY held its Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic at the AAFE (Asian Americans for Equality) Community Center, at 111 Norfolk Street. Our devoted volunteers gave up their Wednesday evening to give back to our community, providing free legal services and language assistance to all who came into the clinic. Volunteer interpreters and attorneys helped clients resolve a variety of issues, in the areas of housing, immigration, and civil practice.

Special thanks to the Student Outreach Committee for their postering campaign and passing out the lovely flyers which Mayer Brown printed for us! The majority of the 18 clients seen indicated in their intake forms that they came because of the flyers posted in stores, local libraries, and streets.  

Though AABANY attorneys assisted with a range of interesting cases, one notable situation involved a client who sought advice on how to deal with an unresponsive attorney representing his case for unpaid wages. The litigant was represented by counsel, and AABANY attorneys couldn’t provide a second opinion about the case. Nonetheless, the volunteers provided a listening ear, carefully evaluating the client’s situation before responding with helpful advice. The attorneys advised the client to consider reaching out to the NYS Dept of Labor to file a claim and seek assistance. Moreover, they suggested the client explore the Attorney Fee Dispute Resolution Program, which provides low-cost arbitration hearings as an alternative to protracted court battles. Ultimately, this case demonstrates AABANY attorneys’ commitment to empowering clients with accessible avenues for justice. The client departed the clinic content, having obtained valuable and satisfactory advice. 

As always, AABANY thanks our Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, AAFE, our community partners, and our dedicated team of volunteers for their continued efforts and support. We would like to recognize the following individuals, for supporting AABANY at Wednesday’s clinic:

Volunteer Attorneys:

  • Casey M. Lee
  • Francis Chin
  • May Wong
  • Yan Sin
  • Yen-Yi Anderson

Interpreters and Shadowers:

  • Angela Zhao
  • Daniel Kang
  • I-Kai Lee
  • Jieman Tan
  • Wendy Xia
  • Wei Huang
  • Yiming (Roselyn) Chen
  • Yuchen Zheng

AAFE:

  • Jiwon Youn
  • Elton Ye
  • Ling Ren

For any volunteers that were unable to make it on Nov. 18th, we hope that you will be able to join us at the next Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic, taking place on December 2, 2023 at CPC Brooklyn Community Services. For more information, please click here.

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic in October

On October 18th, 2023, AABANY held its Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic at the AAFE (Asian Americans for Equality) Community Center, at 111 Norfolk Street. Our dedicated volunteers gathered on Wednesday evening to provide invaluable, free legal services to the community. The clinic was met with a large number of volunteers, eager to give back to the New York AAPI community. Volunteer interpreters and attorneys met with clients, discussing a range of issues, encompassing family, immigration, and employment law.

AABANY would like to thank our Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, AAFE, our community partners, and our hard-working volunteers for giving us their time and energy. Our success could not be possible without your support. AABANY hopes to continue making a positive impact on the community and providing much-needed legal services to those in need. We extend our sincere gratitude towards the following individuals:

Volunteer Attorneys:

  • Anna Wang
  • Beatrice Leong
  • Helen Lee
  • Hongye Mao
  • Francis Chin
  • Menglong (Anthony) Zhu
  • Osamu Watanabe
  • Tiange (Tim) Chen
  • Wenhsien Cheng
  • Xue Luan
  • Yan Lian Kuang-Maoga
  • Yan Sin
  • Yang Xu
  • Yi Stewart

Interpreters and Shadowers:

  • Cecilia Yang
  • Gaohany Guo
  • I-Kai Lee
  • Jieman Tan
  • Justin Lee
  • Ruo Yang
  • Shi Tang
  • Suzie Yu
  • Yiming (Roselyn) Chen
  • Yu-Syuan Huang
  • Yuwen Long

AAFE:

  • Elton Ye
  • Ling Ren

Once again, AABANY thanks all the volunteers, AAFE, community partners, and the PBCS Committee who made this Pro Bono Clinic possible. Please join the next Queens Pro Bono Clinic taking place on November 1st at One Flushing Community Center. For more information, please click here.

Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Holds First Bring Your Own Lunch Sidebar on Sept. 28

The Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Commmittee is launching a monthly Bring Your Own Lunch (BYOL) Sidebar Meeting, on Thursdays. The first one was held over Zoom on September 28. The PBCS Committee thanks Trusts & Estates Committee Co-Chairs Pang-Mei (P.M.) Natasha Chang and Yi Stewart for speaking at the inaugural event.

At the clinics, the PBCS Committee has been seeing more and more clients asking questions about estate planning. The attendees had the opportunity to discuss issues generally asked, such as setting up trusts vs. wills, spousal elective share, advanced directives, guardianships, and intestacy vs. probate.

For this area of practice, one should be familiar with the laws under EPTL and SCPA. To learn more about the Trusts & Estates Committee and how you can get more involved, sign up for their upcoming meeting on October 4 here.

The next BYOL Sidebar is on October 12, 2023 at 1pm. Please sign up here.

The next pro bono clinic is on October 14, 2023 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm. Please sign up here to volunteer.

To learn more about the PBCS Committee, go to probono.aabany.org.

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic in August

On August 5th, 2023, AABANY held its Brooklyn Pro Bono Legal Clinic at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) Brooklyn Community Services Center. The clinic met with 25 clients, coming in with questions about housing, immigration, and family law issues. Volunteer attorneys and interpreters patiently addressed client concerns, answering questions and connecting them to lawyers through AABANY’s Legal Referral and Information Service (LRIS).

We thank the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee and the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) for organizing and hosting the event. Established in 1965, CPC is a social services organization dedicated to helping Asian American, immigrant, and economically disadvantaged communities within New York City to obtain equitable access to essential resources and opportunities, thus fostering Asian American success.

The next Pro Bono Clinic will be on September 6th, from 6:30pm – 8:30pm, and located at AAFE One Flushing Community Center, 133-29 41st Ave 2nd Floor, Queens, NY 11355. You can sign up here to volunteer. To add the date and time for this clinic to your calendar, click here. For upcoming clinics, please check AABANY’s calendar and update your email preference in your account to receive our emails.

Thank you to our volunteers for supporting the clinic. Your time and dedication is essential for delivering crucial assistance to individuals seeking legal guidance. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to:

Volunteer Attorneys:

Amber Lee
Ashley Shan
Gary Yeung
Kwok Kei Ng
May Wong

Interpreters and Observers:

I-Kai Lee
Jihyon Kim
Ruo Yang
Yini Lai

To learn more about the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee, click here.

Immigration Law and Pro Bono and Community Service Committees Participate in Immigrant Resource Day in Flushing

On July 15th, 2023, AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service (PBCS) and Immigration Law Committees participated in Immigrant Resource Day, a community event aimed at promoting services for New York immigrants, including those who are newly-arrived in the country. Held in Herald Gospel Plaza in Flushing, nearly twenty New York City government departments and various community organizations came together under the banner of the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades. 

The event attracted hundreds of attendees of various backgrounds, coming in for immigration information, legal consultation, social welfare programs, and to apply for the New York Resident Card (IDNYC). At the event, PBCS Committee Co-Chairs, Kwok Ng and Lina Lee, and Vice Chair May Wong, managed the Pro Bono Legal Clinic at the event. At the clinic, AABANY volunteer attorneys generously volunteered their time and expertise to offer guidance, advice, and support to those seeking legal assistance. 

The event surpassed all expectations in terms of the number of individuals served in a single day. With 56 registered participants seeking advice, AABANY was able to successfully assist 28 families facing challenging situations. We are immensely grateful for the overwhelming support and dedication shown by the volunteers who participated in the event. The tireless efforts of our team, consisting of fourteen AABANY attorneys, four AABANY non-attorneys, and three staff members from Asian American for Equality (AAFE), our community partner, contributed to the overall success of the day.

