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  • Thursday, January 06, 2011 12:27 PM | Anonymous
  • Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:49 PM | Anonymous
    MEDIA ADVISORY
    EVENT DATE: JUNE 26-27, 2010
    Contact:           Shandon Phan, shandonphan@gmail.com or (202) 415-3366

    In response to the urgent legal needs of the Vietnamese American community affected by the BP Oil Spill Disaster, VABA-DC has joined forces with various national and local community organizations and bar associations to hold two bilingual legal aid clinics for Vietnamese American fishermen in the Gulf Coast on June 25-26, 2010.

    “VABA-DC is committed to serving the legal needs of the Vietnamese American community,” said Mai T. Pham, VABA-DC President. “It is critical for us to be part of this important effort to protect the rights and interests of the Vietnamese American community along the Gulf Coast and their way of life.”

    The legal clinics will provide language access, information, and legal assistance to approximately one thousand Vietnamese American fishermen regarding BP claims policy and procedures. The clinics will be staffed by a team of 26 Vietnamese American attorney and law student volunteers from various bar associations and community organizations across the U.S. Of those, five are VABA-DC members.

    “The outpouring of support from individuals and organizations across the country has been extraordinary,” said Mai Phan, a former Biloxi native, former president of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California and the project’s lead organizer. “During this time of crisis, Vietnamese-American attorneys and law students across the country have answered the call of service, dedicating their time and efforts to protect the rights and interests of thousands of community members.”

    The large-scale legal clinics project highlights the tradition of service established by community advocates and organizations in bringing professionals of various backgrounds to the region to serve those in need in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

    The project is supported by Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao, who is scheduled to stop by the New Orleans clinic on Saturday.

    VABA-DC is the only Vietnamese American Bar Association on the East Coast, representing over 100 Vietnamese American attorneys and law students in the area. Its mission is to promote the professional growth and advancement of Vietnamese American attorneys, encourage and facilitate the entry of Vietnamese American students into the legal profession, contribute to the public interest by serving as a voice for the local Vietnamese American community and assist community members with legal concerns.

    Clinics Schedule:

    Biloxi, Mississippi
    Friday, June 25th 1-5pm
    Biloxi Community Development Department Auditorium
    676 Martin Luther King Blvd, Biloxi. MS

    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Saturday, June 26th: 9am-5pm
    Mary Queen of Viet Nam School
    14001 Dwyer Blvd, New Orleans, LA

    Coalition Members:
    Asian American Bar Association of Louisiana
    Asian Americans for Change
    Boat People SOS (BPSOS)
    Mary Queen of Viet Nam CDC
    Mississippi Center for Justice
    National Association of Vietnamese American Service Agencies (NAVASA)
    National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
    Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California (VABANC)
    Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC (VABA-DC)
    Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA)

  • Sunday, May 02, 2010 5:29 PM | Anonymous

    By: Jackie Bong-Wright - Asian Fortune


    Judge Jacqueline Nguyen at VABA-DC Scholarship Dinner 2010

    “Get a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Does this ring true to Judge Jacqueline Nguyen? “Definitely, yes,” she said. “I was sworn in as a federal judge three months ago, and I was thrilled to take over a caseload of 400 civil cases and many other criminal matters. I’ve been working many late nights and weekends, but I wouldn’t trade this job for any other in the world.”

    Judge Nguyen was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Central District in California. From 2002 to 2009, she served as the first Asian judge in the Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. Since her graduation from UCLA in 1991, she has been active in the legal community. She co-founded the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She served as its president from 1999 to 2000.

    Recently, Judge Nguyen spoke at the Vietnamese American Bar Association (VABA-DC) at its second annual scholarship dinner at the WilmerHale law firm in Washington, D.C.

    The association president, Caroline Nguyen, a graduate of Harvard and Columbia School of Law, said the judge’s appointment to the federal bench was “an important step forward in judicial diversity and not only a testament to the inspiring promise of the American Dream, but also a milestone for the Vietnamese American community.”

    Judge Nguyen congratulated VABA-DC for the change that is taking place in the Vietnamese community in the capital area. She also urged Vietnamese Americans to participate actively in state and federal legislatures, as well as in major law firms. She said she was grateful for the many opportunities “this great nation” had offered her, her family and many other immigrants.

    She also praised the “incredible resilience” of the Vietnamese people. She talked of her parents, quiet and humble boat people refugees, who toiled at two and three menial jobs to care for six children. She said they were her inspiration. “They persevered to bring us up, sacrificed themselves to give us a good education, and helped build our character. That is the ultimate education.”

