AABA Newsletter - August 2018

President's Message


Dear AABA Family, 

I hope you have been enjoying the summer! Summer is certainly a time when many of us enjoy vacations with our family and friends. It also provides time for us to reflect on our daily routines as attorneys, judges, students, and legal professionals. Law is such a broad field of work that touches so many industries and lives, with new situations that continuously call for us to examine and reexamine the law. Last month, AABA’s Women’s Committee hosted an important discussion, “What Does #MeToo Have to Do With Me?” -- a roundtable about how sexual harassment impacts Asian American female lawyers. It is not breaking news that female attorneys are treated differently from their male counterparts, but there are fewer discussions in mainstream forums about how minority women have different experiences as attorneys. Our October partner lunch, hosted by AABA member Michael Ng at Kobre & Kim, will continue this discussion.

AABA is an organization where members can have these types of discussions, and I encourage members and non-members alike to keep thinking of what other discussions we should be having in our community. You can always reach out to any of AABA’s seventeen committees with suggestions and help plan events. There are many opportunities to directly make an impact by volunteering your time.

AABA’s 2018-19 Mentorship Program will kickoff on September 17, and we still need mentors. Please sign up on this form if you want to help law students and junior attorneys navigate the legal profession. If you are looking for a mentor, please sign up here. I joined AABA as a 1L, and the many mentors I had from AABA during law school and early in my career had a significant impact on how I approached my legal career. I remember my first mentor was long-time AABA member Carin Fujisaki. She took the time from her busy schedule at the California Supreme Court to meet with me, give me a tour of the Supreme Court, and treat me to a delicious Vietnamese lunch. Through our many conversations, Carin inspired me to be even more involved and concerned with minority groups. (And -- of course -- she also encouraged me to get good grades!) Today, I’m proud to serve as an AABA mentor and the President of AABA.

Besides cultivating strong interpersonal relationships, it is also important to help take care of our environment. I encourage you to join AABA’s Community Services Committee for their tree planting event -- you’ll have an opportunity to get some fresh air while spending time with other AABA members and friends.

Please enjoy this newsletter, featuring a member spotlight on Law Student Committee Co-Chair Tar Rakhra, our Social Justice Mixer co-presenters, the Blossom Project and the Family Violence Law Center, and a recap from our Solo and Small Firms Event, How to Market to Corporations. We also have a member submission on legal accessibility and how the law can be made easier to understand by everyone, not just those with law degrees -- a topic without a robust discussion within our profession. As always, I appreciate hearing from you, so please contact me at president@aaba-bay.com with any questions or feedback. Thank you for being a part of AABA. We are Better Together, Stronger United!

In unity,
David Tsai
2018 AABA President

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Examining “Women X Poverty” at AABA’s Upcoming Social Justice Mixer

By Kathy Aoki
Co-Chair of AABA’s Newsletter Committee


Tine Christensen and Erin Scott are working hard to help women overcome issues including poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. Both women are panelists along with Pamela Vartabedian, Dress for Success-San Francisco, at AABA’s Social Justice Mixer “Women x Poverty” on Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 6 PM at Farella Braun + Martel, 235 Montgomery St., 17th Floor in San Francisco (link to event).

This event, co-hosted by AABA’s Civil Rights Committee and Newsletter Committee, will have Civil Rights Committee Co-Chair Katherine Chu, East Bay Family Defenders & Blossom Project, moderate the panel. Christensen and Scott share their backgrounds and insights on their respective organizations.

Originally from Denmark, Christensen lived in San Francisco from 2013 to 2017, where she founded the Blossom’s non-profit. She is a medical social worker and works within palliative care and cancer as a counselor for the Danish Cancer Association. Christensen holds an LL.B in Law and is now studying for her master of social work.

Scott is the Executive Director of the Family Violence Law Center. She has extensive experience as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, a family law attorney, and a nonprofit manager. Scott served as the Directing Attorney of Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, and as the Director of Foundation Support at the ACLU Foundation of Northern California. She currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and sits on the Board of Directors of the Family Violence Appellate Project. Scott has a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Briefly explain your organization’s mission statement or objective and goals.