Furthermore, the Co-Chairs of the Immigration Law Committee, Zhixian (Jessie) Liu and Susan Song, invited former Co-Chair Tsui H. Yee to present a workshop about asylum and immigrant rights. Ms. Yee, an immigration lawyer with over 20 years of experience, discussed the process of applying for asylum, requirements for qualification, the timeline of the application process, and answered questions posed by the audience. Overall, the workshop not only provided valuable insights into the asylum application process, but also gave attendees a platform to receive expert guidance from an experienced legal professional.

The fair also highlighted the urgent need for immigration attorneys that can provide crucial assistance to Chinese migrants and asylum seekers that have arrived at the US-Mexico border in recent months. AABANY lawyers were able to interact with many individuals seeking assistance with asylum and deportation-related matters, who were influenced by misleading information on social media platforms, exploited by unscrupulous agents, or left without legal representation. The Immigration Law Committee hopes to establish a comprehensive network of trusted referrals and legal support for this community, enlisting the help of attorneys on a pro bono basis, through paid representation, or for collaboration in future workshops. 

Thank you to the PBCS and Immigration Law Committees for organizing this event. Furthermore, we extend our gratitude to Jessie Liu and Susan Song, the Co-Chairs of the Immigration Law Committee, for their exceptional efforts in conducting the workshop alongside Tsui H. Yee. We appreciate their dedication in assisting clients with immigration issues, even taking on back-to-back cases to address clients’ pressing concerns. We thank Tsui for sharing her valuable legal expertise during the workshop and for generously addressing the concerns of clients even after its conclusion. Her contributions helped drive the success of the event. In addition, we thank our partner organizations, the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC), and AAFE.

Last but not least, thank you to the dedicated volunteers that made the Pro Bono Clinic at Immigration Resource Day a success:

Volunteer Attorneys:

  • Chris Kwok
  • Gary Yeung
  • John Hwang
  • Kevin Hsi
  • Kwok Kei Ng  
  • Lina Lee
  • May Wong
  • Shengyang (John) Wu
  • Shirley Luong
  • Susan Song  
  • Tsui Yee  
  • Yvette Wang  
  • Zhixian (Jessie) Liu  
  • Zhujing Wu

Interpreters & Shadowers:

  • David Tse
  • I-Kai Lee
  • Jadyn Tiong
  • Ruo Yang
  • Nuala Naranja (AAFE)
  • Elton Ye (AAFE)
  • Xiaodong Zhang (AAFE)

If you have expertise in asylum and deportation matters, or you know someone who does, please reach out to the Immigration Law Committee co-chairs, Zhixian Liu or Susan Song, and help AABANY establish a network of trusted referrals for newly arrived immigrants. 

You can also help out by keeping an eye out for future Pro Bono Clinics here, and registering as a volunteer. Click here to view the calendar entry for the next Pro Bono Clinic on August 16th, and fill out the registration form here. Please register as a volunteer by 12pm, August 11th, 2023.

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic in July

On Wednesday, July 19th, 2023, AABANY hosted a highly successful Manhattan Pro Bono Legal Clinic at the AAFE (Asian American for Equality) Community Center, at 111 Norfolk Street, where compassionate volunteers offered their time and expertise to provide invaluable free legal services to the community. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, AAFE, our community partners, and our dedicated volunteers! Throughout the evening, we had the privilege of meeting with 22 clients, engaging in discussions of various legal issues, including immigration, housing, and family law. This was a vast increase from last month’s clinic when we had 8 clients.

In partnership with AAFE Community Center and other community partners, we recognize that the success of the Pro Bono Clinic would not be possible without our volunteers’ unwavering dedication to serving the community. By offering services in both Mandarin and Cantonese, we aim to continue to provide support for those who may face linguistic or cultural barriers when seeking access to legal services. Together, we continue to make a difference in the lives of our community members. 

