AABANY Descends on Las Vegas for the NAPABA Convention

From Nov. 3 through 6, NAPABA held its National Convention in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, for three days of programming, meetings, plenary sessions and the 34th anniversary Gala capping things off on Saturday night.

AABANY members and friends once again came out in large numbers, with nearly 100 people signed up for AABANY’s WhatsApp group, organized by Co-VP of Programs and Operations Beatrice Leong. The group’s members updated each other on programs they planned to attend, made lunch and dinner plans, and connected with each other about various receptions, parties and events around Las Vegas.

Many bonds were made and strengthened among AABANY attendees over the course of the Convention, and many new connections were made with the approximately 2800 registered attendees from around the country.

We congratulate all the awardees and honorees recognized at the Convention, with special shout-outs to the following AABANY honorees:

  • Kathy Hirata Chin, Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award
  • Jeffrey Mok, Best Under 40
  • Christina Lee, Partners Network In-House Counsel Network Diversity Leadership Award

We also congratulate AABANY Platinum Sponsor Allen & Overy on receiving the Law Firm Diversity Award.

The AABANY Trial Reenactment Team presented its latest production, “From ‘Tokyo Rose’ to the ‘China Initiative’: Espionage and AAPIs” on Friday afternoon, Nov. 4, to a capacity audience. We were privileged to be joined by Brian Sun, attorney for Wen Ho Lee, who shared his personal recollections from that landmark case in which a Chinese-American scientist was wrongly accused by the US government of divulging US nuclear secrets to China.

Many AABANY members and leaders spoke on several programs throughout the Convention. If you are among them, thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Please send us your photos and, if possible, a short recap about your program. You can send it to main@aabany.org.

Congratulations to Sandra Leung, NAPABA’s new President, and Anna Mercado Clark, NAPABA’s new President-Elect. Both were sworn in by the Hon. Denny Chin, together with the entire NAPABA Board, during Saturday night’s Gala.

Thanks to NAPABA for putting on a great Convention, which included many first-time attendees. By all accounts, everyone had a wonderful time, learned a lot, forged new connections and renewed existing ones. We look forward to more great things to come in the next year!

AABANY Hosts “The Surge in Anti-Asian Violence: Corporate Social Responsibility and Action” on April 9

On April 9, 2021, AABANY and a coalition of bar associations from across the country presented a CLE program titled, “The Surge in Anti-Asian Violence: Corporate Social Responsibility and Action.” About 500 attendees from all across the United States joined an esteemed panel of corporate in-house leaders in a discussion on how corporate employers can address the surge in anti-Asian violence and support their Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) employees. The panel included:

  • Sara Yang Bosco, Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel, Emerson
  • Sam Khichi, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Becton, Dickinson and Company
  • Sandra Leung, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Allen Lo, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Products, IP, and Legal Operations, Facebook
  • Susan Moon, Principal Counsel, The Walt Disney Company
  • Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary, Western Union
  • Michael C. Wu (Moderator), GAPABA Board Member

Moderator Michael Wu began the panel discussion by describing how the coronavirus pandemic has become a virus of hate, with the increase of violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans. To add to this, Sara Bosco emphasized the importance of reporting and providing visibility to these incidents and stated, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Asian Americans comprise 6% of the United States population, yet have been historically overlooked despite being part of U.S. history since the 1800s. Due to Asian Americans being viewed as perpetual foreigners and the model minority, coupled with the inaccurate information disseminated about the origins of the pandemic in 2020, Asian Americans have been perceived as an easier target to perpetrators of anti-Asian violence.

When asked how Corporate America should address anti-Asian violence, many of the panelists shared initiatives their workplaces started and gave suggestions on what companies can do. A main focus of the panelists was discussing how Asian employees can be supported in the workplace. To create a supportive environment, companies should reach out to AAPI employees and create an AAPI employee resource group in the workplace if there is not one already. Even if the organization does not have many AAPI employees, it is important for AAPI employees to meet others to increase their circle and build a larger voice. In addition, mental health resources and allyship training should be offered to employees within the workplace’s HR department. Panelists also agreed that not only should the diversity officers in the company address anti-Asian violence, but even CEOs need to speak up and make statements to show support for the AAPI community.

As individuals in the AAPI legal community, Sandra Leung said, “We are in a crisis situation right now with the rise of anti-AAPI hate, but it’s also an opportunity for us to band together to do our part individually or collectively in groups. We have to turn the emotion and anger that we have into action.” She further emphasized that we need to take leadership roles, speak loud, and educate people on anti-AAPI hate. In discussing leadership roles, Sandra Leung remarked, “I feel so compelled right now and so moved by everything we are facing in our community that I would love to run for President-Elect of NAPABA…” AABANY applauds Sandra Leung’s intent to run during these critical times and agrees that we have to continue working collectively to address anti-Asian violence.

Thank you to Sara Yang Bosco, Sam Khichi, Sandra Leung, Allen Lo, Susan Moon, Caroline Tsai, and Michael Wu for this important discussion on anti-Asian violence and corporate social responsibility. Non-transitional New York attorneys were eligible to receive a maximum of 1.5 CLE credit hours applied toward the Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias requirement. CLE credits were also approved in California and Colorado, and CPE credits were approved in British Columbia and Ontario. CLE credits have been applied for in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, and are pending approval. To view a recording of the program, click here or on the image above.

