NAPALSA Conference

2013 National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association Conference

Surging Ahead

The NAPALSA Executive Board is greatly looking forward to meeting everyone at this year’s NAPABA/NAPALSA’s annual conference in Kansas City. Building off on NAPABA’s theme of “MOmentum” and to celebrate the progress of the Asian American Pacific Islander (“AAPI”) legal community, “Surging Ahead” is this year’s conference theme.

While AAPI history is rich and diverse, there is still much to be desired in our community’s advancement. While AAPIs make up 4.9% of the U.S. population, AAPIs make up a mere 3.02% of legal practitioners. The national conference and our organization itself are small parts of a much larger effort to empower AAPIs and people of color in the legal profession. The conference theme centers on shared progress, which is realizable through making connections and deepening relationships. The conference encourages students to reach out to current legal professionals as well as meet life long peers in the legal profession.

We have lined up a wonderful and diverse group of panelists, speakers and interviewers interested in providing advice and guidance. Look forward to:

  • Seven panels over the course of two days that address AAPI’s progress and future in the many different legal sectors. AAPI leaders from around the nation will provide critical insight and make themselves available to answer any questions students may have.
  • An exciting 8-minute mentoring session
  • Mock interviews with AAPI leaders to learn tips about interviewing and resume building and career advancement
  • Four keynote speakers through three events: Rear Admiral J.W. Crawford III, the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy; Major General Thomas Ayres, the deputy judge advocate general of the Army; Judge Kirk Nakamura, Superior Court of California – Orange County; and Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, U.S. House of Representatives – Hawaii.
  • Two special social events just for NAPALSA:
    1. Thursday Night NAPALSA Social: come meet the Executive Board, attorneys, Thomas Tang competitors, and fellow colleagues at the Thursday Night Social, which will be at Howl at the Moon – an awesome rock ‘n’ roll dueling piano bar. Please wear or carry your conference badge or proof of conference registration.
    2. Friday Night NAPALSA Cocktail Reception: the formal Friday Night Cocktail Reception will be at Providence New American Kitchen. In addition to keynote speeches, we will also present awards, scholarships, and announce the 2013 Executive Board. Please wear or carry your conference badge or proof of conference registration.

Anyone who is interested in running for a position on the 2014 Executive Board, please read the election materials on our website. You are welcome to run for a position during elections, which will be held at the conference on Friday. Please note, in order to vote, however, your chapter must be registered. If your chapter has not registered yet, please bring your checkbooks so the current Treasurer can get you all settled. Every vote counts!

This is a formal conference so the dress code is business/business casual during the day. The NAPALSA Cocktail Reception on Friday and the NAPABA Installation gala are formal dinners. The dress code is cocktail / formal attire for NAPALSA and black tie optional for the gala.

Lastly, to register for the conference, please click here. To receive the discounted law student conference registration fee, one must first be a NAPABA member ($25 registration fee). Please register your membership here. For click here for lodging information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact William Shim, Conference Chair at or Michael Wang, President at “>

NAPABA is looking for law students to volunteer at the 2013 NAPABA Convention. For more information, visit the Get Involved webpage.


For law student registration instructions, click here.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Registration (7:30 am-6:00 pm)

Please sign up for a seat at the Installation Dinner.

NAPALSA Board of Directors Meeting (4:30 pm-6:00 pm)

NAPALSA Social Event (8:00 pm-10:00 pm)

Howl at the Moon, 1334 Grand Blvd.

Join NAPALSA for a fun night out at Howl at the Moon, the World’s Greatest Rock N’ Roll Dueling Piano Bar. Howl at the Moon is located in the Power & Light District, Kansas City’s premier entertainment district. The first 125 individuals will get drink tickets. There will be no cover charge for those that present a conference badge or proof of conference registration. The attire is semi-casual.

This is a free event, and you do not need to register ahead of time.

Back to Top of Schedule

Friday, November 8, 2013

Registration (7:30 am-6:00 pm)

Please sign up for a seat at the Installation Dinner.

Surging Ahead: NAPALSA Welcome Session (9:15 am-10:30 am)

Please join us in kicking off the conference. This session will feature speakers from our sponsors who have provided scholarships to APA law students. The session will also share information of elections.

Keynote Speaker:
Rear Admiral J. W. Crawford III
Deputy Judge Advocate General, U.S. Navy JAG Corps

Breakout Sessions (10:45 am-12:00 pm)

Breakout Session 1: APAs in Law Firms
This panel will highlight Asian Pacific Americans practicing law in a law firm setting. The panelists will discuss provide considerations to keep in mind if someone wants to practice in a firm setting.

Romit S. Cheema
Associate, Hunton & Williams LLP

John Ohashi
Founder, John E. Ohashi, Attorney at Law, Inc.

Sean Hamada
Partner, Founding Principal, Carter Stafford Arnett Hamada Mockler, PLLC

Rahat Babar
Attorney, The Bayne Law Group, LLC

Vivian Lee
Associate, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Marvin Liang
Associate, Jones Day

Breakout Session 2: APAs in Academia
Asian Pacific American academics are on the rise, and this panel provides students with an opportunity to engage numerous academics serving at various universities. The panel will highlight achievements by APA professors and lecturers-in-law and emphasize the importance of studying law.

