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.

Student Outreach Committee (SOC) Reaches Out to the Community with its Fall 2023 Postering Campaign

On Saturday, November 4, 2023, the Asian American Bar Association of New York’s (AABANY) Student Outreach Committee (SOC) held its Fall 2023 Postering Campaign in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The event was co-sponsored by Mayer Brown LLP and AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee.

Volunteers and law students from the Greater New York area donated their valuable time on a Saturday morning to distribute flyers and promote AABANY’s pro bono legal resources to local businesses and residents in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Our volunteers covered areas from East Broadway to Kenmare Street. Some volunteers reported that small business owners and residents were ecstatic to learn about our Pro Bono Clinics and are “grateful such a service exists for the Asian American community.”

After the postering campaign, our Executive Director, Yang Chen, invited the volunteers and law students to a complimentary group lunch at Deluxe Green Bo, a small Shanghainese restaurant in the heart of Chinatown. Our volunteers and law students enjoyed some tasty soup dumplings, seafood casseroles, pan-fried noodles, and yellow fish with dry seaweed.

AABANY would like to thank Mayer Brown for their support with the printed flyers and supplies. 

We also express our sincere gratitude to the volunteers and law students below for their time, leadership, and overall commitment to giving back to the community.

Volunteers

Charlene Hong 
Emily Kong, Esq. (Mayer Brown)
Justin Lee
Vivian Lee
William Lee, Esq. (Mayer Brown)
Jameson Xu
Sharon Yang
Kelly Yao

Law Student Volunteers

Brooklyn Law

Kyle Hogan
Michael Qian

Cardozo Law

Gabrielle Capulong
Kimberly Cheung
Justina Chen
Isaac Kim
Edwin Liu
Angela Zhao

Columbia Law

Woohyeong Cho
Melodie Han

Cornell Law

Sage Park

Fordham Law

Amanda Dai
Yuanyuan Li
Stephen Park

NYU Law

Dai An Jiang
Zachery Lee
Gina Tan
Chris Wong
Haixin Xie
Jinge (Evelyne) Yang
Hanyi Yu

Pace Law

Alexandra Lao

Touro Law

Damian Jhagroo

AABANY Membership Committee Hosts Second Annual Oyster Happy Hour on September 7

On Thursday, September 7, 2023, students and practitioners alike attended the AABANY Oyster Happy Hour at Sagaponack NYC. Nearly thirty folks attended for a night of oysters, bar bites, and networking. The Membership Committee annually hosts this Oyster Happy Hour at Sagaponack NYC and, this year, strategically partnered with the Student Outreach and Young Lawyers Committees to give law students an opportunity to network with practitioners as they kicked off their fall semesters. Thank you to everyone who attended and to our co-sponsoring committees including the Military & Veteran Affairs Committee. And a special thanks to the folks at Sagaponack NYC for the great food and service as always. If you have any ideas for fun AABANY membership events, please email ChristopherSBae@gmail.com

AABANY Student Outreach Committee Presents: Students Meet Firms- Groombridge, Wu

On July 11th, 2023, AABANY’s Students Outreach Committee organized a Students Meet Firms event, connecting law students with attorneys from Groombridge, Wu, Baughman & Stone. (Groombridge, Wu) The panelists included Josephine Young, Partner at Groombridge, Wu; Karen King, Partner at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC; Ben Hsu, Associate at Groombridge, Wu; and Chih-Wei Wu, Associate at Groombridge, Wu. Serving as the moderator was Jennifer Wu, Partner at the firm and Co-Chair of AABANY’s Women’s Committee. The event took place at the Groombridge, Wu office located in New York City and online via Zoom.

The setting was intimate and informal, with Jennifer fielding questions from attendees, which included sharing personal stories and discussing the significance of being assertive in the legal profession. Jennifer emphasized learning to recognize your own voice and not allow others to walk over you. The conversation also delved into topics such as workplace racism, the advantages and disadvantages of owning a firm versus working for one, the training process, the life of an associate, and the value of learning from mistakes.

One notable piece of advice from Jennifer was to seek out a firm that allows for mistakes and provides opportunities for growth through learning from them. The attendees shared insightful questions, such as when does making mistakes become unacceptable, the experiences of being an Asian American woman while climbing the corporate ladder and making partnership, and the pros and cons of practicing law in a post-COVID world.