Tine Christensen (TC): Blossom’s vision is to be an internationally recognized non-profit that works for creating respect, dignity and inclusion for vulnerable women. Blossom’s mission is through relationship building to create better conditions for homeless women, through prevention programs:

    • Hygiene bags that seek to help homeless women managing their menstruation and for outreach professionals to make contact with the women and promote health.
    • We hope to soon launch our street medical team and in time raise enough money for a locker room.
    • Blossom works by saying, “I am only, one, but I am one, I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do,” Edward Everett Hale.

Erin Scott (ES): Founded in 1978, Family Violence Law Center (FVLC) helps diverse communities in Alameda County heal from domestic violence and sexual assault, advocating for justice and healthy relationships.  We provide survivor-centered legal and crisis intervention services, offer prevention education for youth and other community members, and engage in policy work to create systemic change.

What is the reason why your organization agreed to participate in the Asian American Bar Association’s Social Justice Mixer?

TC: Katherine [Chu] is the Executive Director of Blossom in SF and I felt it was a very good initiative and a good way to have an interesting discussion on such an important subject.

ES: FVLC agreed to participate in the Asian American Bar Association’s Social Justice Mixer to help bring awareness to the issue of women and poverty.  We live in part of the country that has extreme wealth inequality and I think it’s important and part of our responsibility as citizens and members of a community, to understand the challenges faced by many of our neighbors.

How can we empower women to combat poverty?

TC: I think one of the most important issues in this homeless discussion for women is to build trust and an equal partnership. Many of these women are victims for domestic violence and have experienced many breaks in trust and disappointment. So in order for them to gain the trust in themselves and society, we need to meet them where they are, where they are ready to let you in and from there you build trust up very slowly and you stay by their side even though they might not be able to keep appointments, etc. By strengthening women’s self-esteem and empowering them to build a platform to make positive changes in their life, you create better conditions and opportunities for them.

ES: While it is always helpful to think about empowering women I think it is important to understand that combatting poverty requires addressing structural inequities.  Women experience poverty differently than men because our society is sexist.  And women of color experience poverty differently than white women because our society is sexist and racist.  Structural inequities perpetuate harm, making it exponentially more difficult to deal with an issue like losing a job or fleeing domestic violence.  Structural inequities place additional barriers in peoples’ path to success, based on their gender identity, race, ethnicity, immigration status, nationality, social class, sexual orientation, ability or religion.  It is essential that we address poverty in this intersectional context.  As service providers, neighbors and community members, we need to acknowledge the resulting complexity of individual experiences of poverty and support individual empowerment in that context.  We also, however, need to work to address issues on the societal level.  Or nothing will truly change.

What is your organization’s most significant accomplishment since its inception?

TC: I think that is a hard question. I think every time we deliver the bags and women get our bags it is a big accomplishment. But, I am also very proud of my team in both Denmark and US that work hard and volunteer their time to make a difference for other women.

ES: This year is FVLC’s 40th anniversary.  We have worked with thousands of survivors, helping them achieve safety and stability through crisis intervention services and legal services.  Since the 1990s we also have worked with youth to prevent teen dating violence.  And this year we launched our Roof of One’s Own Project, expanding FVLC’s capacity to advocate for social change by focusing on the needs of homeless and unstably housed women. There is no one accomplishment I would point to as significant because every empowering moment has been significant for that individual survivor.  As a field, domestic and sexual violence advocates have helped develop a range of legal remedies now available for survivors and helped bring the issues out of the shadows.  Our challenge now is to look at the root causes of domestic and sexual violence, using an intersectional lens, and work for the type of fundamental social change that could, ultimately, make organizations like FVLC obsolete.

The third participant in the panel is Pamela Vartabedian, Dress for Success-San Francisco. According to their website, “Dress for Success's mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work in life.” Vartabedian is a senior associate who works in the labor and employment department at Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s San Francisco office.

