AABANY Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic Receives New York State Bar Leaders Innovation Award

February 21, 2020
Contact: Yang Chen, Executive Director
(212) 332-2478


NEW YORK – February 21, 2020 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) is proud to announce that it has been honored for the third time with the New York State Bar Association Bar Leaders Innovation Award for the Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic. AABANY received its honor in the category of medium-sized bar associations (500-1,999 members).

The New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) will present the award at AABANY’s Annual Dinner, taking place on February 26, at Cipriani Wall Street. According to NYSBA, “the award is presented in statewide recognition of local, minority, ethnic, specialty, special purpose bar associations… for outstanding service to the public and the profession through innovative projects and programs that serve to enhance public understanding of the law, advance and promote the work of the legal profession, and support the best interests of the public.” AABANY is honored that NYSBA President Henry Greenberg will present the award to AABANY.

AABANY’s Pro Bono Legal Advice and Referral Clinic is a joint project with AABANY’s 501(c)(3) affiliate, the Asian American Law Fund of New York (“AALFNY”). The Clinic is a volunteer-driven project serving members of the Asian Pacific American community who have limited English proficiency (“LEP”) to provide them with meaningful access to justice. Operated since December 2015 by AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, the Clinic has continued to grow in its operations, visibility, and, most importantly, its impact on the local Asian Pacific American communities and the legal profession in New York.

The Clinic currently operates every second Wednesday of the month in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighborhood and the last Thursday of every other month in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bay Ridge. A team of volunteer attorneys, a mental health/benefits counselor, law students, and translators provide free, private one-on-one consultations on a walk-in basis in thirteen different languages to individuals who are primarily LEP and low-income. Mobilizing the skills, experience, and cultural competency of AABANY’s diverse and talented membership, the Clinic has helped nearly 2,000 LEP APA individuals in the large yet under-served communities of both East Asian and South Asian communities in New York since its inauguration.

“I am deeply gratified that the AABANY/AALFNY Pro Bono Clinic is being honored with a NYSBA Bar Leaders Innovation Award,” states President Brian Song. “From its inception, the Pro Bono Clinic has made a positive impact on the community and provided a meaningful opportunity for our members to give back. Over the last few years, under the leadership of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee, the Pro Bono Clinic has grown significantly in Manhattan. It expanded into Brooklyn last fall and will be expanding into Queens this spring. The innovations and best practices put into place by the Committee have made this growth and expansion possible, reaching many under-served community members with high-quality legal advice and assistance that is culturally sensitive and linguistically competent.”

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212) 332-2478, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).