Avanti Bakane | Candidate for Vice President for Communications

 Avanti Bakane

 Candidate for Vice President for   Communications

  Endorse Candidate








Candidate Statement

Experience and Training

After serving NAPABA as Central Regional Governor (CRG) for the past two years, I am excited to seek your support as I pursue the Vice-President of Communications position this coming year. As CRG, I had the privilege of working with 14 affiliates in the Central Region, a number that we grew over the past year. Together, we identified and sought to overcome challenges the affiliates face with respect to growth, resources, and maintaining participation and enthusiasm by both current and seasoned members of each organization. We celebrated milestones such as Indiana-APABA hosting its first annual banquet as well as successes such as Michigan and Wisconsin having a presence at Lobby Day for the first time.

Over the past two years, I served as the board liaison to the Entertainment Law and Regional Conference committees, ensuring that each had full access to the many resources NAPABA offers to our members and committees. I also served on various task forces to implement policies that promote fairness, transparency, and robust inquiry with respect to the At Large Board Member selection process, and importantly, a safe and harassment free environment at all of NAPABA's events. I developed relationships with younger female lawyers through the Women’s Leadership Network mentoring program, serving as a mentor as well as hosting a Chicago WLN event. Finally, I created the Judicial Nominations and Endorsements Task Force within the Central Region to achieve more APA representation on the bench in our region.

In addition to serving as CRG, I served as an Honorary Board Member for AABA-Chicago, an active NAPABA affiliate, and Associate Board President for Leading India's Future Today (LIFT). I will bring my social media and website administration skills from LIFT, as well as experience creating and maintaining a travel blog, to the position.

Goals as Vice-President of Communications

I am now seeking to serve as Vice-President of Communications to continue serving our membership, affiliates, and APA legal and wider communities and to ensure that all are fully informed of the vast resources, advocacy efforts, initiatives and frequent informational and networking events that NAPABA offers as well as to reach those organizations who are not yet affiliated with NAPABA.

In this position, I will continue outreach to NAPABA's affiliates. With this goal in mind, I will work with the Vice-President of Membership and the Membership Committee to increase NAPABA's presence and to expand the scope of its work. Specifically, I will work with the VP of Membership to create an Affiliate Mentorship Program to ensure that newly established and growing affiliates are paired with longstanding affiliates in regions with more APA presence as the affiliates continue to expand their memberships and provide more resources to their members. This will also assist those affiliates that, for example, seek to create charitable sister organizations and foundations.

I will also ensure that affiliate leaders are aware of opportunities to serve the larger NAPABA communities, whether by seeking a Regional Governor role or serving as a committee chair, to ensure that there is a pipeline to NAPABA leadership. Finally, I will work with the NAPABA staff to increase affiliate advocacy efforts and ensure that affiliates are aware of the constant advocacy work being done by NAPABA as well as the opportunities for each affiliate to join in these efforts.

Challenges and Opportunities

We are currently living in a time of uncertainty with respect to many of the civil rights our immigrant families have relied upon in coming to and settling in this country. Simultaneously, gender equality and harassment issues are coming to the forefront, breaking the culture of silence. It will continue to be a challenge to serve our diverse membership, with respect to divergent political views, cultural norms, and generational gaps. Having a diverse leadership will allow all views to be heard, and NAPABA's commitment to protection of civil rights and equality as well as its significant outreach will keep our membership informed. I will bring a reasoned approach to bridging diverse viewpoints, with a focus on problem solving and overcoming challenges while celebrating the successes of our community.

I also hope to diversify our leadership after serving as the only South Asian female on the board over the past two years.

I thank you for your support and for the privilege of serving this organization. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at abakane@grsm.com.

Candidate Bio

Avanti Bakane is a partner in the Chicago office of Gordon, Rees, Scully, Mansukhani, LLP. She is a member of the Commercial Litigation and Consumer Protection Litigation practice groups.

Clients regularly retain Avanti Bakane in a variety of complex matters. She represents publicly traded and smaller companies alike in areas such as complex class action, antitrust, and other commercial litigation with a focus in consumer class action defense. Ms. Bakane has experience in federal and state courts across the country. She assists with ethical and compliance matters and is a key asset in pre-suit negotiations, litigation, and other legal counseling.

Outside of the office, Ms. Bakane serves as Central Regional Governor for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and President of Leading India’s Future Today’s (LIFT) Associate Board. Ms. Bakane is a past President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago, past Honorary Board Member for the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago (AABA), and volunteers with several non-profit organizations to provide opportunities for underprivileged youth and to end gender violence.

Ms. Bakane is proficient in Spanish and Marathi and was a consulting academic tutor for the University of Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica, where she tutored, translated and taught Spanish for International University students learning the language. In her free time, Ms. Bakane loves to travel and blogs about her adventures.


NAPABA Affiliate Endorsements

Affiliate Name 
Asian American Bar Association of Chicago  
Missouri Asian American Bar Association
Charlotte Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
South Asian Bar Association of Chicago 
Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area 
Korean American Bar Association of San Diego 
Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
Asian American Bar Association of Ohio 
Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA Chicago) 
South Asian Bar Association of Northern California 
Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego 
Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego 
Orange County Korean American Bar Association 
Korean American Bar Association of Chicago
Wisconsin Asian American Bar Association  
Japanese American Bar Association 
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, D.C. Area 
Michigan Asian Pacific American Bar Association 
Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York 
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Virginia 
Asian American Bar Association of New York 


Individual Endorsements

Name Company*
Radhika Lohia Litchfield Cavo 
Samantha Woo  Jones Day 
Jason DeJonker  Bryan Cave Leigton Paisner LLP 
Avani Patel  iDiscovery Solutions 
Selena Kim  Gowling WLG 
Sid Shenoy  Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP 
Andrew Hahn Hawkind Delafield & Wood 
Annette Kwok  Venable 
Ari Ghosal  Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP 
Serafin Tagarao  Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP 
Jack Chan  Law Office of Jack Chan LLC 
Don Liu  Target 
Alexander Lee  Law Offices of Alexander M. Lee 
Peter Huh  Litchfield Cavo LLP 
Nicolas Huang  Harrison & Moberly, LLP 
Patricia Lee-Gulley Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP 
Asit Panwala  Law Office of Asit Panwala 
Warren Den  Office of the Public Defender 
Lia Hyunji Kim  Highland Park Highwood Legal Aid 
Stephen Ma  Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP 
Vincent Gonzales  Southern California Gas Company 
Sharon Ng  Stinson Leonard Street LLP 
Christine Pompa  Kraft Heinz Company 
Sonni Williams  City of Lockport
Jeannie Kim  Buchalter, A Professional Corporation 
Melissa Lin  Righi Fitch Law Group 

*All work or organizational affiliations disclosed are for identification and disclosures purposes only, and do not constitute endorsements by those institutions. 


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