Please bring donations of feminine products and professional women’s clothing to benefit Blossom Project and Dress for Success – San Francisco. For more information about the event, click here.

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How Universal Design Principles Can Improve Legal Accessibility

By Michael Iseri
Edited for re-print. Originally published in Business Law Today, Volume 23, Number 2, 2014. © 2014 by the American Bar Association.


Legal accessibility is the act of making legal information, materials, and tools available to the general populace; including making it available in different languages and to those with disabilities. Robust discussions on legal accessibility are lacking within the legal community, but there are ways to make law more accessible to all.

The concept of universal design is one of the three major design concepts and can be defined as: "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." Attorneys often use legal information, materials, and tools couched in legal terms and clauses that are not accessible to all people. Yet, attorneys should strive for universal design when presenting to the public. This means that legal information should be simple so anyone can understand.

Although universal design has seven principles, these principles are not tailored for the legal field. Rather, these principles can be summarized into three major concepts for the legal field: (1) clarity, (2) visibility, and (3) structure. If followed, these concepts would improve attorneys presenting legal knowledge and services to the public. These three concepts are what makes legal information, materials, and tools legally accessible.

To better define these concepts, an example of inaccessibility best shows the importance of legal accessibility. The example below comes from a legal guide found on The State Bar of California’s website for people seeking information on a living trust. Below is a Q&A for question #10 that is confusing:

10. Will a living trust help reduce the estate taxes?
No. While a living trust may contain provisions that can postpone, reduce or even eliminate estate taxes, similar provisions could be placed in a will to accomplish the same tax planning.

The author answered “no” to whether a living trust would reduce estate taxes. Yet, this is immediately followed up with a contradiction clause: “a living trust may . . . reduce or even eliminate estate taxes.” This contradiction changes the answer to a “yes” instead of a “no.” Most attorneys are trained to parse legal phrases to determine the true legal syntax, such as “yes means no” and “no means yes” responses. Yet, a person from the public would likely internalize the answer “no” without then doing the mental gymnastics to understand that the explanation makes the answer a “yes.” As is, the answer is misleading to the public.

Using the concepts (1) clarity, (2) visibility, and (3) structure, let us now revisit the prior example to make it better and accessible.

(1) Clarity

Clarity is the simplification of language to be clear and concise. Anticipate what the public would be confused and explain it in simple terminology. The example should be stripped down and rephrased to avoid the contradictory language and removing the oxford comma. A better way to present the example would be the following:

10. Will a living trust help reduce the estate taxes?
Yes. A living trust can contain provisions to postpone, reduce, or eliminate estate taxes. Similarly, a will can have these types of provisions to accomplish similar goals for tax planning.

(2) Visibility

The next concept is “visibility.” In the area of legal accessibility, visibility is presenting legal terms and clauses in plain view and not tucked away and obscured. Do not bury vital information or recommendations

Notice that the example is question #10, yet often people’s first question for trusts is if a trust would avoid taxes. It would make more sense to place the example earlier in the guide rather than later.  The example should then be the following:

3. Will a living trust help reduce the estate taxes?
Yes. A living trust can contain provisions to postpone, reduce, or eliminate estate taxes. Similarly, a will can have these types of provisions to accomplish similar goals for tax planning.

All that was changed is moving it from question #10 to question #3.

(3) Structure

Finally, applying the concept of structure to the example would help make the content flow better. Structure is arranging information in an easy to digest manner through formatting rather than through words and content. A lot of information can be conveyed innately through proper indentations, bullet points, and logical breaks. Since the example is a question and answer format, it would make sense to indent the answer portion so that there is some visual separation from the question and the answer.

3. Will a living trust help reduce the estate taxes?

Yes. A living trust can contain provisions to postpone, reduce, or eliminate estate taxes. Similarly, a will can have these types of provisions to accomplish similar goals for tax planning.

