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AABA Newsletter

President’s Column
By Ted Ting
October 2014


Hey True Believers-

This newsletter captures numerous impressive events that AABA has offered this summer and early fall. Our committees have been very busy putting on one event after another.

But I’m especially proud of the work that AABA did this past quarter on the Reception celebrating the career of California Supreme Court Justice Joyce Kennard. Spearheaded by our extraordinary Vice-President Eumi Lee, the Planning Committee (which also included Miriam Kim, Kimberly Chin, Marina Sarmiento-Feehan, Kristy Young, and Alice Jensen) put on a second-to-none gala that honored Justice Kennard’s retirement after twenty-five years of service.

Justice Kennard’s story has been told so often, yet I was struck by how many students and attorneys were just now learning about her.

To refresh your memory: Justice Kennard was born in the Indonesian province of West Java. Her father passed away in a concentration camp when she was just one. As a mixed-race child, she experienced racism and very poor living conditions, which led her mother to move them to the Netherlands. Justice Kennard had hoped to attend college, but her plans were derailed by a partial amputation of her leg at the age of sixteen. In 1961, despite being a disabled female with considerably less resources than most of us have today, she journeyed here and found a job. She put herself through college and law school, and after several years

Her story would sound like pure fiction if it hadn’t actually happened.

I can understand why more recent Asian American attorneys are not more familiar with her. All that they would know is the California Supreme Court was composed of four Asian Americans. They wouldn’t recall that in 1989, Justice Kennard was only the second female justice ever, never mind the first Asian American.

I feel quite fortunate to have met and talked with her in 1996 when I was a law student. She was an inspiration to me and I know she inspired many others too. If we make sure we continue to share her story, she can inspire new generations of future attorneys. This is why we felt it was incredibly important to host such an event. Indeed, as we might not see four Asian American justices again in the near future, we must memorialize the road paved by the very first one.


In This Issue:

  • Emotional Send-Off Caps Justice Kennard’s 25 Years on the California Supreme Court
  • AABA Law Foundation Board Members Help Raise Money for Scholarships to Aid API Law Students
  • Beating the Heat at AABA’s Public Law Potluck
  • Justin Nishioka’s Optimism Helps Him Succeed in His Evolving Legal Career
  • Pathways to General Counsel
  • Starting a Law Firm and Choosing the Right Business Entity
  • Preschool Beautification Event
  • Recent Law Grads Find Jobs Through Perseverance and Networking
  • Sustaining Members of 2014

Read More…

AABA’s 27th Annual Summer Law Clerk Reception

Every year, AABA hosts its Annual Summer Law Clerk Reception, enabling law students, recent graduates, and attorneys to reconnect with old acquaintances and build new relationships. The reception has always been one of AABA’s most popular and well-attended events.  This year’s event on June 18, 2014 at Sens Restaurant in San Francisco – the 27th Annual gathering – was no different.

At each reception, AABA’s Community Services Committee also awards AABA Summer Grants to exceptional law students for their achievements and commitment to serving the Asian American community.  This year’s recipient, Dee Nguyen, a rising 3L at Hastings College of the Law, is certainly worthy of the recognition.  As a law clerk with Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus Workers’ Rights Project, Dee is working on her own direct services docket of wage and hour and unemployment insurance benefit appeal cases to aid low income workers.

Summer Grant Pic

​The reception was coordinated by AABA’s hardworking Employment Committee Co-Chairs Elizabeth Loh, Naomi Pilchen, and David Wang and Committee Members Vince Chen, Angel Garrett, Jenny Jin, Gabe Law, and Alston Lew.  Special thanks goes to Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, which sponsored the event through a generous donation, and its partners (especially Miriam Kim) who have made large personal donations.  AABA also thanks the numerous Bay Area Asian American law firm partners and individual attorneys, who gave individual contributions.

If you are interested in making a contribution for next year’s Reception, please contact AABA’s Operations Director, Olma O’Neill (aaba.bayarea@gmail.com).

Rebuilding Together SF!

10252014_RebuildingTogether-BravaSaturday, October 25, 2014

8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (partial shifts available)

Brava Theater
2781 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Come join Union Bank and the AABA Community Services Committee as we renovate the historic Brava Theater in the Mission District! The Brava Theater is one of the many sites for the Rebuilding Together San Francisco fall build-out this year (www.rebuildingtogethersf.org). Volunteers will assist with prep work, painting, and clean-up. No heavy lifting, carpentry, or outdoor work needed.

All volunteers over 16 years of age are welcome. Union Bank will be providing light breakfast and boxed lunches for volunteers. The Theater is easily accessible by BART and MUNI. Off-street metered parking is also available.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Lisa Mak or John B. Lough, Jr.

Senior Associate Leadership Workshop

10252014_Senior Associate Flyer UPDATEDSaturday, October 25, 2014

10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Morgan Lewis
One Market, Spear Street Tower, San Francisco 94104

Are you an associate with at least six years of practice?  Are you thinking about what skills you need to develop to become a leader in your organization?  Come join AABA on Saturday, October 25 to learn essential leadership skills that will prepare you for the next stages of your career!