Overall, the panel provided comprehensive responses to a range of attendee questions, spanning from the experiences of litigation lawyers to insights into achieving partnership status at a major law firm or running one’s own.

Thank you to our speakers for sharing their insights and to the Student Outreach Committee for organizing this wonderful and informative event. To read more about other Students Meet Firms events, including Cleary Gottlieb and Kirkland & Ellis, click on the links to the blog posts. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, please click here.

AABANY Student Outreach Committee Presents: Students Meet Firms— Kirkland & Ellis

On July 6, 2023, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee hosted a Students Meet Firms event, connecting law students with attorneys at Kirkland & Ellis.  The Students Meet Firms series aims to connect rising second-year law students and other students pursuing law degrees with a range of diverse law firms, providing both insight into the legal profession and valuable networking opportunities. 

The event, held at Kirkland & Ellis’ New York office, was moderated by Catherine Tran, J.D. Candidate, Columbia Law School ’25, and featured Partners Shaun Mathew and Kevin Lam, and Associates Keli Huang and Chrissy Pak. The panelists shared their personal experiences leading up to their current roles, what drew them to their particular practice areas, and insight into navigating on campus interviewing (OCI) in law school. 

The event kicked off with panelists giving an overview the following practice areas: investment funds, shareholder activism and hostile takeover defense, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate. The panelists agreed that the culture of Kirkland played a major role in fostering a collaborative environment. In particular, Keli highlighted how the partners of the firm welcomed associates to take on early responsibilities and were receptive to hearing her ideas. Chrissy also added that through her intensive research in law school, Kirkland stood out as one of the most diverse firms and its AAPI attorneys are represented at the highest leadership levels. Kevin underscored that Kirkland truly believes in meritocracy and has a willingness to put its resources into entrepreneurial ideas available to all its attorneys. As an example, Shaun recounted when he first joined the firm and noticed the lack of a South Asian affinity group and led the way in creating firm-wide events to bring South Asian attorneys at the firm together. 

The panelists then shared their advice for the OCI process and the importance of finding the right fit. Kevin kicked off the discussion by highlighting that as much as the law firms are interviewing candidates, the students are also interviewing the law firms. Chrissy agreed by giving sample questions one could ask the interviewer to really understand the firm’s value and use the interview as an opportunity to learn whether your goals align with the firm’s. While intensive research into Kirkland and its practice areas are vital, the panelists noted how outstanding candidates demonstrated the ability to ask tailored questions. Keli recommended treating networking opportunities as building both insight into the firm and connections with people you may work with in the future. Shaun also reiterated that you are never working alone, and you never know who might be of importance to your goals.

Another factor that Kevin believes separates candidates from the crowd is having passion and authenticity in what they are doing. As the panelists stated at the introduction of the discussion, the culture at Kirkland is built on its people. By showing your critical thinking skills and authentically portraying yourself in an interview, a compelling narrative could come through in a way that is unique to each candidate. Finally, the panelists shared their experience as attorneys at Kirkland and the type of questions they would ask interviewees. 

After the discussion, the panelists and participants connected over an array of hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Thank you to the Student Outreach Committee and Kirkland & Ellis for organizing this informative program. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, click here. Click here to read about the prior Students Meet Firms event featuring Cleary.

AABANY Student Outreach Committee Presents: Students Meet Firms— Cleary Gottlieb

On June 22nd, 2023, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee hosted a Students Meet Firms event, connecting law students with attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.  The Students Meet Firms event series aims to connect rising second-year law students (2Ls) and other students pursuing law degrees with a range of diverse law firms, providing both insight into the legal profession and valuable networking opportunities. 

The panel, held on Zoom from 7:00- 8:00pm EDT, was moderated by Siqi Li (AABANY Student Leader, Seton Hall Law School ‘24), and featured associates Chihiro Isozaki, Sharon Wang, Samson Lim, and Long Dang. The panelists gave detailed insight into navigating Cleary’s recruitment process, summer associate program, and life at Cleary as a lawyer.

The event kicked off with panelists sharing useful tips on how to succeed in the interview process. In particular, they highlighted the importance of creating a compelling narrative of yourself as an applicant. While intensive research into Cleary and its practice areas are vital, the associates noted how outstanding candidates demonstrated connections between themselves and the firm that went beyond surface superficialities. To best accomplish this, the panelists recommended that interviewees reach out for coffee chats with Cleary attorneys working in the practice areas they are interested in, building both insight into the firm and comfortability with conversations.

