AABANY Hosts Panel on How to Succeed in Virtual Summer Programs

On June 15, 2020, the Student Outreach Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) hosted a webinar discussing how to succeed in virtual summer programs. Moderated by James Cho, an Assistant United States Attorney with the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn and past president of AABANY, the panel featured: Luna Barrington, Partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP; Jeeho Lee, Hiring Partner at O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Andrew T. Hahn, Sr., General Counsel at Hawkins, Delafield & Wood; and Irene Han, Executive Director and Assistant General Counsel at JP Morgan Chase.

The panel first addressed what their current firms and organizations were offering for their summer programs, given the challenges of COVID-19. Jeeho Lee explained that the summer programs at O’Melveny & Myers LLP were shortened to six weeks and will be all virtual, but the firm guaranteed offers to all 2L summer associates, and that 1L summer associates were guaranteed positions for the summer of their second year. She emphasized that the staff wants to ensure that the summer program remains an opportunity for the firm to set up a platform for students to build a network with other lawyers. Luna Barrington’s firm, Weil, offered a 10-week program, which featured virtual social events, encouraged students to network, and extended offers to 1L and 2L summer associates. James Cho stated that all of his interns were assigned an Assistant U.S. Attorney to work with and that the program was completely virtual.

Andrew Hahn Sr., who also previously served as President of AABANY and NAPABA, encouraged summer associates and interns to have strong core competencies–reading, writing, and speaking skills–and to also practice their soft skills, especially in regards to social interactions and leadership. Luna Barrington encouraged individuals partaking in summer programs to make an extra effort to go out and meet people at the firm through virtual programs and to be proactive in seeking assignments as a way to distinguish themselves. Irene Han highlighted the importance of demonstrating a learning mindset, active engagement during virtual events (including turning on your video and microphone during meetings), and leadership. Jeeho Lee warned the audience to not take a guaranteed offer for granted, but to remain engaged and build a strong reputation. She also stressed that individuals should make relationships that expand their horizons. Finally, James Cho advised summer associates and interns to be heard, proactive, and present.

Irene Han gave the audience a few basic presentation tips, including dressing in business casual and meeting the cultural expectations of the firm. Jeeho Lee added that individuals should always try to dress professionally, even if others are dressed in casual attire.

When asked how to respond when an attorney is very busy and does not respond to emails and set hard deadlines, the panel suggested that the individual find another person that works with the assigned partner and ask through them. The panel also advised summer associates and interns not to ask to work in person unless the firm announces that it is opening up. They also encouraged individuals to schedule coffee chats with other members of the firm and attend company social events. The panel advised individuals to avoid excessively apologizing for mistakes or not knowing the answers to questions, but rather, to only apologize when it is appropriate and to be direct. Finally, the panelists explained that there may likely be many firms that do not give returning offers to many summer associates due to external factors, but that individuals should ask the HR manager or the director of the summer program for advice for the following summer.

We thank the panelists for their time and the Student Outreach Committee for organizing this informative discussion. For more information on the Student Outreach Committee, see https://www.aabany.org/page/121.

AABANY Presents “How to Network” Panel at Cardozo School of Law

On Wednesday, March 3rd, AABANY’s Student Outreach committee collaborated with Cardozo Law School’s Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) to host a panel on “How to Network.” The panelists included Margaret Ling, Senior Counsel at Big Apple Abstract Corp., Tiffany Ma, Partner at Young & Ma LLP, and Jeff Ikejiri, Vice President of Legal and Business Services at UnitedLex. The moderator was Aakruti Vakharia, Associate at Garwin Gerstein & Fisher LLP and Co-Chair of the Student Outreach Committee. 

Tiffany Ma spoke about her journey from a mid-tier law school to her lateral move to Morrison & Foerster, advising Cardozo law students to take advantage of their location in New York to build their networks and make themselves more competitive. She believes that “the best marketing is sincerity” and she shared her personal technique of establishing three points of commonality with new connections to help others remember her when she follows up with them afterwards.

Margaret Ling also shared a tip to have different business cards—company, personal, school, etc.—so that students can present the best side of themselves in different contexts. Margaret emphasized the importance of doing one’s homework and being aware of social cultural etiquette, always staying as humble as possible throughout the process.

Jeff Ikejiri advised students to think of networking as making friends. He told the story of how he got his current job through someone he met in line for refreshments during a break at a convention years ago. He encouraged students to be similarly outgoing and open to making new connections as well as being proactive in following up with potential connections.

Cardozo law students of all years came to hear insights and tips from the experienced practitioners. Those in attendance found the discussion thoughtful and engaging.

