AABANY Celebrates 2021 Virtual Gala

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, AABANY hosted its 2021 Virtual Gala: Uniting for Justice and Equity. 

The event kicked off at 6 pm with a Pre-Gala Virtual Cocktail Reception on Remo attended by sponsors and special guests, including prominent General Counsels and judges. At 6:30 pm, all Virtual Gala attendees were invited to enjoy a piano concert featuring AABANY Member Renee Yao.

The Virtual Gala started at 7 pm and Kate Siahaan-Riggs, NYC-based actor, stand up comic, and writer, served as emcee. Throughout the gala, AABANY held a text-to-donate fundraiser to support Portrait Project 2.0, the second phase of the Portrait Project study which is researching why Asian Americans are underrepresented in top leadership positions across all sectors of the legal profession and how it can be addressed.

This year AABANY was proud to honor:

Frank H. Wu, President of Queens College, the City University of New York, with the AABANY Impact Award

Sneha Desai, Deputy General Counsel Litigation of BASF Corporation, with the AABANY Women’s Leadership Award

Kirkland & Ellis LLP with the AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award

Ed Lee, AABANY Board Director and Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, accepted the Law Firm Diversity Award on behalf of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Honoree Sneha Desai delivered an acceptance speech, stressing the importance of individuals in leadership and influential positions to make positive change in diversity and inclusion. The Honorable Denny Chin, U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, hosted a fireside chat with honoree Frank H,. Wu to discuss his career and the work he has accomplished.

In addition, we were also pleased to present the 2021 class of Don H. Liu Scholars: Narissa Ganpat, Minji Kim, and Minh Eric Le.

The Gala concluded with a tribute to Asian American photojournalist and historian Corky Lee who passed away in January due to COVID-19. Corky had taken photos of our past Annual Dinners from its earliest days until 2020.

We thank all of the AABANY Virtual Gala Planning Committee members and volunteers for their hard work in making this year’s celebration a huge success. 

We extend sincere thanks to all of our sponsors. Their generous sponsorships make it possible for us to pursue our mission to advance the interests of the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal community and the communities we serve and support our many activities and signature events throughout the year. 

Lastly, we thank everyone that attended the 2021 Virtual Gala and celebrated with us. Our Virtual Gala was streamed on Vimeo which reports that the gala drew 1,400 views. To watch the gala on You Tube, click here or on the image at the top of this blog. To view the Virtual Gala program book, click here.

Join AABANY in Supporting Portrait Project 2.0

A recent Law360 article entitled “Why Are Law Clerks So White” reported:

Take any five federal law clerks, and at least four of them would probably be white. And nobody can be certain why.

California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu has some guesses about the reasons black, Asian and Latino lawyers are largely shut out of these prestigious positions that can turbocharge a lawyer’s early career. But he says it’s impossible to pinpoint reasons or patterns because so little data exists.

“We actually don’t even know the most basic things about those opportunities,” Justice Liu told Law360. “It would be interesting if we could know even basic things, like do women judges get more women clerks? We have impressions of that, but we don’t know with any precision whether these things are true.”

The article went on to talk about how Justice Liu plans to address these questions in Portrait Project 2.0. AABANY is supporting this research as a Silver Sponsor. AABANY challenges its members to donate to Portrait Project 2.0. AABANY will match member donations up to $5,000. Join AABANY in advancing the work of Portrait Project 2.0. Read more at https://www.aabany.org/page/PortraitProject20

To read the full Law360 article go to https://www.law360.com/articles/1156019?utm_source=ios-shared&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=ios-shared