AABA is proud to present Carol Isozaki of Strategic Brand Intelligence, who will take you through a half-day seminar to help you develop important leadership skills and enhance your personal brand.  Carol is an experienced leader in this field, having presented workshops to major companies around the country.

WHO: Associate attorneys with at least six years of experience
WHEN: Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Morgan Lewis, One Market, Spear Street Tower, San Francisco, CA 94104
HOW: Registration required via AABA Calendar by October 15
COST: $250 for current AABA members/$350 for non-members

Contact Michelle Park Chiu
AABA Education Committee Co-Chair

Start Your Career Off Right: Panel CLE Event for Junior Attorneys

1.0 hour of MCLE Credit

October 28, 2014

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Please join us for a panel event to hear from experienced attorneys who will provide tips and advice to new attorneys on how to start their careers on the right track!  The panelists will share their experiences on what worked and what didn’t as young attorneys.  The event will also include time for Q and A.

·         Lin Chan, Associate at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein and AABA Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair
·         Joshua Chang, Associate at Kwan & Olynick LLP and AABA Mentorship Committee Co-Chair
·         Veronica Guinto, Law Office of Veronica B. Guinto and AABA Solo & Small Firm Committee Co-Chair
·         Moderator: Michelle Park Chiu, Associate at Morgan Lewis and AABA Education Committee Co-Chair

Lunch will be provided.  Space is limited, so please RSVP through the AABA Calendar no later than October 24.

AABA and SF La Raza Joint Networking Mixer

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

AABA of the greater Bay Area and the SF La Raza Lawyer’s Association invite you to their jointly hosted Networking Mixer on Wednesday, October 29, 2014, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at 111 Minna Gallery in downtown San Francisco. This mixer is a great opportunity to meet new faces and expand your business referral network. Complimentary appetizers will be served, but only while they last! The venue features stunning 16 feet high walls and a fully stocked bar. Bring extra business cards and enjoy meeting new colleagues and reuniting with familiar faces over drinks and small bites.

Please RSVP on the AABA Calendar so we can have a headcount of who is coming. Members of AABA and SF La Raza get in free! Non-members will be charged a $5 entry fee, but sign up for membership before or at the event and get into this and more events like this for free. For any inquiries regarding the event, please contact Jill Lin.

On behalf of SFLRLA and AABA, we hope to see you there!

Halloween Eve LYRIC Extravaganza

10302014_LYRIC-halloween-eve-flyerSponsored by AABA and BALIF

Thursday, October 30, 2014

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

The Drake Lounge
508 4th Street, San Francisco CA 94107

Come as a lawyer, a banker, or a candlestick maker!

Join BALIF and AABA to Benefit LGBTQ Youth at our Halloween Eve LYRIC party!

What: Halloween Eve LYRICS Extravaganza with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and party favors
Donations: Minimum $25 in advance / $35 at the door

Purchase Tickets / Donate here: www.balif.org/LYRICparty

For sponsorship opportunities, contact: edward@edwardjoylaw.com

Federal and State Whistleblower Laws: What You Need To Know

11042014_SF-WhistleBlowerLaws-WhatYouNeedtoKnow-Chan-0914 Monday, November 3, 2014

1.0 Hour of MCLE Credit

5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
555 Mission Street, 30th Floor, San Francisco 94105

Numerous federal and state laws and regulations govern the interaction between employers, government agencies, and potential whistleblowers – affecting almost every organization across a wide variety of practice areas.  Learn how these laws impact your employees and/or legal practice.

Our speakers will include:
• Lin Chan, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
• Winston Y. Chan, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
• Alice Liu Jensen, U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
• Jeffrey E. Tsai, California Attorney General’s Office
• Christine Wong, Fujitsu

Registration opens at 5:30pm with drinks and appetizers. Program starts at 6:00pm.
Approved for 1.0 hour of general CLE credit.
Space is limited so please register early. Registration will close when the room is at capacity.
Free for AABA members with advance registration, $30 for non-members.

Public Law / Public Service Career Panel

11052014_Public Law Career PanelWednesday, November 5, 2014

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

UC Hastings Alumni Reception Center
200 McAllister Street, San Francisco CA 94102

AABA’s Public Law/Public Service Committee and UC Hastings APALSA are hosting a Public Law/Public Service Career Panel for students and attorneys who are interested in pursuing a career in the public sector. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn about the vast field of public sector jobs and meet public law practitioners who have dedicated their careers to public service. Panelists from various non-profit, government, and public service organizations will discuss their experiences in public law and their career pathways. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

Judge Andrew Cheng (SF Superior Court)
Angelica Jongco (Public Advocates)
Bill Tamayo (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
Margaret Fujioka (Mayor of Piedmont & Administrative Hearing Officer)
Richard Pio Roda (Meyers Nave & San Leandro City Attorney)
Moderator: Professor Eumi Lee (UC Hastings)



AABA’s Ascend Participant Reunion Lunch

Reunion for Participants of the Rising to the Top Program
(Strategies for APA Partners and In-House Counsel to Succeed in the Business of Law)

November 13, 2014 Noon – 1:30 pm

Sidley Austin LLP
555 California Street, Suite 2000, San Francisco CA 94104

Last October, AABA and Ascend (the premier professional association for APA business executives) led a joint leadership and business development retreat for APA partners and in-house counsel who aspire to contribute to their organizations at the highest levels. We are hosting a reunion lunch for those participants on November 13, 2014 in Sidley Austin LLP’s offices at 555 California St., Suite 2000, San Francisco.