Thanks to Cardozo’s APALSA for co-hosting the event and providing food for the attendees. We hope to host many similar events in the future as AABANY continues to extend its outreach to students in law schools across New York.

To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/121

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Career Development in Greater China for Law Students and Young Lawyers

On January 17, 2020, the Asia Practice Committee and Student Outreach Committee successfully co-hosted an event regarding career development in Greater China for law students and young lawyers, at Fordham Law School, 150 W 62nd Street.  The panel speakers included Han Deng from Reed Smith, James Hang Jiang from Mayer Brown, Karen R. King from Paul Weiss, and Jian Wu, Co-Chair of the AABANY Asia Practice Committee.  The panel shared their insights into legal career development in Greater China and the U.S. from a comparative perspective.

We thank Jian Wu for moderating and all the speakers for presenting this informative program. We thank all attendees for coming out for this program. We thank AABANY’s Asia Practice Committee and Student Outreach Committee for co-sponsoring this event. For more information about AABANY’s Asia Practice Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/582. For more information about the Student Outreach Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/121

AABANY Presents: Dress for Success

On Tuesday, November 19, 2019, AABANY’s Career Placement Committee presented its inaugural Dress for Success event. The event took place at J.Crew Fifth Avenue. Over 20 people attended the event. The event provided attendees with personal styling advice, an opportunity to shop, and wardrobe demonstrations that would allow each attendee to put their best foot forward in dressing. Special thanks to the Government Service & Public Interest Committee, Litigation Committee, Solo & Small Firm Practice Committee, Student Outreach Committee, and Women’s Committee for co-sponsoring the event. Special thanks to Flavor Fuzion Catering and Ashvini Persaud, Sr. Business Banker at Capital One, for her generous donation.

AABANY Presents Pathways to Government Service and Public Interest Career Panel

On October 29, 2019, AABANY’s Government Service & Public Interest Committee, Career Placement Committee, Student Outreach Committee, and New York Law School’s APALSA teamed up to present Pathways to Government Service and Public Interest Career Panel.

Panelists included:

Mihea Kim, Staff Attorney, Homicide Defense Task Force, The Legal Aid Society;
Hon. Donald Leo,  New York City Criminal Court Judge, New York Supreme Court;
Nelson Mar, Senior Staff Attorney, Education Law Unit, Bronx Legal Services 
Kin Ng, Bureau Chief of the Red Zone Trial Bureau, Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office;
Won Shin, Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York

Moderator: Hon. Grace E. Lee, Administrative Law Judge, New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance

The panelists shared what experiences led them to their current position in the public interest/government sector. Fun tidbits were also revealed — two of the panelists litigated cases against each other, while two other panelists went to high school together. Attendees and panelists enjoyed friendly banter and discussion after the panel. 

We thank the Government Service & Public Interest , Career Placement, and Student Outreach Committee Committees for hosting this panel. To learn more about the GSPI Committee, go here. To learn more about the Career Placement Committee, go here. To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, go here.

AABANY Presents: Resume Review/Interview Skills Workshop at Fordham Law School

On October 24, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee and Career Placement Committee co-sponsored a resume review/interview skills workshop at Fordham Law School. Students had the opportunity to have their resumes reviewed and practice interview questions with attorneys from a variety of different fields including, but not limited to, IP, Antitrust, Corporate, Litigation and Criminal Law. There were about 25 students and 10 reviewers in attendance. Attendees also enjoyed dinner from Panda Express. 

A special thank you to Fordham APALSA, who helped organized the event, and to the reviewers who took time out of their busy schedules to review resumes and practice interview skills, including Aakruti Vakharia, Jonathan Li, Yang Chen, Christopher Bae, William Hao, Darley Maw, Jeffrey Mok, Kevin Yim, Jayashree Mitra, and Quentin Wong. Also, thank you to the students who attended and made the event a big success. 

We look forward to seeing the attendees at future AABANY events.  For information information about the Student Outreach Committee go to https://www.aabany.org/page/121. For more information about the Career Placement Committee, go to https://www.aabany.org/page/372.

AABANY Presents: Resume Review Workshop at NYU Law School

On October 16, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee presented a resume review workshop at New York University School of Law. Practicing attorneys from various fields attended the event to review the resumes of 30 students from NYU’s APALSA group and provide the students with useful substantive feedback on their resumes. The attorneys also offered 1-on-1 advice about networking, job hunting, how to succeed in the legal profession, and answered questions about their respective practice areas.  

