APRIL 1-2, 2011
Nhat Nguyen, a young Washington, D.C.-area attorney, and May Nguyen, a UCLA law
student, spent much of the past year sorting out the complicated legal issues uniquely
confronting Vietnamese Americans in the Gulf Region affected by the BP oil spill. They
joined other attorneys and students from around the country to conduct community
meetings, hold audiences with members of Congress, write white papers to President
Obama, and scrutinize the claims procedure set up by “compensation czar” Kenneth
They will be in Washington in April, among the famed cherry blossoms, to discuss their
experience at the National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys (NCVAA).
This will be the first NCVAA to take place outside California. Previously organized by
local bar associations in northern and southern California, the conference this year will
advance the “national” part of its name with the help of the Vietnamese American Bar
Association of the Greater Washington D.C. Area (VABA-DC).
“We are excited to host our friends and colleagues in the nation’s capital,” said Mai Pham
Robertson, co-chair of the conference planning committee and president of VABA-DC.
“We’ve put together an insightful program that addresses many of the issues directly
affecting the Vietnamese American legal community.”
“Vietnamese Americans are a relatively new group in America with issues common to
other Americans and other immigrants, but also challenges unique to us,” said San Jose,
California, attorney Mai D. Phan, president of NCVAA and co-chair of the conference
planning committee. She emphasized that the conference is open to all, and the legal
issues relating to the Gulf oil spill should be of interest to many.
Community mobilizers recently scored a victory when Feinberg agreed to recognize
“subsistence” claims by Vietnamese American fishers. For generations, such fishers
caught seafood not just to sell but also to feed extended families and to satisfy
community obligations, even though such use is difficult to document for compensation.
Phan believes NCVAA, which has evolved from an ad hoc event to a permanent national
organization, can promote diversity in the profession. “Only recently has the languageintensive
legal profession become an attractive career option, so everywhere, Vietnamese
Americans are underpresented in the law.”
NCVAA and VABA-DC will award three scholarships at the conference to law students
who have demonstrated a commitment to the Vietnamese American community.
The conference will also highlight the accomplishments of legal professionals in the
community, with speakers such as Viet Dinh, Assistant Attorney General in the Bush
administration, and New York attorney Paul D. Nguyen, who began practicing in the
United States in the 1970’s.
Vietnamese American judges from various jurisdictions will discuss their experience to
guide others to seek appointment. Other panels will cover intellectual property,
immigration, federal agencies practice, the foreclosure crisis, and the variety of legal
The NCVAA conference will take place April 1 and 2, in Washington, D.C. Registration
and other information is available at www.ncvaa.org.
* * * *
Mai Pham Robertson
Tel: (202) 903-8150
Mai D. Phan
Tel: (408) 975-9321
Tel: (415) 296-9927
National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys 2011
RAISING THE BAR IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL
April 1-2, 2011 Washington, D.C.
Friday Evening, April 1
Arent Fox LLP
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-5339
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS AND PANELS
Saturday Daytime, April 2
District of Columbia Bar Association
1101 K Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
CLOSING GALA and
VABA-DC SCHOLARSHIPS PRESENTATION
Saturday Evening, April 2
Tony Cheng's Restaurant
619 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20007
Registration and other information available at www.ncvaa.org.