And that is the final product. Through the concepts of clarity, visibility, and structure, a previously contradictory legal clause is now more accessible to the public.

Legal accessibility and its three concepts—clarity, visibility, and structure—are important as law becomes more available to the public through the internet and other technology. Through these concepts, an attorney would better be able to convey legal knowledge and services to the public. Using legal accessibility concepts would make information easier to understand and increase a client’s speed and accuracy in committing to legal decisions. Law itself is complicated, so making it more accessible through legal accessibility concepts should be fully embraced.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael Iseri is an attorney and a programmer of a legal program that talks in 37 languages and dynamically completes legal services. More information is on his personal website, lawpp.org/about.

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AABA Membership Spotlight: Tar Rakhra 

Tarlochan “Tar” Rakhra is a rising 2L at Berkeley Law. Born in Fullerton, California, Tar spent much of his life in Southern California. He attended Valencia High School where he was a member of the first male tennis team to win a CIF championship and graduated from the International Baccalaureate program. Following high school, Tar received the President’s Scholarship to attend California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and he graduated in May 2016 with a degree in Finance.

He is fervently committed to serving his community and believes that the character built from selfless service will develop well-rounded young professionals. His continuous service has had Tar recognized several times by his local community. In 2012, Tar was the recipient of ABC7’s Cool Kids Award, and then in 2014, Tar was also the recipient of the Civic Fellowship from the International Leadership Foundation (ILF), where he had the opportunity to intern for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI). During his summer at WHIAAPI, Tar was exposed to many different issues that are faced by the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and through his work, he realized that it is his dream and passion to help all people of this great nation.

Today, Tar serves as the Co-Chair for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at Berkeley Law and a Co-Chair for the Law Student Committee for AABA. Over the last year, he has been an active voice on campus to challenge the Boalt namesake for the law building. He eagerly awaits to discover where the future takes him.

First job: Student Assistant in the Office of the President at CSUF

What annoys you the most: The purposeful decision to be ignorant of contemporary issues and to remain apathetic about politics.

 Hidden talent: Video Editing

Favorite food: Paneer Makhani and Garlic Naan

Why did you enter the law: After my internship at the White House Initiative on AAPIs under the Obama administration, I felt a calling to pursue a career in the law to be an advocate for my community. I recognized that there is power in having members of your community within the legal field to assist fight against systematic barriers.

Dream job if you could do anything you wanted in the world: National Geographic Photographer

AABA is _____ (complete the phrase): AABA is a community that develops a foundation for young, aspiring lawyers like me to be propelled towards our future goals.

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How to Market to Corporations
By Kei Zushi
Co-Chair of AABA's Solo and Small Firms Committee

On July 11, 2018, four distinguished panelists of law firm partners and in-house counsel shared their insight with a group of about 20 participants as to how solo and small firms could distinguish themselves when marketing to corporations. The participants learned some of the key dos and don’ts and things that general counsel consider in hiring outside counsel.

The panel consisted of Phillip Shinn, Partner at LimNexus LLP and a former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and AABA; Cary Chen, General Counsel at Recology; Irene Liu, General Counsel at Checkr; and Meng (Mandy) Lai Founding Partner at MagStone Law, LLP. The event, coordinated by AABA’s Solo & Small Firm Committee (SSFC) and moderated by Alison Tsao, SSFC co-chair and San Francisco Office Managing Partner at Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP, was held at Casetext’s office.

The key to successful marketing, according to Mr. Chen and Ms. Liu, is to have expertise in specific areas of law or insight into specific industries. In-house counsel closely review outside counsel’s experience related to the specific tasks for which he or she would be retained. It is important to be an expert in a given field, Ms. Liu said. Mr. Chen added that good references from another general counsel related to similar matters would be helpful. Typically, the rates charged by small firms are more competitive, which makes them more attractive to in-house counsel. Additionally, Ms. Liu indicated that her preference is to obtain concise advice from outside counsel that takes into consideration the legal analysis and risks involved in a particular issue and makes a recommended course of action.