Thanks to all the NYU APALSA members who attended. A special thanks to all of the attorneys including Christopher Bae, Ming Cheung, Eunkyong Choi, William Hao, Jonathan Li, Daniel Ng, Aakruti Vakharia, Sahng-Ah Yoo, and Alice Zhang who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the event and be a resource for the students. We look forward to seeing NYU APALSA members taking part in upcoming AABANY events.

AABANY Pre-OCI Information Session: What Do Corporate Lawyers Do?

On Tuesday, July 22nd, AABANY’s Corporate Law Committee and Student Outreach Committee hosted an insightful Pre-OCI Information session, “What do corporate lawyer do?”, at Paul, Weiss. With more than 30 law school students and undergraduate students in attendance, Executive Director Yang Chen welcomed everyone and introduced the moderator, Terry Shen. 

The panel started with Terry introducing each distinguished panel speaker. The panelists comprised both in-house attorneys from top firms in the industry and corporate law lawyers at prestigious law firms, each with a different specialty practice area within the landscape of corporate law:  

•    Jasmine Ball, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

•    Parkin Lee, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, The Rockefeller Group 

•    Marianne Chow-Newman, Counsel, The Hearst Corporation

•    Lawrence G. Wee, Partner, Paul Weiss Rifikind Wharton & Garrison LLP 

•    Terry Shen (Moderator), Partner, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Addressing the question “what do corporate lawyer do?”, the panelists talked about why they chose corporate law, their daily role as a corporate lawyer, the interaction and relationship with corporate clients, the kind of tasks a junior associate will encounter, and interview techniques for the upcoming OCI (on-campus interview) season on campus. 

First, the panelists explained five different subdivisions of corporate law: Capital Markets, Credit & Leverage Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Restructuring, and Investment Management. Different from litigation and what has been portrayed in the media, corporate lawyers rarely go to court or draft motions. Instead, corporate lawyers offer legal advice to corporations who attempt to operate and grow their business. Coming from an engineering background in his early career, Parkin Lee characterized his role as a corporate lawyer as “engineering with words.” The nature of corporate operation requires lawyers to write a tight contract, understand the needs of their clients and negotiate on their behalf, build trust between two parties who want to do business, and explain complicated deal structures to the client. Young lawyers need to have the capability to negotiate, conduct due diligence, and strengthen relationships with clients.  

The event concluded with a discussion of the deal team culture and “bro culture” in law firms. Although one does not need to thrive in the bro culture to succeed, Terry drew a connection between bro culture with the work ethic of a young lawyer, illustrating the reliability, can-do mindset and intellectual curiosity embodied in both deal team culture and bro culture.  

We would like to sincerely thank Larry Wee and Paul, Weiss for hosting the event by providing food, beverages, and an excellent space. We also thank the Corporate Law Committee and Student Outreach Committee for putting together this valuable and meaningful program for current or prospective law students.

To learn more about the Corporate Law Committee, please click here.

To learn more about the Student Outreach Committee, please click here.

Membership Mixer

On Wednesday, May 28, 2019, AABANY’s Career Placement and Student Outreach Committees hosted the first Membership Mixer of the new fiscal year at Cajunsea on West 33rd Street.

Well over 30 attendees gathered and mingled while enjoying drinks, oysters, and snacks. The Membership Mixer is just one of many events that AABANY’s Membership Committee is hosting to engage current and future members. Co-Chairs from the Career Placement Committee and Student Outreach Committee were present to meet with attendees and introduce them to the work of those committees.

Membership Committee Co-Chairs, Beatrice Leong and Christopher Bae, were on hand and made an announcement about upcoming events, which include an off-Broadway outing for “You never touched the dirt” and a Mets game at Citi Field. Please visit our calendar to learn more about our upcoming events by going to https://www.aabany.org/events/event_list.asp.

We thank everyone that braved the rain to attend the event and made it a great success.

AABANY Co-Sponsors: Resume Review Workshop

On Thursday, March 28th, AABANY’s Student Outreach Committee hosted a Resume Review Workshop in collaboration with Fordham Law School’s APALSA. Students had the opportunity to meet experienced attorneys and receive substantive feedback on their resumes. The attorneys also offered 1-on-1 advice about networking, job hunting, and answered questions about their respective practice areas. Attendees enjoyed chicken kebabs and Mediterranean tapas from Kashkaval Garden.

Thanks to all the Fordham APALSA members that attended. A special thanks to all the attorneys that took time out of their busy schedules to participate in the event and be a resource for the students. We look forward to seeing Fordham APALSA members taking part in upcoming AABANY events.

We also thank Aakruti Vakharia, Student Outreach Committee Co-Chair, for this write-up.