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Asian American Law Fund

Asian American Law Fund
of New York, Inc.

Overview and Mission

The Asian American Law Fund of New York, Inc. ("AALFNY” or the "Fund”) was established by the Asian American Bar Association of New York ("AABANY”) in 1993 to support non-profit, charitable and education purposes within Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code”). Though it has an independent Board, the Fund (formerly known as The AABANY Foundation, Inc.) remains affiliated with AABANY and continues to work in close coordination with AABANY on fundraising and pro bono programs. Contributions to the Fund are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.

The express purposes of the Fund, as set forth in its charter, include the following:

  • To promote public good through programs designed to eliminate prejudice and discrimination and to defend human and civil rights;
  • To disseminate information and provide assistance to community groups, including without limitation, Asian American victims of crime;
  • To educate the public on the issues of Asian Americans through public discussion groups, forums, panels, lectures, or other similar programs;
  • To develop and encourage cooperation with governmental agencies and other community associations to eliminate prejudice and discrimination;
  • To sponsor programs to promote understanding among ethnic groups in New York;
  • To plan and implement programs to encourage community understanding of legal processes and governmental agencies; and
  • To conduct any and all lawful activities which may be necessary, useful, or desirable for the furtherance, accomplishment, or attainment of the foregoing purposes.

The Fund’s initial primary activity was to sponsor and operate the Asian Crime Victims Project, whose purpose was to increase communication between hate crime victims and the criminal justice system, provide direct services (case status information, transportation, social service agency referrals, assistance with filing for crime victim’s compensation) to hate crime victims, educate the public at large, including members of the Asian community, as to how to respond to occurrences of hate crimes and generally to combat the perpetration of hate crimes. Since the termination of the Asian Crime Victims Project, the Fund has focused on the Community Service Scholarship Program and the Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program. The Community Service Scholarship Programs aims to assist law students with their tuition while encouraging them to use their legal knowledge and training to benefit the Asian American Community in New York and to foster commitment by law students to public service to the Asian American community in New York. The Joint Minority Bar Judicial Internship Program offers law students the opportunity to enhance and complement their legal education as summer interns with New York metropolitan area judges. The internships are exceptional learning opportunities that offer insight into the process of judicial decisions and strengthen analytic and legal writing skills.

AALFNY seeks to expand its scholarship and internship programs as well as to support new initiatives as part of its educational and charitable mission. To that end, plans are underway to increase the Fund’s fundraising efforts, the proceeds of which will be used to expand the breadth and depth of its programs and to further the pro bono activities within the New York Asian American community.

AALFNY 2015 Community Service Scholarships

The Asian American Law Fund of New York, Inc. (the "Fund”), a non-profit organization originally established in 1993 by the Asian American Bar Association of New York ("AABANY”),[1]invites law students to apply for its Community Service Scholarship Awards ("Asian American Law Fund Scholarship” or the "Scholarship”). The Fund will award Scholarships in the amount of $5000 each to up to three law students with a demonstrated commitment to the Asian American community. The purpose of the award is to assist law students with their tuition while encouraging them to use their legal knowledge and training to benefit the Asian American community in New York and to foster commitment by law students to public service to the Asian American community in New York.

Applicants should include a description of their proposed summer community service project and the name, email address and phone number of a supervisor at the community service organization or other organization that the Scholarship Committee may contact. Applicants are responsible for arranging their own projects. A list of organizations that have hosted students in the past is attached. The list is only provided as an example and no guarantee is made that the organizations will continue to host students in 2015 or that volunteering at one of these organizations entitles the applicant to a Scholarship. Each student is expected to volunteer at least 8 weeks, 35 hours per week, during the summer of 2015 at such project and to apply the award to the payment of law school tuition. Award recipients are also requested to submit an essay at the end of the summer describing their experience with their project.

How do I apply for the Asian American Law Fund Scholarship?