Mr. Shinn, who had worked at both large and small firms, said that attorneys at a small firm could respond to the client’s needs more quickly and their agility could be a strong advantage in serving the client’s needs. He believes that his ability to handle various stages of complex litigation appeals to his clients. Ms. Lai said that her ability to become a trusted advocate and develop cost-effective legal strategies attracted clients. Mr. Chen pointed out that while a large firm with significant manpower could be desirable for certain matters, high turnover rates could become a reason to seek a small firm.

Mr. Chen and Ms. Liu cautioned that outside counsel should carefully review their bills before sending them to clients. They stressed that law firms should bill reasonably and conscientiously. For instance, outside counsel should not bill for the time he spent on a social meeting if he was the one who requested the meeting, Ms. Liu said.

Mr. Chen reminded us that outside counsel should follow the instructions in responding to a request for proposal or completing a task. Ms. Liu added that the appropriate format and content of response may depend on the nature and complexity of the issues addressed.

Both Mr. Chen and Ms. Liu believe that many companies consider diversity as one of the key factors in selecting outside counsel. Ms. Lai mentioned that a diverse team of attorneys at her law firm are able to help her clients solve issues more holistically and creatively.

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2018 Garrick S. Lew Fellowship Awardee: John So


John So was awarded the 2018 Garrick S. Lew Fellowship, made possible by the Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok & Lee Foundation, and graduated this past Spring from UC Hastings College of the Law.

What does the Garrick S. Lew Fellowship mean to you?

The Garrick S. Lew Scholarship means to me that there is a strong community of people that have been affected by the amazing life and work of Mr. Lew and desire to see his legacy continued. I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been chosen to continue Mr. Lew’s legacy of advocating for the Asian American communities, AAPIs in the legal profession and criminal defense. Just as Mr. Lew was a tireless advocate in the fight for social justice and equality, I hope to continue that fight and make those who have generously donated to the scholarship proud. My sincerest gratitude to the donors, the MTYKL Foundation and to Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus for making this scholarship possible.

John's personal statement submitted with his scholarship application:

It is three in the morning and I turn to see my father’s weary face deep in thought. My mother’s latest violent episode from her mental health condition—called intermittent explosive disorder—has left us out of ideas. She refused to take her medication because of the side effects, which include nausea, fatigue, weight gain, and dull mental acuity. Without any relief from the medication, we are out of options; we cannot afford the behavioral therapy she needs. My father has difficulty finding consistent work and worries about next month’s rent. He does not have the knowledge or the resources to solve the difficult problems that we face, but he is determined to do everything in his power to bring some sort of relief to our family.

This was my reality for the better part of a decade. I was fortunate to have a father that would do anything to provide for his family. My father worked long hours at his construction job to keep the family afloat. Every night he would come home after a brutal day of work and, without complaint, take care of my mother. He made sure that I was on top of my schoolwork and involved in the community. He fostered my success and without him I would not be where I am today. My father’s determination became my motivation. He instilled in me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and the work ethic to achieve them.

During my second year of high school my father suffered a serious back injury that kept him from working for over a year. My father did not speak English and found the legal system too daunting to navigate. He did not receive any worker’s compensation benefits and could not afford appropriate treatment because he lacked understanding of his rights as a worker. I soon realized that my family and many other immigrant families like mine were suffering simply because we did not understand the legal system, did not have enough money, and were not native English speakers. Personally, experiencing these devastating consequences that grew from an inability to access the legal system sparked my interest in a career in law and showed me, for the first time, the difference I could make as a lawyer.

My understanding of socioeconomic inequality came into focus during my four years of college at the University of California, San Diego. While there, I worked with an organization called Camp Kesem to develop and run a summer camp for children affected by cancer. I also volunteered as a teacher’s assistant with a non-profit organization called the Monarch School to help educate children affected by homelessness. Through these experiences, I was exposed to the serious and systemic flaws in our country’s immigration and health policies. I realized that the primary way of challenging the status quo was through the law. After graduating, I worked for the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC), a program that provides resources for cancer-related legal issues to the public. I empathized with hundreds of people recounting the difficult circumstances they faced and provided relief by giving them information and resources that may be able to help. By working with the CLRC I was able to help people who had similar experiences to mine navigate the legal system.

