Law Briefs

Santa Clara Law hosts Bay Area conference of Asian Pacific American students and attorneys

On Feb. 9, Santa Clara Law hosted the 18th annual Bay Area Asian Pacific American Law Student Association Conference (BAAPALSA). This regional gathering of chapters of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association attracts more than 200 attendees and is the largest West Coast forum for Asian American law students and practitioners. The event was co-directed by Iris Chiu and Kaushik Nagaraj, who are third-year law students at Santa Clara Law and board members of APALSA, the campus group that hosted the event.

“It has been 10 years since Santa Clara University School of Law last hosted the conference, and this year we wanted to showcase the brand-new Charney Hall,” said Santa Clara Law 1L Sarina Jwo, SCU APALSA board member. The conference featured networking opportunities, keynote talks, and panels covering trending legal topics such as privacy, in-house, immigration, and other issues, as well as a mock interview and resume workshop, where law students were paired with attorneys to receive personalized feedback on their interviewing skills and resume. Panelists included Santa Clara Law Professors David Sloss, Evangeline Abriel, Laura Norris, and Deep Gulasakarem, as well as Dale Minami, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Johnny Gogo, and several in-house counsel representatives from Bay Area tech companies.

Keynote speaker, Justice Ming Chin of the California Supreme Court, addressed his Asian American identity and how it fit well with the conference’s theme of Justice For All. “Be a lawyer who strives to be better, who pursues justice for all,” urged Justice Chin.

Dale Minami, one of the Bay Area’s top personal injury lawyers who is best known for overturning the Korematsu case, was the closing speaker. “Being part of the dialogue does not just mean speaking up,” he said in his talk. “You have to act.”

Lisa Kloppenberg, dean of Santa Clara Law, said she was pleased with the event. “I was incredibly impressed by the speakers promoting access to justice and equality,” she said. “Our fantastic student leaders Kaushik Nagaraj and Iris Chiu and their many committee members did an excellent job managing and promoting this event, and they organized stellar panels on a wide variety of important topics. We were so proud to host this important conference in our new home, Charney Hall.”

2019 BAAPALSA organizers and speakers (back row, from left) Daniel Morizono 2020L, Yong Ra 2020L, Tsu-Li Liew 2020L, Kelli Nishimori 2019L, Kaushik Nagaraj 2019L, Melenie Van 2020L, Jaya Reddy 2019L, and (front row, from left) Monica Fong 2020L, Ernie Fok 2020L, Nina Huynh, California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin, Sarina Jwo 2021L, Iris Chiu 2019L