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:
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.
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:
Kwok Kei Ng
Shengyang (John) Wu
Zhixian (Jessie) Liu
Interpreters & Shadowers:
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.
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.
Pang-Mei (P.M.) Natasha Chang
Menglong (Anthony) Zhu
Interpreters and Shadowers:
MengXi (Claire) Xiong
Doh Yun (John)
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.
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:
On June 3rd, 2023, AABANY held its Brooklyn Pro Bono Legal Clinic at Homecrest Community Services Bensonhurst Center where dedicated volunteers came together to provide free legal services to the community. Our volunteers met with 14 clients and discussed issues relating to identity theft, insurance benefits, fraud, divorce, and government benefits.
In partnership with Homecrest and other community partners, the Clinic provided a haven for community members with limited English proficiency to better understand the legal process, discuss potential legal solutions, and help clients understand their rights.
The Clinic was made possible by volunteers who generously donated their time and expertise to help those in need. It provides vital support to those who may face linguistic or cultural barriers in attempting to gain access to legal services. The volunteers’ dedication to pro bono work, aiding in both Mandarin and Cantonese, is emblematic of the Committee’s commitment to serving all members of the community.
The Pro Bono Clinic is organized by AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee. To learn more about the Committee’s work visit here. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated volunteers who made the Brooklyn Pro Bono Clinic such a success:
Kwok Kei Ng
Ming Chu (Judy) Lee
Interpreters & Shadowers:
Please come and join our upcoming Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic on 6/21, starting at 6:30pm at e new location, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), 111 Norfolk Street, New York, NY. You can sign up to volunteer by completing this form by 6/16 at 12:00 PM.
On May 17, 2023, AABANY held its Manhattan Pro Bono Legal Clinic at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Our volunteers met with 17 clients and discussed issues relating to housing, fraud, and government benefits.
Some positive client responses: “I appreciate it so much.” “Good service. I will keep coming monthly.”
The Pro Bono Clinic is organized by AABANY’s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee. To learn more about the Committee’s work visit here. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated volunteers who made this Pro Bono Clinic a success:
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:
Thank you AABANY, VNS Chinatown Community Center, and our dedicated volunteers for joining us on January 14, 2023 at the Manhattan Pro Bono Clinic. Shoutout to Gary Yeung, co-chair of the Mentorship Program, for coming out to our clinics twice in a row!!!
We met with 15 clients who had questions about tort, family law/matrimonial, and housing.
Reading through our client satisfaction surveys, these are the remarks from our clients:
“Just appreciate your advice and services.”
“Made me more comfortable about my situation.”
For all law students/law graduates who are seeking to complete the 50 pro bono hours requirement, remember to reach out to us to get more information about the process and what other projects we have on hand at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please vist the AABANY’s Calendar and sign up for a listing of events and sign up for upcoming Pro Bono Clinics:
On January 7, 2023, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), and dedicated volunteers staffed the Pro Bono Clinic at AAFE’s Flushing Community Center in Queens, New York.
The clinic met with 14 clients who had questions about tort, contracts, and housing laws.
Clients who filled out the clinic’s satisfaction surveys remarked:
“Hope there are more of these activities. Helps the community greatly.”
“Extremely grateful! Thank you guys very much.”
Volunteering attorneys have asked clinic staffers about how to learn more about areas of law in which they do not practice. The best way to learn about new, developing areas of the law is from other attorneys. AABANY’s Pro Bono clinics are a great chance to connect with other attorneys.
For law students and law school graduates seeking to complete the 50 pro bono hours requirement, remember to reach out to clinic staffers to learn about the requirement fulfillment process and other ongoing projects at email@example.com.
Thank you Eugene Kim, co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service (PBCS) Committee, for bringing the wealthy cupcakes (fat go) to share with the volunteers!
On Friday, December 9, 2022, AABANY hosted its first in-person holiday party in three years since the COVID pandemic shutdown.
Our wonderful hosts and sponsors, Cohen & Gresser, along with their Counsel, Joanna Chan, welcomed over 120 AABANY Members and friends to a delicious menu of food, featuring cocktail shrimp, kimbap rolls, sushi rolls, sashimi, veggie pancakes, japchae noodles, bulgogi beef, marinated pork, Chicken Alfredo with penne pasta, Junior’s mini-cheesecakes, and macaroons. Cocktails with clever names such as “AABANY Founders” and “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel” were also on offer, mixed by professional bartenders.
President-elect Karen Kim welcomed the guests and shared her theme for her fiscal year, starting on April 1, 2023, which will focus on mental health and wellness for attorneys. Co- Vice President of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong, who organized the holiday party, encouraged donations to support the Pro Bono Clinic through text to pledge. Attendees responded to the call by donating more than $1,000 to the Pro Bono Clinic.
We also held a gift raffle by drawing business cards provided by the guests. All winners of gifts were then entered into a Squid Games style final in which participants had to cut shapes out of cookies without breaking them. The winner of that game got a gift card valued at $50.
We thank our Annual Holiday Party 2022 sponsors: ● Cohen & Gresser ● Littler ● Fish & Richardson Special thanks to Membership Director Christopher Bae for ordering the food, and former VPPO David Sohn for his help with the party. Thanks to everyone who came. We hope you all had a wonderful time!