Press Release: NAPABA Congratulates Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber on Their Nominations

For Immediate Release I January 7, 2020

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Trump announced the nominations of Jessie K. Liu to be Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Jennifer Yue Barber to be Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador.

“We congratulate Jessie K. Liu on her nomination to serve as the Under Secretary of the Treasury. Ms. Liu is an experienced and respected attorney with a record of leadership as U.S. Attorney. She is well qualified to oversee the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “We congratulate Jennifer Yue Barber on her nomination to serve as Representative of the United States of America on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Ms. Barber has a strong record of encouraging and creating economic opportunity and is well qualified to serve as Ambassador. We are encouraged to see Asian Pacific American women like Ms. Liu and Ms. Barber continue to break barriers and serve as role models.”

A litigator with over 20 years of experience, Liu is presently the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. She previously served as Deputy General Counsel for the Department of the Treasury, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia and in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She was a partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner & Block LLP. Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C. She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.  

Barber is a member of the law firm Frost Brown Todd LLC focusing on state and local tax, economic incentives, and government affairs. She was appointed by the Governor of Kentucky to serve on the University of Kentucky’s Board of Trustees. Barber is also a member of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Tax Working Group and Litigation Committee and a member of the American Bar Association and Kentucky Bar Association, where she leads and serves on multiple committees. She is also a member of the local advisory board for United States Bank, the nation’s fifth largest commercial bank. She served on the Kentucky State Fair Board, which has over $450 million in annual economic impact to Kentucky. Barber earned her B.S. from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. She clerked in the Office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kentucky. Barber is a member of the NAPABA Partners Committee.

Barber is also nominated to be an Alternate U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Jessie K. Liu and Jennifer Yue Barber.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

AABANY 2020 Law Firm Diversity Award – Applications Now Open

Since 2014, AABANY has sought to recognize one law firm each year for its extraordinary efforts to improve the diversity of our profession by presenting AABANY’s Law Firm Diversity Award. The 2020 AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award will be presented at the Annual Dinner on February 26, 2020.

Nominees should be a law firm that has achieved significant success in the areas of recruiting, retaining and promoting women and diverse attorneys while also demonstrating a commitment to raising awareness of, and influencing the legal community to address, the challenges faced by women and diverse attorneys in the legal industry.  Criteria for selection include:

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity at all levels of the firm;
  • An established pipeline of diverse talent;
  • A track record of retaining and promoting women and diverse attorneys;
  • External activities, such as active participation in minority bar associations like AABANY and diversity programs of mainstream bar associations like the American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, and New York County Lawyers Association;
  • Any other factors the selection committee deems valuable in promoting AABANY’s mission.

The AABANY Law Firm Diversity Award recipient will be chosen by a selection committee through a competitive and confidential process.

If you know of any firms that should apply please forward this email and direct them to this link for the form: https://www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/lfda/LFDA_2020_SUBMISSION_FORM_FI.pdf

Deadline: January 30, 2020.

Press Release: NAPABA Extends its Warm Wishes to Long-Time Executive Director Tina Matsuoka and Welcomes Interim Executive Director Jill Werner

For Immediate Release I December 30, 2019
For More Information, Contact:
Jill Werner, Interim Executive Director, jwerner@napaba.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) extends its gratitude to Tina Matsuoka for her dedicated service as executive director of NAPABA for more than eleven years. NAPABA flourished under her tenure, which was marked by significant financial and programmatic growth.

“The NAPABA Board is grateful to Tina for her leadership and vision,” said Bonnie Lee Wolf, president of NAPABA.  “NAPABA is recognized on the national stage for its effective advocacy and policy work and emulated by peer organizations in large part because of Tina’s efforts.”

Tina was the longest-serving executive director in NAPABA’s history. Before she joined NAPABA, she was a practicing attorney with experience in government and private practice.

In announcing her departure, Ms. Matsuoka said, “It has been an honor to have worked with dedicated and talented NAPABA staff, board members, and volunteers to support the Asian Pacific American community and diversity in the legal profession. Although I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, I will truly miss the NAPABA community of lawyers who have become friends and mentors.”

Jill Werner, who is now serving as NAPABA’s Interim Executive Director, has served in various roles at the American Bar Association, including as director of member retention and staff director of the National Association of Bar Executives and the National Conference of Bar Foundations.  

