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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street. N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, D.C. 20006

March 10, 2008
Contact: Aleli Samson
(202) 775-9555

NAPABA Announces the First NAPABA & NLF Diversity Symposium
and the Inaugural NAPABA Diversity Award

Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) announces the first NAPABA & NAPABA Law Foundation (NLF) Diversity Symposium on Asian Pacific American (APA) diversity in law firms. “As the national bar association for APA attorneys, NAPABA has a strong voice in promoting the professional development of APAs in the legal profession,” said Helen B. Kim, President of NAPABA. The symposium will be held first on the west coast and again on the east coast in two of the nation’s largest legal markets to maximize access to the event. The Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP located on 400 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, California 90071 will host the symposium on March 18, 2008. The symposium will also be held in New York on April 1, 2008. The symposium features prominent members of the legal community who will participate in interactive sessions that address the status of APA diversity in the profession. “This is a serious issue—statistics suggest that APA associates make up the largest group of lawyers of color in large law firms but have the lowest conversion rate to partnership of any ethnic group,” said Bruce L. Ishimatsu, Chair of the NAPABA Partners Committee and NLF Board Member and partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP. The day-long program offers a rare opportunity for decision-makers at large law firms to consider the specific barriers faced by APA lawyers, share methods to overcome those barriers, and engage in constructive dialogue resulting in opportunities to improve APA representation in a manner tailored to the unique culture of each firm.

Another component of the symposium is the first-ever NAPABA Diversity Award, which will be presented in New York to a large law firm that has demonstrated a commitment to diversity, and has succeeded especially in increasing the recruitment, retention, advancement, and promotion of APA attorneys. “The award will recognize a law firm that has truly paid attention to diversity, and not just mere lip service,” said Peggy Nagae, past President of NAPABA and professional diversity consultant. NAPABA and NLF are currently accepting nominations for the inaugural NAPABA Diversity Award until March 14, 2008. Interested applicants should visit the NAPABA website (www.napaba.org) to view the award criteria and download the nomination form.

Last year, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) awarded a Diversity Dollars grant to NLF to implement a diversity project featuring the NAPABA & NLF Diversity Symposium. A number of corporations have already endorsed the NAPABA & NLF Diversity Symposium, including AT&T, Bank of America NA, Cardinal Health, Coca Cola Co., CT Corp., General Electric Co., General Motors Corp., Starbucks Corp., Xerox Corp., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Waste Management, Inc.

Managing partners, hiring partners, partners with promotional authority, and partners responsible for diversity from the nation’s largest law firms are especially encouraged to attend the symposium for a provocative discussion on the recruitment, retention, advancement and promotion of APA attorneys in large law firms. There is no cost associated with attendance. For more information about the symposium and to register, contact NAPABA at (202) 775-9555.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 50 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.

The NAPABA Law Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association to provide financial support for legal education and legal services to the Asian Pacific American community. For more information about the NAPABA Law Foundation and its programs, please contact Mike Chu, NAPABA Law Foundation President at (312) 321-4200 or mpc@brinkshofer.com.


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