Good Evening. On behalf of the SCCLA board, welcome to the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association 38th Annual Installation & Awards Banquet and thank you for your support. It is with deep gratitude and honor that I serve as this year’s President. I am humbled to lead the organization in a path paved by prominent and talented past presidents and board members who have come before. We will continue our efforts to meet the Association’s objectives of advancing the professional growth of its members, improving the accessibility of legal services to minority groups, and promoting the interests of the Asian American community.
As SCCLA celebrates its 38th anniversary, we are reminded of its long history and the organization’s groundbreaking contributions to the legal and Asian American community. SCCLA is one of the oldest and largest Asian American bar associations in the country. We are fortunate to celebrate the accomplishments of this organization every year in Los Angeles, which has consistently been a boisterous gathering that brings together lawyers from different practice areas, judicial officers, politicians, community leaders, and law students. SCCLA is appreciative of the many supporters of our banquet who repeatedly attend to reconnect with old friends, to laugh, and to share stories of the past. Our founders would be proud to see that its reputation of an “eating club” for those to share a good meal with good friends has been maintained and has become so much more.
On a personal note, I received a SCCLA scholarship when I was a law student. I was also invited and encouraged to attend SCCLA events as a young practitioner, with attorney members introducing me to their professional colleagues. At that time, I had no idea how scholarship, opportunity, and mentorship would positively impact me in the future. Consequently, I am extremely grateful to many colleagues who inspired me to be the leader of this organization. I want to specifically thank my SCCLA mentors Eddie Angeles, Paul Chan, Wendy Chang, Ken Chiu, Camilla Eng, Wes Hsu, Judy Lam, Phil Lam, Cynthia Loo, Brian Sun, and Jack Yeh and my NAPABA mentors Paul Hirose, Ekwan Rhow, and Wendy Shiba.
I am excited to announce that we have an energetic and talented incoming SCCLA board, boasting a significant number of strong and accomplished female lawyers. To further explain, SCCLA needs only to look at its past programs supporting and focusing on the professional development and advancement of minority women, such as its Phoenix Rising training program. We are excited about our upcoming plans that aim to inspire the community, increase pro bono interest, promote access to justice, advance diversity in the profession, encourage networking and mentorship, and develop our in-house membership.
This is a challenging year for us as practitioners as the California court system endures deep budgetary cuts, and it is SCCLA and our sister bar organizations of which we can rely upon to help us get through these tough times and to determine ways to collaborate and to promote the fair and equal administration of justice.
I encourage you to become a member of SCCLA and to participate in the many programs and activities we offer. Tonight we raise our glasses to hail our predecessors and future prosperity of the organization.
Cyndie M. Chang
SCCLA President, 2013-2014