Avanti Bakane | Candidate for Vice President for Communications

Avanti Bakane

Candidate for Vice President for Communications

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Candidate Statement

After serving NAPABA as VP of Communications for the past year, I am excited to seek your support to serve the organization in this capacity again.

Challenges and Opportunities

We are 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. My family’s story is no exception, and I have experienced firsthand what it means to try to assimilate into an unfamiliar and, at times, unwelcoming culture, leaving behind a very different past.

Simultaneously, gender equality and harassment issues are at the forefront, breaking the culture of silence. As with recent years, 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.

As the only South Asian female on the board over the past three years, it is my goal to continue to support diversity amongst our leadership in gender, geography, ethnic background, and generation.

Experience and Training

Over the past year, I worked with our many affiliates and the regional governors to designate at least one board liaison for each affiliate. The purpose of this is two-fold: 1. to support each affiliate president in collaborating, communicating, and engaging with NAPABA in its mission, programming, and advocacy efforts, and 2. to ensure that NAPABA is in tune with the needs of each affiliate and able to better identify the resources it can provide to assist with those needs.

As we work with the board liaisons to implement these goals, the next step will be to put in place an Affiliate Mentorship Program. We will pair newly established and growing affiliates with longstanding affiliates in regions with more APA presence as the affiliates continue to expand their memberships and provide more resources to their members.

As VP for Communications, I have had the pleasure of working with the NAPABA staff to roll out a revitalized website, a brand new SocialLink platform, and a brand new YM Career Center.

Before serving as VP for Communications, I served as Central Regional Governor (CRG) for two years. As CRG, I had the privilege of working with fourteen affiliates in the Central Region and proudly growing our presence in the Midwest.

Over the past three years, I have served as the board liaison to the Entertainment Law and Regional Conference committees, ensuring that each has full access to the many resources NAPABA offers. 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 NAPABA’s events. I developed relationships with young female lawyers through the Women’s Leadership Network, serving as a mentor as well as hosting a Chicago WLN event.

Goals as VP for Communications

This coming year, I will seek to elevate and highlight NAPABA’s reach, presence in, and impact upon the wider legal and APA communities. While NAPABA initially stood for an annual Convention to see old friends and meet new ones, as I head into my ninth Convention, I have learned that our organization represents so much more than that. As its future leaders, we must ensure that our impact is known and we push our APA brothers and sisters to new levels and leadership positions beyond the APA community.

I will continue serving our membership, affiliates, and APA legal and wider communities to ensure that all are fully informed of the vast knowledge base, advocacy efforts, initiatives, and frequent informational and networking events that NAPABA offers.

In line with the Affiliate Mentorship Program, I will continue outreach to NAPABA’s affiliates. I will work with the Vice-President of Membership to increase NAPABA’s involvement with, and resources provided to, each affiliate.

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.

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 Gordon, Rees, Scully, Mansukhani’s Chicago office. Avanti is licensed in California and Illinois, serves as co-chair of the firm’s South Asian Affinity Group, and is a member of its Diversity Committee.

As a lawyer by day and travel blogger by night, Avanti has perspective that allows for understanding diverse viewpoints and the value of her clients’ time. Publicly traded and smaller companies alike retain Avanti in areas such as complex class action, antitrust, breach of contract, and general commercial litigation with a focus upon consumer class action defense. Her practice also includes representing businesses and creative professionals in software and e-commerce development, data privacy, data loss, licensing, and copyright infringement disputes.

With experience in federal and state courts across the country, Avanti is a key asset in pre-suit negotiations, litigation, and compliance. She understands the importance of responsiveness, efficiency, and effective results to her clients.

Dedicating her time outside of the office to the community, Avanti serves as VP of Communications for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and a member of Leading India's Future Today's (LIFT) Board of Governors. Avanti 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, end gender violence, and find homes for rescue dogs.

Avanti is proficient in Spanish and Marathi.


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NAPABA Affiliate Endorsements

Affiliate Name 
Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago
Korean American Bar Association of Chicago 
South Asian Bar Association of Chicago
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Silicon Valley
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas

Individual Endorsements

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

Name Company*
Alen Hsu
Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L.
George Wu  Lathrop Gage LLP 
Craig Nakanishi  Cades Schutte LLP 
Paul W. Lee  Goodwin Procter LLP 
Annette Kwok  Venable LLP 
Sidney Kanazawa  McGuireWoods LLP 
Jack Chan  Law Office of Jack Chan LLC
Peter Huh Litchfield Cavo LLP
Bonnie Youn The RMN Agency
Irene Mo  Aleada Consulting
Maricar Tinio  Todd Legal
I. Neel Chatterjee  Goodwin Procter LLP 
Andrew Hahn Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
Binal Patel  Banner & Witcoff, Ltd.
Sid Shenoy  Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP
Margaret Ling  Big Apple Abstract Corp

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