Volunteer Attorneys:

  • Beatrice Leong
  • Pang-Mei (P.M.) Natasha Chang
  • Tiffany Ngeo
  • Yen-Yi Anderson
  • David Mou
  • Menglong (Anthony) Zhu
  • Yan Sin
  • Yuanyuan Li

Interpreters and Shadowers:

  • Daphne Mei
  • Anna Bao
  • Ruo Yang
  • Wendy Zeng
  • MengXi (Claire) Xiong
  • I-Kai Lee
  • Doh Yun (John) 
  • Suzie Yu
  • Alex Hwang

AAFE:

  • Ling

Thanks to all the volunteers, AAFE, community partners, and PBCS Committee who made this Pro Bono Clinic possible. Please join the next Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic taking place on August 16th at AAFE Community Center. To volunteer, please register here by August 11th. For more information, please click here.

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic in June

On June 21st, 2023, AABANY held its Manhattan Pro Bono Legal Clinic at AAFE (Asian Americans for Equality) Community Center where dedicated volunteers came together to provide free legal services to the community. Thank you to the Pro Bono & Community Service (PBCS) Committee, AAFE, our community partners, and our volunteers! We met with 8 clients and discussed issues relating to immigration, housing, and contracts.

In partnership with AAFE Community Center and other community partners, the Pro Bono Clinic would not be possible without the volunteers’ dedication to serving all members of the community, in both Mandarin and Cantonese. It provides indispensable support to those who may face linguistic or cultural barriers in attempting to gain access to legal services.

The next Manhattan clinic will be on July 19th located at AAFE Community Center, 111 Norfolk Street, NY, NY 10002. You can sign up here to volunteer for our next Pro Bono clinic. For upcoming clinics, please check AABANY’s calendar and update your email preference in your account to receive our emails.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers who made this Pro Bono Clinic a success:

Volunteer Attorneys:

  • Ashley Shan
  • Beatrice Leong
  • Chenyi Wang
  • Francis Chin
  • Gary Yeung
  • I-Kai Lee
  • Jessie Liu
  • Karen Kim
  • Kevin Hsi
  • Leslie Kan
  • Lina Lee
  • Shang Zhai
  • Susan Song
  • Nicholas Loh
  • Pang-Mei (P.M.) Natasha Chang

Interpreters & Shadowers:

  • Ai Xin Liew
  • Anna Bao
  • Daphne Mei
  • Suzie Yu
  • Vincent Tsay

Thank You to Our Volunteers at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic in February

Thank you AABANY, Pro Bono and Community Service (PBCS) Committee, VNS Chinatown Community Center, and our dedicated volunteers for volunteering on February 18, 2023 at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic! We met 24 clients and discussed issues relating to housing, divorces, and guardianships. 

Clients’ surveys included the following feedback: 

These services are much in need for the non-English speaking community.”  

“Very happy thx services I got.” 

“The lawyers were very nice and professional! Thank you!”

Please consider joining us at our upcoming clinics:

Manhattan Clinic – March 18, 2023 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm at VNS Health, Chinatown Community Center, 7 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013.  

Brooklyn Clinic – April 8, 2023 from 12:30pm – 3:30pm at Homecrest Community Services, Inc., 6915 15th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11228.

To learn more about the PBCS Committee and it work, visit here.

Volunteers:

Ailsa ChauAlexandra Lao*Tingyi* VNS
Beatrice LeongCandice Wu*Lammi* VNS
Chenyun MaCecilia Yang*
Darley MawChristina Kuan Tsu*
Eugene KimJameson Xu*
Francis ChinJustin Lee*
Gary YeungSue Yu*
Jackson ChinXiaoli Qin*
Johnny ThachYixuan Lian*
May WongYu Bai*
Shirley LuongPatrick Cha*
Yen-Yi Anderson 

*Non-attorneys