Celebrating a Long and Rich History of Asian Pacific American Heritage

MoFo’s Asian affinity groups planned a number of events during the month of May to celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage Month and the instrumental role Asians and Pacific Islanders have played in shaping our firm, the legal field, and beyond.

To kick off Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, the New York Asian Attorneys Affinity Group hosted a family-style congee and dim sum breakfast on May 1, 2019. The New York Asian Associate and New York Asian Women Affinity Groups also co-hosted an alumni reunion homecoming dinner bringing together MoFo APA alumni and current APA lawyers at the firm for an intimate celebration of culture.

The inaugural homecoming dinner, held on May 13, spurred lively conversations and set the tone for a not-to-be-missed event for years to come. The evening began with drinks and appetizers, followed by a family-style dinner. Associates Jenny Wang and Joan Kim, co-chairs of the host affinity groups, thoughtfully organized the event, featuring local APA-owned restaurants and businesses.

Jiang Liu, a partner in MoFo’s Financial Services practice and partner sponsor for the Asian Associates Affinity Group, noted that “it was really great to see such a diverse turnout representing the Asian Pacific American legal community. I enjoyed meeting newer lawyers to the firm while also re-connecting with familiar faces with whom I worked on previous deals. I’m already looking forward to the next one.”

New York litigation partner Amanda Aikman and partner sponsor for the Asian Women Affinity Group echoed that sentiment, stating, “It was great to connect with current and former MoFo colleagues while celebrating the culture and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” and added that “affinity group events like this offer great opportunities for professional networking—both formal and informal—and are a wonderful way to build community.”

The alumni event was just one of the many ways MoFo honored Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. On May 7, the San Francisco Asian Attorneys Affinity Group and the Asian Pacific American Heritage Committee co-hosted a panel discussion on Asian representation in the legal industry. Chair of the Asian Attorneys Affinity Group and corporate associate Mona Fang moderated the panel “Forging a Path of Representation in the Legal Industry,” featuring SLEW partners Christine Wong and Jina Choi, along with IP partner and practice group co-chair Rich Hung. The group provided advice on how to build a successful career and discussed their own paths and views on Asian legal representation.

Three additional panel discussions took place in the firm’s San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C. offices in partnership with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. The discussions included corporate executives and leaders from Mastercard, Goldman Sachs, and Asians Advancing Justice. Litigation partner Joyce Liou provided welcoming remarks at the San Francisco panel.

Other events included a Taste Around the World happy hour featuring live music and a variety of Asian food and beverages. MoFo litigation associate and chair of the San Diego Asian Attorneys and Patent Agents Affinity Group Kevin Kwon led a re-enactment of Vietnamese Fishermen v. Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at the James M. Carter and Judith N. Keep United States Courthouse. The San Diego office also hosted in-office movie screenings in connection with the annual San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Alumni reunion homecoming dinner – images courtesy of Tanya Salazar

The well-planned menu prepared by local APA-owned businesses

Right to left: NY associate Monica Chan, NY partners Amanda Aikman and Jiang Liu, and associates Joan Kim and Jenny Wang

MoFo NY litigation associate Cecillia Xie and corporate partner Yasuhide Watanabe

NY finance associate Jeff Xu and NY corporate associate Jenny Wang catch up with MoFo alumna Catherine Tran

The table is set for a delicious family-style dinner

From left to right: MoFo alums Jinyoung Choi, Tomohisa Aiko, and Catherine Tran with MoFo’s Jenny Wang