As I learned more about the struggles of families like my own, I also realized that the law could be used as a tool to make real, meaningful changes in people’s lives. The inability to navigate the legal system prevents so many hard-working people from accessing the legal resources they need. I want to use the knowledge and skills gained in law school to help people in my community assert their rights and obtain legal relief. Ultimately, I want to make my community more fair, equitable, and compassionate.

Having strong and committed public defenders is of utmost importance in a society that strives to truly do justice and ensure equality. How we treat the most vulnerable members of our community is what shows our true character as a society. Public defenders represent the most vulnerable, disenfranchised, and forgotten members of our community who are in the most desperate times in their lives. People brought through the criminal justice system are so often treated with disdain, they’re disrespected, they're stripped of their dignity and humanity. They're not treated as human beings with lives and families but as nothing but the mistakes they’ve made. But public defenders zealously advocate for and champion their rights. That’s what I want to do. That’s my calling.

I want to be a public defender because as a public defender I can change the way people brought through the criminal justice system are treated. I've seen the brokenness of our criminal justice system first hand with my mother when she was arrested and jailed because she blew up at an officer and she had one of her bipolar episodes. And I know that by the letter of the law, she was guilty of what she was accused of, but that doesn’t mean she deserved the punishment she got, or any punishment for that matter. And over the past two and a half years, I’ve seen countless examples of this type of treatment.

Working over the past two summers, I saw so many people who were just down on their luck. They just needed a second chance. I saw people truly grateful for having someone who believed in them, who gave them the benefit of the doubt, who didn't judge them for the mistakes they made, but zealously advocated for them no matter what. I want to make sure that compassion and humanity are brought into the way we treat our most vulnerable community members.

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Event Photo Galleries

AABA and Community Events Calendar

August

August 22 - San Francisco APILO/AABA Clinic
5:30  – 8:00 PM | UC Hastings School of Law 100 McAllister Street Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94102
Contact the co-chairs if you are interested in volunteering.


August 25 - AABA, ABL, and Nakayoshi Young Professionals Joint Hike
9:45 AM | Glen Canyon Hiking Trails, San Francisco, CA 94131

Come and join the AABA - Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian Business League of San Francisco, and Nakayoshi Young Professionals for second hike of the 2018 Joint Hike Series on Saturday, Aug. 25rd at Glen Canyon Park! Glen Canyon Park Trail is a 1.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels.  After a brisk hike, we'll be heading over to Shanghai Dumpling King to finish the day off right.

WHERE TO MEET: Glen Park Recreation Center (https://goo.gl/maps/fNzVf1qgc7w)

PARKING: Street parking around the area

MORE INFORMATION: For more information, please contact Bhargav (avasbr@gmail.com). Park information: http://sfrecpark.org/destination/glen-park/.

Register here


August 28 - Joint AABA Baseball Game Social (Sold Out) 
5:30 - 7:30 PM | Game: AT&T Park, ARI@SF. Pre-Game Tailgate: Ozone Thai Restaurant, 598 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94107
Join the Pre-Game Tailgate

September


September 13 - Annual Social Justice Mixer: Women x Poverty
6:00 PM | Farella Braun + Martel LLP, 235 Montgomery St., 17th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104

AABA's Annual Social Justice Mixer will focus on the intersection of Women x Poverty, with a panel addressing issues at the intersection of women, poverty, domestic violence, homelessness and period poverty, and employment barriers. Following the panel will be a mixer with refreshments.

AABA’s Civil Rights and Newsletter Committees co-host this event that features a panel with speakers: Tine Christensen - Blossom Project; Erin Scott - Family Law Violence Center and Pamela Vartabedian –Dress for Success and moderated by Katherine Chu – East Bay Family Defenders & Blossom Project. We ask that attendees please bring a donation of feminine products and/or professional women's clothing and accessories to benefit Blossom Project and Dress for Success - SF. 