The panelists then shared their own experience as summer associates and highlighted Cleary’s unique global rotation program. Through the program, summer associates are given the opportunity to spend four weeks in one of Cleary’s many overseas offices, including Beijing, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, and Seoul. Cleary also provides many other unique opportunities for professional development, such as their “miniMBA” training program and comprehensive mentorship system.

The associates also discussed the workplace culture at Cleary and how they were drawn to the firm because of its friendly, collaborative, and intellectually stimulating environment. The panelists emphasized that work is equitably distributed at Cleary, through a central staffing system. Many associates were also attracted to Cleary’s strong international presence and the opportunity to work with sovereign governments and international institutions. 

Finally, the panelists emphasized Cleary’s strong mentorship system, both on a formal and informal level. Panelist Samsom Lim shared how his relationship with his mentor continued months after he finished the summer associate program. Expanding on this point, panelist Sharon Wang discussed the diverse range of opportunities she has encountered in her day-to-day work to connect with more experienced lawyers as an associate at Cleary. 

Ultimately, panelist Chihiro Isozaki emphasized that the interview process is a two-way street, where applicants are also given a glimpse into Cleary and the chance to determine if it is the right fit for them. She gives the advice for future Cleary associates to be open, honest, and vulnerable; they should really get to know people on a deeper level.

Thank you to the Student Outreach Committee and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP for organizing this informative program. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, click here

Interested in attending a Students Meet Firms event? Upcoming events include:

AABANY Student Outreach & IP Committees Host Panel: “What Do IP Lawyers Do?”

On May 31, 2023, AABANY’s Student Outreach and IP Committee hosted a virtual panel titled “What Do IP Lawyers Do?” The event, held on Zoom from 6:30-7:30 pm EDT, featured insightful discussions and valuable insights from industry professionals. Opening remarks were delivered by William Lee, SOC Vice Chair, setting the stage for an engaging conversation.

The panel was moderated by Chenyun Ma (Columbia Law School) and Kristen Liu (Seton Hall Law School), coordinated by Monica Shin (Fordham Law School), and featured the following distinguished panelists:

  • Gloria Tsui-Yip: Partner at Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman
  • Vivian Cheng: Principal at Fish & Richardson
  • Keala Chan: IP Counsel at Population Council

Throughout the event, a variety of topics were explored, shedding light on the nature of IP law and the responsibilities faced by IP lawyers. The panelists delved into questions such as the key tasks performed by IP lawyers, the different types of IP, and the significance of a science background in the field. They also shared their experiences handling complex cases, debunked common misconceptions about IP law, and discussed the unique aspects of practicing IP law across industries.

In addition to addressing the core aspects of the profession, the panelists also delved into career-related inquiries. They provided valuable insights into the skills and qualities necessary for success as an IP lawyer, recommended relevant courses for aspiring professionals, and examined the nuances between working at a law firm and an in-house legal department.

The virtual panel concluded with a lively Q&A session, allowing attendees to further engage with the panelists and gain additional insights. The event proved to be an invaluable opportunity for students to gain a deeper understanding of the field and gather practical advice for their future endeavors.

AABANY extends its gratitude to the Student Outreach Committee, IP Committee, and SOC Vice Chair William Lee (Associate, Mayer Brown LLP) for their efforts in organizing this enlightening event.

To learn more about the IP Committee, click here. To learn more about the SOC,  click here. To learn more about upcoming AABANY events, click here.

AABANY Student Outreach Committee and Tax Law Committee Present – What Do Tax Lawyers Do?