The NAPABA Board of Governors is working to ensure a smooth transition and has begun the recruitment and selection process for the next executive director.

Congratulations to Hon. E. Grace Park on Her Induction to NYC Civil Court

On December 19, 2019, many were on hand to celebrate E. Grace Park being sworn in as a judge in the Manhattan 4th Municipal Court District of the Civil Court of the City of New York.

Judge Park was born in Seoul, Korea where she lived through the second grade when she immigrated to the United States to join her mother in Chicago, Illinois. Thereafter, Judge Park moved to Boston, Massachusetts for her high school years.  She attended Dartmouth College, where she received her B.A. magna cum laude in Government & Asian Studies. Judge Park holds two Master’s degrees: the first in Regional Studies – East Asia from Harvard University and the second in Public Administration from Columbia University.  Judge Park received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1999, where she served as Senior Editor of the Journal of Constitutional Law as well as President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.  After graduating from law school, Ms. Park clerked for the Hon. Jacob Mishler in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, followed by five years in private practice.  Judge Park then embarked on a career in public service with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children in Family Court.

Congratulations, Judge Park, for your hard fought election and well deserved induction ceremony. AABANY wishes you the best of luck in your new career on the bench.

Congratulations to My Chi To on Being Appointed to Lead the Insurance Division of New York State Department of Financial Services

AABANY congratulates My Chi To on her appointment as Executive Deputy Superintendent of the Insurance Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). In this role, she will oversee more than 1,400 insurance companies with $4.7 trillion in assets. My Chi To is an AABANY member and was a Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, in the Restructuring Group and Global Insurance Practice.

According to the DFS Press Release which announced her appointment in November, 

My Chi was awarded the Kathryn R. Heidt Memorial Award by the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. She also received the Best Lawyers Under 40 Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. An advocate for women in law and business, she is a member of the Steering Committee of the U.S. 30% Club, a group of business leaders focused on improving the representation of women at all levels of U.S. organizations, including corporate boards. My Chi will join New York state’s Committee for the Advancement of Women in Leadership in Financial Services, which was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in September.

She received an M.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She received an LL.L. and LL.B. in Civil Law and Common Law from the University of Ottawa and was a law clerk to the Hon. Claire L’Heureux-Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest court of Canada.

Read the full press release here: Press Release – November 20, 2019: Financial Services Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell Names My Chi To As Executive Deputy Superintendent of Insurance

The New York Law Journal reported that My Chi is expected to start full-time at DFS at the start of 2020.

Please join AABANY in congratulating My Chi and wishing her success on this important appointment.

Academic Committee Hosts Annual Holiday Lunch at Dim Sum Palace

On Tuesday, December 17, the Academic Committee hosted their Annual Holiday Lunch at Dim Sun Palace in the East Village. Academic Committee Co-Chairs, Prof. Elaine Chiu (St. John’s), Prof. Suzanne Kim (Rutgers), and Prof. Donna Lee (CUNY) played hosts to a full table of members of friends who came to meet the Committee’s leadership and find out what events and plans they have in store for the balance of the 2019 fiscal year and beyond. Elaine, Suzanne, and Donna encouraged everyone to to save the date for a Pathways to Academia program being planned for January 24. They also asked for ideas and suggestions on how to get law students more involved with community service, such as by volunteering at the Pro Bono Clinic.

The fare at Dim Sum Palace was plentiful, varied, and delicious, and everyone enjoyed the dishes that were served. The weather outside was gloomy and damp but around our very full table, we were able to share a warm and satisfying meal among good company.

To learn more about the Academic Committee and how you can get more involved with it go to https://www.aabany.org/page/352 .

Happy Holidays!

Intellectual Property Committee End of Year Dinner

On December 16, new and regular members of IP Committee gathered to celebrate the end of 2019 at Nom Wah – Nolita.  The group, comprised of a mix of members who are in-house, in private practice, and in law school, networked over juicy pork dumplings, shu mai, and scallion pancakes, among other dim sum delicacies.  Members discussed issues they face in their practice, updates on their careers, and plans for the holidays.   

Please look out for upcoming IP Committee events in 2020, including a panel on video streaming services, a Careers in IP event for those looking to enter the field, and additional social events.  For more information about the IP Committee or to get involved, please see https://www.aabany.org/page/145, and contact one of the co-chairs – Greg Pan, Ben Hsing, or Jeff Mok.