    Judge Nguyen echoed these words of wisdom: “We are here not merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this.”


    Diversity

    VABA-DC, established in 2007, is one of four VABAs that promote the professional growth and advancement of Vietnamese-American attorneys. It also encourages and facilitates the entry of Vietnamese students into the legal profession. Across the country, there are only six Vietnamese judges on the bench, four of whom are in California.

    “Nationwide, people of color make up one quarter of the population, yet they make up only 10 percent of lawyers and only four percent of partners in major law firms. Well over 70 percent of all judges are white,” stated Judge Nguyen. “This lack of diversity has contributed to deep mistrust of the justice system in many minority communities, including our own.”

    How to redress the situation? Judge Nguyen advised that lawyers and judges heed the words of Justice Kennedy. “The law makes a promise – neutrality. If the promise gets broken, the law as we know it ceases to exist.” Remarked Judge Nguyen: “Unless we change the bench and the bar to better reflect our nation’s diversity, we lose credibility – we lose the perception of neutrality – and that hurts all of us because we all have a stake in this system.”


    Mentorship

    Judge Nguyen insists that one of the ways to effect change is to mentor one another. “I am a firm believer in the power of mentorship because I’ve benefited from it. As a young lawyer, first in private practice and then as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office, I became very involved in local bar activities, and sat on the boards of various bar associations. When I was ready to apply to the bench, they demystified the process for me.”

    She continued, “The support for my appointment, both state and federal, came out of these relationships. So, being involved in organizations is not only fun and rewarding, but also helps in forming mentoring relationships that are so important in your career, no matter what you choose to do.”

    The VABA-DC has the same kind of mission. Shandon Phan, a board member, announced that every year this non-profit awards scholarships to two law students who have demonstrated leadership potential and a strong commitment to serving the Vietnamese American community.

    One of this year’s awardees is Caroline Pham from Modesto, California. A second-year law student at George Washington Law School in Washington, DC, Caroline has been very active in community service. She is vice-president of the GW Law Federalist Society, president of the Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity, and vice-president for Outreach of the Student Bar Association. As an attorney, Caroline says she hopes to provide pro bono service to her community.

    The second recipient is Julie Tong, a third-year student at the University of Maryland School of Law. She is the executive editor of the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class. She also served as president of Maryland’s Asian Pacific American (APIA) Law Students Association. Prior to law school, she volunteered as a legal interpreter with the APIA Legal Resource Center. She says she wants to practice civil litigation and continue to help immigrant children to achieve success.

    Encouraging community service, VABA-DC set the example and partnered with Boat People SOS and AALEAD to raise awareness of human trafficking. Last year, the board organized a gathering at the K St Lounge to network, strengthen community ties and raise money for programs that assist trafficked victims in Malaysia.

  • Saturday, March 20, 2010 5:30 PM | Anonymous


    VABA-DC Board with Judge Nguyen and Caroline Pham

    VABA-DC held its Second Annual Scholarship Dinner at the law firm of WilmerHale, 1875 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20006, on March 18, 2010. Chaired by John Huynh Brown and Paul Nguyen, the event was a huge success. 

     

    Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American Article III judge, delivered the keynote speech.  

    Two law students, Caroline Kieu-Diem Pham of George Washington University School of Law and Julie Tong of University of Maryland School of Law, received scholarship awards for their strong commitment to serving the Vietnamese American community.

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2010 8:00 PM | Anonymous

    MEDIA ADVISORY: Wednesday, January 20, 2010
    CONTACT: John Brown at (202) 857-6359 | Caroline Nguyen at (202) 663-6079

    Washington, D.C.-- The Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area (“VABA-DC”) today announced that the Hon. Jacqueline Nguyen of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California will be the keynote speaker at VABA-DC’s Second Annual Scholarship Dinner on March 18, 2010.  The theme of this year’s Scholarship Dinner is “Inspiring New Voices of Justice.”

    On December 1, 2009, Judge Nguyen became the first Article III judge of Vietnamese descent, after the United States Senate confirmed her by a unanimous vote.  Judge Nguyen is only the third-ever Asian American female Article III judge.

    “We are honored that Judge Nguyen will join us as the Keynote Speaker at this year’s Scholarship Dinner,” said Caroline T. Nguyen, president of VABA-DC.  “Her appointment to the federal bench is an important step forward in judicial diversity and is not only a testament to the inspiring promise of the American dream but also a milestone for the Vietnamese American community.”