Top Row (left to right): Sarah Choi, Shu-Ping Shen, Ms. Urvi Doshi Sood
Bottom Row (left to right): Najah J. Shariff, Karen Kim

On April 26, 2023, AABANY’s Student Outreach and Tax Law Committee hosted a virtual panel: “What Do Tax Lawyers Do?” This event ran from 6:30-7:30pm EST on Zoom with remarks from Shu-Ping Shen (Tax Committee Co-Chair). The panel was moderated by Alex Lao (Pace Law) and Sharon Yang (Student Outreach Committee Co-Chair, Fordham Law), and featured the following panelists:

  • Karen Kim (Partner – Mayer Brown LLP)
  • Najah J. Shariff (Assistant U.S. Attorney, Tax Division – U.S. Attorney’s Office)
  • Ms. Urvi Doshi Sood (Vice President of Taxes and General Tax Counsel – Lockheed Martin Corporation)
  • Sarah Choi (Associate General Counsel – NY Life Insurance Company)

Panelists shared what drew them into their respective fields, interview tips and advice to be resourceful, self-starting junior associates. The main takeaways include: tax law touches a wide range of fields, panelists highly encourage gaining some understanding of tax law or accounting and be proactive as a junior associate by asking questions and picking up additional assignments. The event concluded with a Q&A and light mingling among panelists and students.

Students interested in gaining experience in tax law should check out the externship program at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Students should apply to the Tax Division. Assignments may include legal research, writing pleadings, trial preparation, observing trials and other court proceedings. Interested students can learn more about the program here.

AABANY thanks the Student Outreach Committee, Tax Law Committee and SOC Co-Chair William Lee (Associate, Mayer Brown LLP) for organizing the event.

Special thank you to our sponsors, Mayer Brown LLP and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

To learn more about the Tax Committee, click here. To learn more about the SOC, click here. To learn more about upcoming AABANY events, click here.

Student Outreach Committee and Corporate Law Committee Co-host Program on “What Do Corporate Lawyers Do?”

On March 31, 2023, the Student Outreach and Corporate Law Committees presented the panel: “What Do Corporate Lawyers Do?” at Orrick’s New York office. Moderators Long Dang (litigation associate at Cleary) and Jay Hawlader (law student at Brooklyn Law School) spoke to corporate attorneys Alice Hsu (Capital Markets partner at Orrick), Chris Min (Finance partner at Orrick), Cherry Liu (M&A/PE associate at Paul, Weiss), and Ashley Wong (M&A/PE and Capital Markets associate at Sidley). 

In a relaxed setting with pizza and soft drinks, students listened to Alice and Chris speak about building relationships with clients, managing associates, and how they succeeded in becoming partner at their firm. Cherry and Ashley gave advice on how law students should judiciously select practical law classes, how they can ace the law firm interview process, and how to be resourceful, self-starting junior associates.

The panelists also shared what drew them into their respective fields. Ashley, for example, was inspired by purchasing Teavana tea from a Starbucks menu and was then intrigued by high-level transactions that affected consumers. Chris was drawn into her group because she enjoyed the personalities and the work combination.

Students on Zoom and in person listened closely as Alice described her day in a life as a partner and when Cherry gave advice on interviewing with law firms. The event concluded with Q&A and light mingling among the panelists and students.

Thanks to the Student Outreach Committee and Corporate Law Committee for organizing this helpful and informative program, and thanks to all the speakers for sharing their knowledge and insights.

Join the Student Outreach Committee  and Tax Committee for “What Do Tax Lawyers Do?” on April 26. For more details and to register, go here.

AABANY Student Outreach Committee Presents: Balancing the Scales: Affirmative Action Panel

The AABANY Student Outreach Committee (SOC) hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion on April 13th, 2023 over Zoom, featuring renowned legal scholars Professor Thomas Healy and Professor Jin Hee Lee. The event was moderated by Jinny (Ji Yoon) Lim, a 2L at Seton Hall University School of Law.

Professor Healy, an acclaimed author and expert in constitutional law, legal history, civil rights, freedom of speech, and federal courts, shared his insights on the history of affirmative action and landmark Supreme Court cases, such as Regents of the University of California v. BakkeGrutter v. BollingerGratz v. Bollinger, and Fisher v. University of Texas

Professor Jin Hee Lee, the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Legal Defense Fund, provided valuable insights into the legal arguments presented by both SFFA and Harvard/UNC. She also addressed the controversies surrounding the two cases and offered her perspective on the personal rating (PR) scores used by Harvard and the potential consequences of outlawing race-conscious admissions policies.

The panel discussion was a captivating and thought-provoking event, shedding light on vital issues regarding civil rights and constitutional law, which are especially relevant and timely today. 

Thanks to the SOC for organizing this topical program and to the speakers for their participation. To learn more about the SOC, click here.