Asian-Pacific American Law Students Association

What We Do

Admissions Chair

The Admissions Chair organizes APALSA's outreach efforts for admitted students. The chair works closely with the Admissions Office and representatives from other ALSAs to organize student-friendly events after NYU's formal program during Admitted Students Day. The social events allow admitted students to meet current students and to ask any questions they may have in an informal setting. The Admissions Chair also runs APALSA's mentorship program for 1Ls, where we pair 1Ls with upperclassmen in mentor-mentee families. Finally, the chair works on issues of minority recruiting, such as lobbying for increased funding for travel stipends and diversity events.

Professional Chairs

The Professional Chairs serve as resources for students in a variety of ways. The chairs are responsible for organizing forums and informal talks. Our forums and panels focus on the experiences of practicing attorneys in private, public, and academic sectors. The informal talks offer advice from upperclassmen, who discuss topics ranging from how to approach the job search to how to select courses. The Professional Chairs also coordinate a pre-EIW mock interview program with APALSA alumni, a résumé workshop for 1Ls in the fall with attorneys from AABANY (Asian American Bar Association of New York), and mixers with firms.

Korematsu Chair

The Korematsu Chair is responsible for overseeing the Korematsu Lecture and APALSA-KALAGNY Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner. The APALSA-KALAGNY Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner, first launched in 2016 with KALAGNY (Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York), kicks off the hoilday season with a Korean-style dinner for law students, faculty, and practitioners. Previous Korematsu Chairs have coordinated with other ALSAs to hold joint symposiums. Previous symposium topics include affirmative action issues and issues related to people of color forming a united coalition.

The Korematsu Lecture is a unique forum—one of a few in the nation—that recognizes Asian Americans whose work challenges legal boundaries and serves as an inspiration to all people of color. The lecture series was created by NYU Law students in 2000. The inaugural lecture featured Fred Korematsu and his attorney, Dale Minami, who fought a landmark legal battle in Korematsu v. United States. Following the inaugural lecture, the Korematsu lecture series has had the honor of hosting:

  • Bill Lann Lee, former Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice (2001)
  • Harold Koh, Dean, Yale Law School and former Assistant Secretary of State (2002)
  • Professor Leti Volpp, University of California-Berkeley School of Law (2003)
  • Professor Bill Ong Hing, University of California-Davis School of Law (2004)
  • The Honorable Doris Ling-Cohan, New York State Supreme Court Justice (2005)
  • Congressman Mike Honda, Representative of the 15th District of California (2006)
  • The Honorable A. Wallace Tashima, United States Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Circuit (2007)
  • Karen K. Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center (2008)
  • Students and Members of the Asian American Bar Association of New York who presented “The Trial of Minoru Yasui” (2009)
  • Hon. Kiyo A. Matsumoto, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2010) 
  • Hon. Denny Chin, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2011)
  • Neal K. Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Partner at Hogan Lovells LLP (2012)
  • Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law (2014)
  • Hon. Lorna G. Schofield ’81, Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (2015)
  • Hon. Pamela Chen, Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2016)
  • Hon. Jacqueline Nguyen, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2017)

Outreach Chairs

The Outreach Chairs reach out to the community and our alumni, serving as the communications liaison between our members and our alumni. APALSA launched its inaugural Professional Mentorship Program in 2017, which pairs current students with practicing APA practitioners. The Outreach Chairs also organize a larger Annual Student-Alumni Outreach Dinner to give students an opportunity to interact with APA alumni. The chairs also aim to bring APALSA members closer to the community by encouraging volunteerism and community service. The Outreach Chairs seek to partner with local organizations to establish volunteer activities, research projects, and mentoring opportunities to create a channel through which our members can interact with and serve our community.

Public Interest Chairs

The Public Interest Chairs work to raise awareness of political issues that impact APAs both inside and outside of the law school community. The chairs organize the APALSA membership to address issues of importance to our community and run volunteer programs, including a poll monitoring project with AALDEF (Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund). Each semester the interests of APALSA members dictate the issues that the Public Interest Chairs focus on. Among numerous other events, the chairs have put on film and documentary screenings, letter writing campaigns, and voting registration drives. In 2017, the Public Interest Chairs launched a Policy Luncheon Series that aims to educate, promote discussion, and incite action within the Asian American community with regards to public policy issues that impact Asian American communities in New York and nationwide. Past guests and topics at the Policy Luncheons include:

  • Jerry Vattamala, Director of the Democracy Program at AALDEF (Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund) - voting rights
  • Kensing Ng, Legal Aid Society - gentrification in Chinatown
  • Chris Kwok, Co-Chair of the Issues Committee for the AABANY (Asian American Bar Association of New York) - Asian American identity formation
  • Kenji Yoshino, Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law - affirmative action and Asian American

Social Chairs

The Social Chairs organize important social events involving APALSA members during the school year. These events help establish friendship and camaraderie amongst the members. Events in the past have included the NYU/Columbia basketball game, inter-APALSA mixers, study breaks and happy hours, Mentor/Mentee social events, ski trips, the APALSA Lunar New Year Celebration, and the 3L Sendoff in the spring.

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