    President Barack Obama nominated Judge Nguyen for appointment to the federal bench on July 31, 2009.  Prior to her nomination, she had served for more than seven years as a judge with the California Superior Court.  Previously, Judge Nguyen was also an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division in Los Angeles, later becoming Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Section in that same office, and was an attorney with Musick, Peeler & Garrett in Los Angeles, where she handled commercial, intellectual property and construction cases.

    VABA-DC is the only Vietnamese American Bar Association on the East Coast.  Its mission is to promote the professional growth and advancement of Vietnamese American attorneys, encourage and facilitate the entry of Vietnamese American students into the legal profession, contribute to the public interest by serving as a voice for the local Vietnamese American community and assist community members with legal concerns. 

    As part of that mission, VABA-DC awards scholarships annually to two D.C.-area law students who have demonstrated leadership potential and a strong commitment to serving the Vietnamese American community.  This year’s Scholarship Dinner will take place on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at WilmerHale in Washington D.C.  For more information, please visit www.vabadc.com.


    ###

  • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    Source: Style Weekly - October 13, 2009

    VABA-DC member, Tony Pham, has been selected by Style Weekly to be honored as one of Richmond 's Top 40 Under 40 Leaders for his contributions to the community.

    Tony Pham, 36, Assistant City Attorney, City of Richmond. Photo by Ash Daniel. Six days before North Vietnamese tanks rolled into Saigon on April 24, 1975, Tony H. Pham, then 2 years old, was on the last civilian flight out of South Vietnam.

    He, his two sisters and their mother embarked on a remarkable journey that would take them to a refugee camp in Arkansas and then to Henrico County, where a church sponsored them. Pham’s father, a South Vietnamese Army officer, joined them later.

    Living in an apartment off Parham Road, Pham struggled to learn English. He was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1984. After Meadowbrook High School, he attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Richmond law school.

    In 1999, the freshly minted lawyer landed a job as a prosecutor in Richmond, where he dealt with dope dealers and gangs. He moved to the city attorney’s office in 2008.     

    Tony Pham, 36
    Assistant City Attorney, City of Richmond
    Photo by Ash Daniel

    “I’m living the American dream right now,” Pham says. So he must give back, he says. In part, he uses his language skills to help immigrants understand voting rights. His work has earned him the Old Dominion Bar Association’s presidential merit award.

    He’s also volunteered with the Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce, helping the group create its first legislative summit this summer, and working with it to address cultural, civic and social issues facing that community.

    He sees cultural chasms. For example, once two relatives were having a vigorous argument and the police were called. “People didn’t explain there was no domestic violence,” he says. “That’s just how Vietnamese argue.”

    For fun, he golfs and takes his children to international festivals, he says: “There always is a lot of eating involved.”

  • Friday, February 06, 2009 8:06 PM | Anonymous

    Source: http://www.bisnow.com/washington_dc_legal_news_story.php?p=2414

    Things are booming for the Vietnamese Bar Association, founded by WilmerHale’s Caroline Nguyen. The former bartender at K Street Lounge makes us look smart for picking her as one of our 30 Under 30s: she developed the VBA from a brainstorm to an organization that pulled in 120 for dinner last night, where it granted scholarships to two law students (from GWU and University of Baltimore) who’ve demonstrated commitment to issues affecting the Vietnamese. There’s Caroline with WilmerHale colleagues Kenneth Imo, career development attorney, and dinner co-chair Danny Nguyen.

    Could this man be the next U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia? Gene Rossi, currently an AUSA in the Rocket Docket, tells us he’s “one of several” who’ve expressed interest in the top slot vacated when Chuck Rosenberg left for Hogan. Gene says he and his friendly competition are expecting a spring appointment for the role now filled by Acting U.S. Attorney, Dana Boente, a career guy. To boost the attractiveness of Gene’s candidacy, we pulled in VBA Board Member Mai Nguyen of the FDA to join him.

    The evening’s keynoter was Congressman Joseph Cao, right, just elected as a Republican from Louisiana’s 2d District. Here with his Director of Special Projects Dang Nguyen, Joseph was one of the last members to slip into the 111th Congress, as Hurricane Gustav pushed his election day back to Dec. 6th. Political junkies may recognize Louisiana’s 2d as the district held for years by William Jefferson, until the FBI found $90,000 in his freezer. Don’t worry: Joseph says that the guiltiest thing in his is ice cream.

    John Ford is Bisnow’s Legal Editor. Shoot him your story ideas at john@bisnow.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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