Pounnaphone Phomtalikhith
NAPALSA Reginal Director, Hamline University School of Law

Rakesh Bhala
Associate Dean for International & Comparative Law, University of Kansas School of Law

Ilhyung Lee
Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law

Hua Wang
Associate, Proskauer

Luncheon & Plenary Session (12:10 pm-1:30 pm)

Breakout Sessions (1:45 pm-3:00 pm)

Breakout Session 3: APAs in Intellectual Property, Patent & Privacy Law
This panel will highlight Asian Pacific Americans practicing intellectual property, property and privacy law. The panelists will discuss their experiences working in this emerging, important sector.

George Wu, Attorney, Husch Blackwell LLP

Yoon Chae,
Associate, Baker & McKenzie

Ary Chang
Senior Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP

Teddie Hsu
Associate, Sheldon Mak & Anderson, PC

David Kim
Attorney, Armstrong Teasdale LLP

Brian Sun
Associate, Foley & Lardner LLP

Breakout Session 4: APAs in In-House Practice
This panel will highlight in-house counsels at various sectors of business. The panelists will discuss their experiences as in-house attorneys and will also provide considerations to keep in mind for such a career. Furthermore, panelists will provide guidance and information on the pros and cons of working in-house and the day-to-day life of an in-house attorney.

Anthony Cova
Corporate Counsel, Addgene, Inc.

Sophia Lee
Chief Counsel, Sunoco, Inc.

Grace Lee
Associate Counsel, Aegion Corporation

Sarah Choi
Staff Attorney, Allstate Life Insurance Company

Duane Okamoto
Senior Attorney, Microsoft Corporation

NAPALSA General Meeting & Elections (3:30 pm-5:00 pm)

Run for a position to join NAPALSA’s executive board!

Keynote Speaker:
Major General Thomas Ayres
Deputy Judge Advocate General, U.S. Army JAG Corps

NAPALSA Cocktail Reception (6:30 pm-8:30 pm)

Providence New American Kitchen, 1329 Baltimore Ave

The first 125 people with convention badges will get drink tickets and food. Late arrivals may get general admission at the venue. The attire is formal cocktail.

This is a free event for the first 125 people, and you do not need to register ahead of time.

Keynote Speakers:
Colleen Hanabusa
U.S. Representative (D-HI)

Hon. Kirk Nakamura
Justice, Orange Count Superior Court (CA)

Back to Top of Schedule

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Registration (7:30 am-3:00 pm)

Please sign up for a seat at the Installation Dinner.

Breakout Sessions (9:15 am-10:30 am)

Breakout Session 5: APA Women & the Law
The purpose of this panel is to provide specialized support to a small but increasing number of Asian Pacific American female attorneys. As more women break barriers and step up to leadership positions, we want to take some time to reflect back on the progress that has been made in the various sectors. Successful female attorneys will highlight the achievements in the APA community, but also discuss the barriers that still exist. Panelists will provide advice, emphasize skill sets, and establish connections to encourage NAPALSA student leaders to utilize their skills to become leaders in the workplace.

Michelle Sugihara
Attorney, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Erica Smith-Klocek
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Barbara Lum
Associate, Thompson Hine LLP

Patricia Lee-Gulley
Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP

Faith Anderson
Senior Vice President & General Counsel, American Airlines Federal Credit Union

NAPALSA Mock Interview Program (9:15 am-12:00 pm)

Breakout Sessions (10:45 am-12:00 pm)

Breakout Session 6: The Impact of Public Policy on the APA Community
This panel will provide students with an opportunity to learn from lobbyists, activists, and representatives about Asian Pacific Americans and politics.  Navigating through law, policy, and politics can be a formidable task, but each panelist has successfully excelled at advocating for APAs in the political realm.  Students interested in politics, policy, and the law are encouraged to attend this panel and learn how to take the lead on the next generation of APA issues.

Paul Nguyen
NAPALSA Reginal Director, Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law

Tsiwen Law
Attorney at Law, Law & Associates, L.L.C.

Harry Joe
Equity Partner, Jackson Lewis LLP

Jerry Vattamala
Staff Attorney, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

Emily Chatterjee
Policy Director, NAPABA

Breakout Session 7: APAs in Public Interest Law
This panel will provide students with an opportunity to learn about the various aspects of government, public interest lawyering. Dedicated attorneys are required to navigate the various rules, regulations, statutes and processes within each government, non-government, non-profit entity. We want students to be aware of the various opportunities available to apply their legal skills, such as serving as legal counsel at an agency, public office, NGO, non-profit, or assisting with diversity issues.

Quyen Tu, Attorney
Law Office of Quyen Tu

Suzan Chau
Co-Chair, NAPABA Pro Bono & Community Service Committee

Liani Reeves
General Counsel, Office of Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon

Abigail Rivamonte
Deputy Public Defender, San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

Ivy Wang
Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of CA

Angela Wu
Executive Director, Zion Community Development Corporation

NAPALSA Transitional Board of Directors Meeting (2:00 pm-3:30 pm)

Who Got Next? Basketball Tournament (3:00 pm-5:00 pm)

Bring your game! This basketball game will give Convention participants a chance to play full-court, five-on-five games. The Tournament format may consist of a round robin or pair NAPABA against NAPALSA.

You will need to register ahead of time for this event

Law Student Eight-Minute Mentoring (4:00 pm-5:00 pm)

Thomas Tang Moot Court Reception & Awards Presentation (5:00 pm-6:00 pm)

 Back to Top of Schedule

For a PDF copy of the schedule, please click here.

top sponsors