Thank you to our December Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

December’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic, held on Wednesday, December 11 at 33 Bowery Street in Confucius Plaza, brought out 22 volunteers who volunteered their time to help 23 clients.

We are asking every member to actively support AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic by making donations that are vital to its continuing operation. In a few short years, with the tireless and generous assistance of our volunteers, we have helped hundreds of low-income clients with free legal advice and referrals to high-quality, culturally sensitive, and linguistically competent legal services. Together we have helped expand access to justice for underserved Asian American New Yorkers.

To make it easier for our members and our community to donate to the Pro Bono Clinic, we have set up a page on Give Lively where you can make a donation by texting APAPROBONO  to 44321. It takes seconds to donate, and we hope you will take a moment today to support the Pro Bono Clinic and help it meet its fundraising goals. Please donate today!

If you know family members, friends, or businesses, such as your firm, who would like to support the Clinic, please help us connect with them by contacting Karen Yau at karen.yau@aabany.org.

Or please urge them to make a donation directly. They can visit the website of Asian American Law Fund of New York (AALFNY), AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate: https://www.asianamericanlawfund.org/donate/

AALFNY is accepting charitable donations on the Clinic’s behalf and can issue any donor a tax receipt. Any contribution, large or small, would help. Please be sure to indicate in the memo field that the donation is intended for the Pro Bono Clinic.

Thank you to all of the December Pro Bono Clinic Volunteers!

Lawyers: 

Sye-Eun Ahn
Jonathan Hernandez
Beatrice Leong
Jayashree Mitra
Yan Sin
Chizuko Ueno
Anna Jinhua Wang
Bart Wu

Interpreters: 

Nanako Arai
Ami Ishida
Kenny Moy
H. Anthony Park
Ruth Poon
Go-eun Son
Xin Zhou

Other Volunteers:

Eugene Kim, Research & Administration
Linda Liang, Research & Administration

Special thanks to Kwok Kei Ng for coordinating the clinic, and the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee Co-Chairs Pauline Yeung-Ha, Karen Kithan Yau, Asako Aiba, and Judy Lee for their leadership. AABANY’s Monthly Pro Bono Clinic occurs every second Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The next clinic will take place on January 8, 2020. If you are interested in volunteering at future Pro Bono Clinics, please contact Asako Aiba at asako.aiba@aabany.org.

AABANY Hosts 2019 Holiday Party at rent24

On Friday, December 13, AABANY held its Annual Holiday Party once again at rent24, the site of last year’s holiday party. The venue, near Bryant Park, serves as a co-working space during the day. Over 100 AABANY members and their guests took over rent24 on Friday night to celebrate the holiday season. We enjoyed a variety of Korean dishes plus sushi and sashimi. A well-stocked bar staffed by two bartenders kept the drinks flowing. Many AABANY Board Officers and Directors were in attendance, along with several Committee Co-Chairs.

Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair Karen Yau addressed the attendees to ask for donations to the Pro Bono Clinic. Karen thanked her fellow Co-Chairs and Pro Bono Clinic supporters for all they have done to make a positive difference in the lives of many low-income Asian American New Yorkers who were in need of quality legal services but were barred by cultural, linguistic or financial barriers. Karen encouraged attendees to text-to-donate via a Give Lively account set up by AALFNY, the 501(c)(3) affiliate of AABANY. We projected on a wall the Give Lively site showing progress of donations. By the end of the party, we were able to raise another $900 to exceed $2500 in donations, reaching the 10% mark of our $25,000 goal.

We thank all the donors for their generous donations, and we encourage everyone to continue giving between now and the end of February. We are aiming to reach our goal by the time of the 2020 Annual Dinner. You can give now by sending a text to 44321 with the word “APAPROBONO.” Please help us reach our goal during this season of giving.

Thanks to AABANY Director of Technology Francis Chin for the photos. To see more, go to https://photos.app.goo.gl/95wYCTaE8X61Ny6H6

Thanks to Vice President of Programs and Operations David Sohn for leading the organization of the holiday party. Thanks also to our volunteers, Bryan Cheah and Grace Kang, our intern, Jessie Rong, and our Administrative Assistant, Margaret Langston, for all their assistance to make the party a success. And, of course, thanks to all our members for your support of AABANY, its mission
and our community in 2019.

Happy holidays, everyone!