In the News: TKC Reports on AABANY’s Upcoming Queens Pro Bono Clinic

The Korean Channel (TKC) News, New York and New Jersey’s Korean news channel, recently covered a press conference leading up to AABANY’s upcoming Pro Bono Clinic in Queens conducted in coordination with Sandra Ung, New York State Committeewoman. 

TKC News elaborated on how AABANY plans to provide free legal assistance to Asian-American community members who face significant language barriers and financial obstacles. The Queens Pro Bono Clinic will be held in Ms. Ung’s Flushing Office and will continue on a monthly basis until June. The upcoming March 17th Pro Bono Clinic will focus primarily on Housing Law, the April 15th Clinic on Immigration Law, the May 20th Clinic on Elder Law and Public Benefits, and the June 17th Clinic on Family/Matrimonial/Education Law. 

TKC News interviewed Ms. Ung who expressed her appreciation working with AABANY to provide free legal services through her office. Additionally, the channel expanded on the criminal defense experiences of Eugene Love Kim, a regular volunteer at AABANY’s Pro Bono Clinics, and touched on how his early life has spurred him to stand for his community. 

In an interview with TKC, Mr. Kim stressed that in times of increasing racial tensions because of the Coronavirus outbreak it is important for the members of the Asian-American community to stand in solidarity with one another. As someone who has had the privilege of becoming a lawyer, Mr. Kim believes that he and others like him have a responsibility to help all Asian Americans in need of legal services to provide a brighter future for later generations. The news coverage ends with a request for all viewers in need of services to call to make an appointment. 

Read more about the Queens Pro Bono Clinic in the press release.

PRESS RELEASE: ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK TO EXPAND FREE LEGAL CLINIC TO QUEENS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NEW YORK STATE COMMITTEEWOMAN SANDRA UNG

NEW YORK – March 5, 2020 – On the heels of its success in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is getting ready to expand its Pro Bono Legal Clinic to Queens. 

According to the 2010 Census, of the over one million people identified as Asian American in New York City, nearly half live in Queens.  Located in the heart of Flushing, the Queens Clinic will be available every third week of the month with a specific focus each month on housing, immigration, elder law, or family and matrimonial law. Interpreters in Chinese (including Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese), Korean, Japanese, and other languages will be available during the one-on-one consultation with a volunteer attorney. Karen Lin will be volunteering her time to serve as Coordinator of the Queens Clinic.

The Clinic will be held in collaboration with New York State Committeewoman Sandra Ung, a longtime resident of Queens and leading community advocate. Ms. Ung stated: “Having a free legal clinic in Queens, where there will be translators, gives an opportunity for those who simply do not know where to turn when encountering a legal problem, a place where their concerns can be heard.   This Pro Bono Legal Clinic in Queens is the first step in helping our community better understand their legal rights. Thank you to AABANY for this partnership and making this clinic available to our Flushing community.” 

“As members of the legal profession, our members have achieved their career goals through the struggles of their immigrant parents and grandparents,” states AABANY President Brian Song. “Now it’s time to give back. Many people in our neighborhoods do not have access to reliable information and assistance about legal processes and available legal resources. We can provide assistance in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner, so that the community understands their rights and remedies. Thank you to our committed volunteers.” 

AABANY’s Pro Bono Legal Clinic opened in 2015 to serve members of the Asian Pacific American community who have limited English proficiency (“LEP”) so that they can have meaningful access to justice. Mobilizing the skills and experience of AABANY’s diverse membership, the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee has spearheaded the Clinic’s effort in helping nearly 2,000 LEP individuals in the vast yet underserved Asian American community in New York through its Clinics in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge neighborhoods.   The Manhattan Clinic takes place on the second Wednesday of each month at the Community Room, 33 Bowery Street. The Brooklyn Clinic takes place on the fourth Thursday of every other month at A+ Academy, 6802 8th Avenue. (If a community member is interested in attending these Clinics, please contact judy.lee@aabany.org to double-check their dates and for any additional updates.)

The New York State Bar Association recently awarded the Pro Bono Legal Clinic with its prestigious New York State Bar Association Bar Leaders Innovation Award, in recognition of the impactful work done to provide legal assistance, community education programs, and outreach. AABANY’s theme for its upcoming fiscal year, “Stronger Together: Unity in Diversity,” is especially fitting as the Pro Bono Clinic expands to Queens, the most ethnically and diverse county in the United States, with 138 languages spoken throughout the borough.