Come network with your fellow participants and share learnings and progress from the past year. Please rsvp to Hae-Won Min Liao (hminliao@sidley.com or 415-772-1227).

Please direct all questions to Education Committee Co-Chair Jennifer Shih. Look forward to seeing you there!

AABA Bowling Night

Tuesday, November 18, 2014
*The event was previously scheduled for November 5 and has been rescheduled to November 18.

6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Yerba Buena Bowling Center
750 Folsom Street, San Francisco CA 94107

The Social Committee of the Asian American Bar Association will be hosting a night of bowling on Tuesday, November 18 at the Yerba Buena Bowling Center. So if you have some time to spare and you’re in the right frame of mind, put an X on your calendar and roll on over. Bowling and shoe rental will be free for members but $5 for non-members. So if you or your friends are not members yet, sign up now!

Space is limited so please RSVP via the AABA Calendar so we know how many people to expect. Contact Steven Hong with any questions.

SAVE THE DATE – AABA’s Annual Holiday Party!

SAVE THE DATE – AABA’s Annual Holiday Party!

Friday, December 5, 2014

6:00 – 10:00 p.m.

Fang Restaurant
660 Howard Street, San Francisco 94105

The Social Committee is hosting our Annual AABA Holiday Party on Friday, December 5, 2014 from 6 pm to 10 pm at Fang Restaurant, located at 660 Howard Street in downtown San Francisco. A large variety of delicious appetizers will be served throughout the night, along with an Open Bar for half of the night. We have reserved two floors of the restaurant for the event.  One level will have a DJ spinning the latest tunes, along with a photo booth for AABA Members and their guests to take pictures that night. Please remember to register early on the AABA website.  The cost is $30.00 for AABA members and $35.00 for guests who register early online, and $40.00 for all AABA members and all guests at the door.

For more information, please email Emily Tam at emilymtam@sbcglobal.net.  We look forward to seeing you all at our Holiday Party!

AABA Public Law / Public Service Committe Brown Bag Series: Working for the USAO

12122014December Brown Bag Luncheon
Co-Sponsored by: National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association

Friday, December 12th

Noon – 1:00 p.m.

United States Attorney’s Office
450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102

Hosted by: Rodney Villazor – Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit, Criminal Division, San Francisco



Merry Jean Chan – Appellate Division, San Francisco

Hanley Chew — Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Unit (CHIP), Criminal Division, San Jose

Jeff Shih – Narcotics Unit, Criminal Division, San Francisco

Jennifer Wang – Civil Division, San Francisco

This event is free but space is limited. RSVP required by December 8, 2014. Click HERE to register. Questions? Contact Rodney Villazor.

AABA’s MCLE “Mini-Marathon”

Up to 4.0 Hours of MCLE

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SAVE THE DATE!  The California MCLE Reporting Deadline is February 2, 2015!  Are you chasing those last few hard-to-get credits?  Or are you a planner and want to get these taken care of early?  Then come to AABA’s MCLE “Mini-Marathon” on Wednesday, January 14, where we will provide up to 4.0 hours of MCLE credit in those hard-to-get subjects.  We will offer 1.0 hour of Elimination of Bias, 1.0 hour of Substance Abuse/Competence Issues, and 2.0 hours of Ethics.  Program details and location TBA.

Transitions: Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Thursday, February 5, 2015

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF)
301 Battery Street, Third Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

The AABA Solo & Small Firms Committee, AABA Social Committee, and Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) jointly present: “Transitions: Alternative Careers for Lawyers,” a panel and mixer.

Are you a lawyer who doesn’t want to practice? Are you exploring or pursuing a possible career change? Have you already made a change? Do you want to connect with others in the same boat?

We invite you to join a discussion on alternative careers for lawyers, featuring a diverse panel of lawyers who have successfully chosen non-traditional paths. Our panelists will share their personal experiences, including how they got to where they are, the rewards and challenges, and tips and advice. Please join us for a night of conversation and Q&A.  A social mixer will follow, location TBD.

Our panel will feature:
Marina Sarmiento Feehan, Executive Coach, Career Consultant, Personal Branding Strategist, and Founder and President of Positive Counsel
Kelly Kang, San Francisco Real Estate Agent at Paragon Real Estate Group
Kyungah “Kay” Suk, Mediator and the Founder of Forward Mediation
Manuel Tumaneng, Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

This event will be FREE for AABA members, and $30 for non-members.  Please RSVP HERE.