Register here


September 15 - Tree Planting Environmental Event with Friends of the Urban Forest
9:00 - 1:00 PM | Location to be announced two weeks before the event

Come join the AABA Community Services Committee and the Friends of the Urban Forest as we plant trees and install sidewalk gardens in San Francisco. Events such as these transform neighborhoods, lift the community spirit, and make the environment a healthier place to live. This is a great opportunity for you, your family, and friends to make a permanent mark in San Francisco's urban landscape!

A light breakfast will be provided. No gardening experience is required. Since this is an outdoor event, please wear layers and closed-toed shoes, and bring a water bottle, hat, and sunscreen. AABA will host a lunch for volunteers following this free event.

Questions?  Email Louis Wai (wai@turnerboyd.com) or Claire Choo (cchoo@dankolaw.com)

Register here


September 17 - AABA Mentorship Kick-Off
6:00 - 8:00 PM | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 9411

The AABA Mentorship Committee warmly invites all 2018-2019 Mentorship Program participants to attend the mentorship kick-off. At the kick-off, mentorship family assignments will be announced and you will be able to meet with your mentorship family members.

Due to space considerations, this event is limited to mentorship program participants.

See pictures from last year’s mentorship event here.

Register here


September 19 - Oakland APILO/AABA Clinic
6:00 – 8:00 PM | Oakland APILO/AABA Clinic, 310 8th Street, Suite 308, Oakland 94607
Contact the co-chairs if you are interested in volunteering


September 20 - Quarterly Law Firm Partners Lunch | In-House Pet Peeves of Outside Counsel: How in-house and outside counsel can work better together
11:45 AM - 1:00 PM | Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP, 1 Montgomery St #3000, San Francisco, CA 94104

Speakers: Cary Chen, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Recology; Wei Chen, VP and Associate General Counsel, Salesforce.com; Melissa Hung, Senior Corporate Counsel, Clorox; Ira Lam, General Counsel for a start-up company in stealth mode, formerly GC of HouseCanary and Kabam

Attendance limited to law firm partners.

Register here


September 25 - Community Services Committee Small Business Clinic
5:00 - 7:30 PM | ASIAN Inc., 1167 Mission Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco

Come ​volunteer with the AABA Community Services Committee​ at our new one night clinic for small business owners!

We are looking for lawyers who have experience with entity formation, employment law, leases, commercial contacts, and IP issues. We are also looking for folks with foreign language skills who want to interpret. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in working with small business owners.

We are excited to be working with our partners: ASIAN Inc., Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and the CA Small Business Development Center.

​After you sign up, we will send you a link to a survey for you to indicate your legal areas of expertise and/or foreign language skills.

Questions? Email Rebecca Tseng (​rebecca@siliconlegal.com) or ​Darryl Woo ​(dwoo@velaw.com​)

Register here

September 26 - San Francisco APILO/AABA Clinic
5:30  – 8:00 PM | UC Hastings School of Law 100 McAllister Street Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94102
Contact the co-chairs if you are interested in volunteering.

More Upcoming Events

November 8 - 11 - 2018 NAPABA Convention
Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers
Register here

November 29 - 2018 AABA Holiday Party
6:00 PM | China Live, 644 Broadway, San Francisco

Gather with AABA at our 2018 Holiday Party on Thursday, November 29 to celebrate the holiday season, catch up with friends, and meet new ones. The festivities will begin at 6:00 pm with delicious food and drink at China Live, 644 Broadway, San Francisco.

Tickets at the Early Bird price of $30 will be available starting August 1 for AABA members until August 31 (Tickets are limited. Limit 2 tickets per member). Ticket sales will continue in September, but prices will increase. Please purchase a ticket early to guarantee entry to one of our most popular events of the year!

Buy a ticket here

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