1. Students enrolled in an ABA- or AALS-accredited law school in the United States at least half-time as determined by the law school are eligible to apply for the Asian American Law Fund Scholarship.[2] To be eligible, an applicant must be a candidate for a J.D. degree and must be in good standing at his or her law school; students seeking advanced law degrees are not eligible for this program. Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

2. Applicants must submit a completed and signed Scholarship Application form (attached). The Scholarship Application must be accompanied by (i) a description of the proposed volunteer work for the summer of 2015 plus the name, email address and phone number of a contact person at the organization sponsoring the volunteer work, (ii) an essay not to exceed 750 words, (iii) a letter of recommendation from a person not related to the applicant, (iv) an official copy of the applicant’s most recent law school transcript, (v) a copy of the applicant’s resume and (vi) a description of other scholarships, grants or awards that the applicant may be receiving during Summer 2015 and any course credit to be received for the Summer. Applicants who wish to demonstrate financial need may also submit a copy of their law school application for financial assistance or discuss such need in their essay. Applicants receiving other sources of funding and course credit for the Summer are eligible to apply for this scholarship but must disclose such funding and credit as part of their application. In addition, applicants must promptly notify the Fund if they receive such funding or course credit after the submission of the Scholarship Application.

3. Finalists may be interviewed by one or more members of the Scholarship Committee, either in person or by telephone prior to the final announcement of the awards.

When do I apply?

The completed Scholarship Application and all required materials are to be mailed to Asian American Law Fund of New York, c/o Sylvia Fung Chin, Esq.White & Case LLP, 1155 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036 and must be postmarked by March 31, 2015. Download a copy of the Scholarship Application here.

When will the Scholarships be announced?

The Scholarships will be announced on or about April 17, 2015. The full amount of the award will be given to the recipient at the Fund’s Summer Reception event, around June 2015.

What criteria will be used to award the Scholarships?

The Fund will take into consideration all the materials submitted by the applicant and will give particular weight to the essay portion of the application and the applicant’s Summer project. The letter of recommendation should be written by a person who can provide relevant information to the Fund and who can be contacted by the Fund. Among the factors to be considered by the Fund are the following:

· the applicant’s demonstrated commitment to and interest in pro bono and/or public interest legal work to the Asian American community;

· the applicant’s leadership potential;

· the applicant’s maturity and responsibility; and

· the applicant’s financial need.

It is the Fund’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status or sexual orientation.

Since the award must be applied to a recipient’s law school tuition, students who are already receiving full tuition scholarships are not eligible.

Members of the immediate families of officers and directors of AABANY and of members of the Fund’s Board of Directors and Scholarship Committee are also not eligible for the Scholarship.

All materials submitted to the Fund will become the property of the Fund and may be used by the Fund. The Fund reserves the right to issue public announcements regarding the Scholarship winners and to use essays and reports provided by the Scholarship winners.

What types of projects might be undertaken?

Projects must be with non-profit organizations and must serve New York’s Asian American community. Work with a governmental agency will generally not be eligible. A proposed project should involve legal work and have a supervising attorney. Work with nonprofit organizations that provide legal assistance to the general population will be considered if you can demonstrate that the Asian American community will be benefited. Applicants are responsible for contacting community service organizations and arranging their own projects. Community service organizations that have hosted applicants in the past are described in the attached list. The list is neither exclusive nor exhaustive.

What do I need to do regarding a project?

Applicants are responsible for arranging their own projects. The organizations described in the sample list are only provided as examples of places that have hosted students in the past and is not meant to be either exhaustive or definitive. Applicants must be accepted by the organizations before submitting the application for the Scholarship. No preference is given to a project with organizations on the attached list as compared to other projects that otherwise meet the criteria described.

To whom may I direct any questions I might have?

Questions regarding the Community Service Scholarship Program may be directed to Sylvia Fung Chin at

[1] AABANY is a professional membership organization of Asian/Pacific American and other attorneys in New York concerned with issues affecting the Asian American community.

[2] Students attending law schools outside the state of New York but seeking to work at an organization serving the needs of New York’s Asian American community also may be considered for the Scholarship.