AABANY Fall Conference: APA Women in the Legal Profession Panel

“Stronger Together: APA Women in the Legal Profession – Strategies to Support, Lead, and Advance” was one of the many panels presented at AABANY’s Fall Conference this year. Held on Saturday, September 26 from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm, the panelists consisted of:

Moderators:

  • Connie Montoya, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson
  • Sandra Yamate, CEO, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Speakers:

  • Anna Mercado Clark, Partner, Phillips Lytle LLP
  • Judy Lam, Partner, Maynard Cooper & Gale
  • Honorable Grace E. Lee, Administrative Law Judge, State of New York
  • Sandra Leung, General Counsel, Bristol Myers Squibb
  • Sapna Palla, Partner, Wiggin and Dana

The panel was not recorded to create a safe environment for panelists as well as listeners so that there could be a candid conversation about race and the experiences APA women have had to face throughout their legal careers.

The panel started off with discussing the challenges and barriers of being an APA woman in the legal profession. Shared experiences among the panelists were that they were often overlooked in the courtroom, being perceived and mistaken as the court interpreter or court reporter rather than as the lawyer or judge. Even when they were correctly perceived as the lawyer, the panelists were still treated differently compared to their white male counterparts. In response to these challenges, the panelists discussed how it was okay to feel uncomfortable about these topics and it is important to focus on the microaggressions. If people are more vocal about the uncomfortable situations and share their experiences with the community, it creates a greater ability to mobilize and create change.

The panelists stressed the importance of seeing more APA women in higher positions and one way of achieving that is through having role models and mentors for rising APA lawyers. Current AABANY President, Sapna Palla, highlighted the AABANY Leadership Development Program which has been successful in teaching participants the skills to advance into executive positions, and she hopes to see more programs that do the same.

The panel ended with each panelist going over one action item they were willing to commit to within the next year that will help support and advance APA women in the legal profession. The general consensus among the panelists was to start a mentoring circle. Not only do the panelists want to be an available resource for people who come up to them and have questions, but also they want to be active in following up with mentees and seeking feedback from them.

The panelists also vow to use their positions as a platform to continue this dialogue. Advancing APA women in the legal profession is an ongoing conversation and hopefully, listeners of the panel are inspired to continue the dialogue with their friends, peers, and colleagues.

Thank you to the panelists, Anna Mercado Clark, Judy Lam, Honorable Grace E. Lee, Sandra Leung, and Sapna Palla, and moderators, Connie Montoya and Sandra Yamate for sharing their experiences and leading an important discussion about supporting APA women in the legal profession.

KALAGNY – 2016 NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference

KALAGNY – 2016 NAPABA Northeast Regional Conference

America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel

America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel

Press Release: AABANY Congratulates NAAAP-NY’s 2014 Most Influential APIA New Yorkers Glenn Lau-Kee and Sandra Leung

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 5, 2014  

Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(718) 228-7206

NEW YORK – November 5, 2014 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that AABANY Past President and current New York State Bar Association President Glenn Lau-Kee and AABANY Advisory Committee Member Sandra Leung have been announced as the National Association of Asian American Professionals – New York Chapter (NAAAP-NY) 2014 Most Influential Asian Pacific Islander American New Yorkers. Mr. Lau-Kee and Ms. Leung will be honored at NAAAP-NY’s Moon Festival Honoree Gala at the Harvard Club of New York City on November 7, 2014.

NAAAP-NY has selected Glenn Lau-Kee (Partner, Kee & Lau-Kee PLLC) as its Public Service Honoree. Mr. Lau-Kee assumed office in June 2014 as the 117th President and first Asian American to lead the New York State Bar Association, an organization with over 75,000 members. NAAAP-NY has named Sandra Leung (General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Bristol-Meyers Squibb) as its the Corporate Legal Honoree. As legal advisor to the Board of Directors and company executives, Ms. Leung is responsible for shaping Bristol-Meyers Squibb’s legal strategy, as well as the company’s Environment, Health & Safety, Corporate Security, and Philanthropy groups.

“AABANY is delighted that NAAAP-NY has chosen to recognize Glenn Lau-Kee and Sandra Leung among New York’s most influential Asian Pacific Islander American New Yorkers,” says Executive Director Yang Chen. “Both Glenn and Sandra have made major impacts in the legal profession through their work and leadership, and have paved the way for generations of APIA lawyers and professionals. We congratulate Glenn and Sandra and all the honorees at this year’s Moon Festival Gala.”  AABANY President Clara Ohr adds, “We strongly support NAAAP-NY’s decision to honor such Asian American trailblazers in the legal profession as Glenn Lau-Kee and Sandra Leung, and we appreciate its past recognition of our own Executive Director, Yang Chen, whom NAAAP-NY named its 2013 Community Excellence Awardee.”

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For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, 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).

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America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel | National Law Journal

America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel | National Law Journal