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Don H. Liu Scholars Program
Cultivating Leaders. Inspiring the Future.

About the Don H. Liu Scholars Program

The Don H. Liu Scholars Program is currently in its third year and is currently accepting applications.

Founded in 2014 by two past presidents of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”), the Don H. Liu Scholars Program, Inc. (“Program”) seeks to identify, cultivate and inspire future Asian American leaders within the legal profession in order to address the single most important reality facing Asian American professionals today – the barrier to advancement.

Asian Americans remain grossly underrepresented in positions of influence, leadership and power within the legal profession. The number of Asian American partners in law firms and general counsel in our largest corporations do not reflect the diversity found in today’s law school classes or the ranks of junior associates at law firms. It is the mission of the Program to increase these numbers.

In its inaugural year, the Program awarded $15,000 each to its first two Don H. Liu Scholars (“Scholars”) and provided mentorship to ensure that each Scholar would start her career at a prominent law firm. In its second year, the Selection Committee will choose three new Scholars who possess the greatest potential to both excel in the classroom and succeed at a top law firm or Fortune 500 corporation.

To support these emerging Asian American leaders, the Program will continue to award each Scholar a $15,000 scholarship (“Scholarship”). To qualify, each new Scholar must be a first year law student attending a law school in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or the District of Columbia, have completed one full semester, and intend to practice in the New York City metropolitan area private sector following graduation. In addition to the Scholarship, the Program will provide the Scholars mentorship and assistance with internship placement and career development. 


(Click on the image to see the full brochure.)

Each Don H. Liu Scholar will receive:

  • A financial scholarship of $15,000;
  • Access to numerous AABANY programs;
  • Opportunities for summer employment and internships; and
  • Mentoring, guidance and support by the Scholarship Committee and others throughout his/her law school and legal careers.
  • Purpose of the Don H. Liu Scholars Program

  • Identify, cultivate and inspire future Asian American leaders of the legal profession;
  • Bring together national and local leaders of the Asian American legal community (the "Scholarship Committee”) to select, mentor, guide and support Scholarship recipients throughout their law school and legal careers; and
  • Provide financial support during law school to Scholarship recipients.

  • The application and selection process for the Scholarship Program will be rigorous.
    Finalists will be interviewed by the Scholarship Committee, comprised of:

  • Don H. Liu, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for Target Corporation
  • Joseph J. Centeno, Partner, Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
  • Kathy Hirata Chin, Partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
  • An-Ping Hsieh, Vice President & General Counsel, Hubbell Incorporated
  • Sandra Leung, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Richard K. Kim, Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz LLP
  • Teena-Ann Sankoorikal, Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
  • About Don H. Liu

    The Scholarship was named after Don H. Liu, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for Target Corporation because of his longstanding commitment and dedication to supporting the Asian American legal community by mentoring a generation of Asian American lawyers as well as his unwavering support of AABANY.

    He is the recipient of America’s Top General Counsel Honor from NYSE Euronext’s Corporate Board Member, National Law Journal - America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel recognition, the Legend in Law Award from the Burton Foundation and The Library of Congress, Inside Counsel magazine’s Transformative Leadership Award, Connecticut Law Tribune’s Legal Department of the Year – In-House Counsel Management Award, MCCA/American Lawyer Media Diversity Award, the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award from the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity, the Spirit of Asian America Award from the Asian American Federation, the Diversity Award from ABA’s Council on Legal Education Opportunity, the Justice in Action Award from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the ICON Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Founders Award from the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, the Achievement Award from Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey, and the Business Leadership Award from the Korean American Coalition.

    Born in Seoul, Korea, Mr. Liu and his family immigrated to the U.S. in 1972. He received his B.A. degree in Philosophy and Religion from Haverford College with Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa honors. He earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

    Apply Today

    In order to be eligible for the Program and its Scholarship, each applicant must:


    • be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. and of Asian descent;

    • be enrolled full-time in a law school in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or the District of Columbia;

    • be the first in his or her immediate family to pursue a graduate or professional degree;

    • have demonstrated exceptional academic and/or leadership accomplishments or show such promise through work and/or other activities;

    • have demonstrated financial need; and

    • intend to practice in the private sector in the New York City metropolitan area following graduation. 



    The deadline to submit the Scholarship Application is November 18, 2016.


    • All applications are due November 18, 2016.

    • All applications are considered the property of the Don H. Liu Scholars Program, Inc. and any materials submitted in support thereof will not be returned.

    • All applicants who advance as finalists will be notified to submit additional materials and/or informed of dates for a possible interview no later than December 16, 2016.

    • The 2017 Don H. Liu Scholars will be notified no later than February 24, 2017.

    • No other notice will be provided to applicants unless deemed required by the Executive Committee. 


     Preliminary Round - requirement application materials:

    • A completed application form;
    • Two essays addressing the topics in the application form;
    • Résumé; and
    • An official copy of your undergraduate transcript; and
    • A signed Personal Certification Form (provided for in the application package)


     Final Round - the Executive Committee will select finalists based on materials submitted from the Preliminary Round. Finalists will then be notify to submit the following:

    • Two letters of recommendation;
    • A statement from your law school certifying enrollment as full-time 1L;
    • A copy of your official financial aid package from your law school; and
    • Two years of your family’s most recent tax returns (even if you are declared to be financially independent), and
    • Statement (no more than a paragraph) describing your financial need (with any supporting documents).


    Application instructions are set forth in the downloadable application form. Any questions should be directed at [email protected]

    Donate Now!

    The  is a unique answer to the troubling questions of Asian American advancement in the legal profession. We are excited to invite donors seeking to support diversity to contribute to the Don H. Liu Scholarship Program while at the same time realizing the donors’ philanthropic goals.The Scholarship is funded through the Asian American Law Fund of New York, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your generous contributions to the Scholarship Program will be tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

    • Friend: $50 - $499
    • Advocate: $500 - $999
    • Patron: $1,000 - $2,999
    • Benefactor: $3,000 - $7,499
    • Visionary: $7,500 - $12,499
    • Inner Circle: $12,500+



    Donations by check made be mailed to:

    Don H. Liu Scholars Program, Inc.
    P.O. Box 1377
    New York, NY 10150


    Any questions can be directed to [email protected]