Funding Guidelines for External Programs

While the Fund will continue to fund internally generated programs, including pro bono activities conducted by its affiliate, AABANY, the Fund now seeks to identify and support external programs whose educational and charitable missions are consistent with those of the Fund. The following are AALFNY’s funding guidelines for external programs.

AALFNY will only fund U.S.-based Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations and programs that do not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code. AALFNY is not formed for pecuniary profit or for financial gain and no part of its assets, income or profit shall be distributed or inure to the benefit of any private individual.

The primary geographic scope of coverage will be the Greater New York Metropolitan Area.

Grants are generally made annually, but AALFNY may make multi-year grants.

Grants will generally not exceed $5,000 per year.

AALFNY will review grant proposals on a rolling basis over the course of a year.

AALFNY will give primary consideration to grant proposals for:

  • Program-specific activities
  • Public interest internship funding
  • Program development projects

AALFNY will not fund:

  • Private foundations
  • For profit organizations
  • Organizations which, in their constitution, bylaws or practices discriminate against persons or groups on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief
  • Political or lobbying activities
  • Debt reduction

Application Process

1. Organizations wishing to receive a solicitation for a grant proposal from AALFNY should submit a letter of inquiry, preferably one page but no more than two pages in length. A letter of inquiry is "submitted” only when it has been received by the persons identified in Paragraph 2 of "Contact Information” below. The letter of inquiry should be signed by the organization’s Executive Director or an officer of that organization holding a comparable office and address the following:

  • Brief description of organization, including objectives
  • Statement of the organization’s needs and the amount requested from AALFNY
  • Proposed use of proceeds of any grant or gift received from AAFLNY
  • Proposed mode of acknowledgment or recognition of any grant or gift made by AALFNY

The letter of inquiry should be accompanied by a copy of the organization’s most recent financial statements, audited if available, evidence of the organization’s Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or not-for-profit status, a list of the organization’s Board of Directors and management. Letters of inquiry and related attachments should be submitted by mail, courier or email.

2. If, following review, AALFNY’s Board reacts positively to a letter of inquiry, AALFNY will contact the organization to solicit a formal grant proposal on the "New York/New Jersey Area Common Application Form” prepared by the New York Regional Association of Grantmakers (downloadable at Fully completed grant proposals must be submitted to AALFNY within 30 days following the issuance of a positive response to a letter of inquiry. A grant proposal is "submitted” only when it has been received by the persons identified in Paragraph 3 of "Contact Information” below. Grant proposals and related attachments should only be submitted by mail or courier. Electronic grant proposals and incomplete grant proposals will not be accepted.

Contact Information:

1. Questions concerning AALFNY, its purposes and the application process may be directed to any member of AALFNY’s Board of Directors. Contact information for the current members of AALFNY’s Board of Directors is attached hereto.

2. Letters of inquiry must be signed in duplicate, one copy to be sent AALFNY at c/o White & Case LLP, 1155 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, Attention: Sylvia Chin, Esq., and the second copy to any other member of AALFNY’s Board of Directors whose name appears on the attached list of Directors.

3. One originally signed copy of the grant proposal must be submitted to AALFNY at c/o White & Case LLP, 1155 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036, Attention: Sylvia Chin, Esq., with a duplicate copy to be sent to the other AALFNY Director to whom the Letter of Inquiry was sent or such other AALFNY Director as may be indicated in AALFNY’s response to the letter of inquiry.


President - Lynnette C. Sarno, Esq.,

Vice President - Vincent Chang, Esq.,

Secretary - My Chi To, Esq.,

Treasurer - Sylvia Fung Chin, Esq.,


Alec Chang, Esq. -

Yvette Y. Chang, Esq.,

Rockwell J. Chin, Esq.,

Huhnsik Chung, Esq.,

Richard Koo, Esq.,

Paul D. Nguyen, Esq.,

Kenneth K. Yoon, Esq.,