The first Queens Clinic will be held on March 17 at the office of the New York State Committeewoman located at 135-15 40th Road, Flushing, New York 11354, on the topic of Housing Law. Subsequent Clinics will be held on the third Tuesday of each month, and the subsequent clinics already scheduled are on April 15 (Immigration Law); May 20 (Elder Law and Public Benefits); and June 17, 2020 (Family, Matrimonial, and Education Law). Community members seeking legal assistance must call to make an appointment at (347) 391-6463 (English and Chinese speakers), (516) 690-7724 (Korean language speakers), or (845) 450-0726 (Japanese language speakers). Appointments will be made based on availability.  Please note that walk-ins will not be permitted at the Queens Clinic.

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (646) 653-2168, 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 a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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AABANY Hosts Oktoberfest Mixer in Forest Hills, Queens

On October 11, 2019, AABANY’s Membership Committee hosted a mixer at the Cobblestones Biergarten in Forest Hills, Queens. AABANY members and non-members mingled while enjoying drinks and an assortment of delicious appetizers. The event brought attorneys, law students, and friends, who lived or worked in Queens. We even had members coming all the way from Manhattan, including AABANY President Brian Song.

If you are not already a member, we hope your attendance brings you closer to becoming a member or renewing your membership, and thank you to all of the members who came out. Please visit our calendar to learn more about our upcoming events by going to https://www.aabany.org/events/event_list.asp.

We thank Membership Committee Co-Chairs, Beatrice Leong and Christopher Bae, for organizing this event. They are planning more events in Queens in the coming weeks so be sure to check the calendar so that you don’t miss out. We hope to see you there!

Congratulations to Ushir Pandit-Durant on Her Historic Induction as Queens Supreme Court Justice

On December 21, the Hon. Ushir Pandit-Durant made history as the first South Asian judge elected to New York State Supreme Court in Queens and the first South Asian woman judge elected in New York State. Justice Pandit-Duran was sworn in by the Hon. Randall T. Eng (ret.), former Presiding Justice of the Second Department, New York State Appellate Division. Justice Eng was the first Asian American elected judge in New York State so it was especially fitting for one trailblazer in the Asian American community to swear in another trailblazer. Hon. Joseph Zayas, Administrative Judge of the Queens Supreme Court, Criminal Term, presided.

Justice Pandit-Duran began her career as a Prosecutor in the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, serving there with distinction for 25 years before being elected to New York City Civil Court in 2015, becoming the first South Asian to hold that elected office.

The induction took place at the Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. Numerous speakers, including elected officials and community leaders, extolled Justice Pandit-Duran’s exemplification of the American Dream, coming here at age 10 not speaking a word of English and rising up to become a top prosecutor and now judge. As a South Asian, Justice Pandit-Durant reflects the diversity of Queens, one of the most diverse boroughs of New York City, with a large Asian population. Justice Pandit-Durant is herself a bar leader, having served as the first President of the South Asian Indo-Caribbean Bar Association of Queens.

AABANY congratulates Justice Pandit-Durant on her historic election and wishes her continued success and achievement as a Justice of the Supreme Court.

NYC Board of Elections is Searching for Language Interpreters

The Board of Elections in the City of New York has interpreter vacancies for Chinese and Spanish in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and for Korean in Queens.  Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.  Anyone interested in working election day can email Interpreter2014@boe.nyc.ny.us  or can apply online here https://electiondayworker.com/ .

The Board also has an ad on the www.nyc.gov homepage under “NYC Programs & Initiatives”

Applicants can also visit their borough office for more information:

Brooklyn
345 Adams Street, 4 Fl
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 1.718.797.8800
Fax: 1.718.246.5958
Hours of Operation – 9 A.M.- 5 P.M.

Queens
126-06 Queens Boulevard
Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Tel: 1.718.730.6730
Fax: 1.718.459.3384
Hours of Operation – 9A.M.– 5 P.M.

Manhattan
200 Varick Street, 10Flr
New York, NY 10014
Tel: 1. 212.886.2100
Fax: 1. 646.638.2047
Hours of Operation – 9A.M.– 5 P.M.

Staten Island
1 Edgewater Plaza, 4 Fl
Staten Island, NY 10305
Tel: 1.718.876.0079
Fax: 1.718.876.0912
Hours of Operation – 9A.M. – 5P.M.

Bronx
1780 Grand Concourse, 5 Fl
Bronx, NY 10457
Tel: 1.718.299.9017
Fax: 1. 718.299.2140
Hours of Operation – 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.