As we reflect on four decades of SCCLA history, I am reminded of SCCLA’s original goals. “SCCLA was formed because we wanted to have a professional organization in which we could be comfortable with other members of common backgrounds, where we could socialize and get to know each other, where we could network with those of similar interests. We wanted an organization where we could foster the growth of its members into leadership positions and assist them in their professional development and advancement in the legal profession. It was not likely that an Asian American attorney could do so in the traditional bar associations that existed at that time.” (Quoting Albert C. Lum, SCCLA’s First President). Since its inception in 1975, SCCLA has accomplished many great things to achieve its goals. We are fortunate and proud to share in these accomplishments.
In looking forward to the next year, we will do our best to uphold our goals. We have many great and fun programs in store for our members and friends. For professional development, we will hold, among other things, Trial Skills Workshop, Lawyers Luncheon (MCLE), and In-House Counsel Diversity Program. We will also continue to support our fellow members in their judicial appointments. For professional networking, we will hold the Summer Mixer series where attorneys, law students, and their friends can socialize and network together. Summer Associate Mixer, Law Student End of Summer Party, APA/API Minority Bar Association Softball Tournament co-sponsorship are also among the other events we have planned for our members and friends. Finally, our Law Student Mentorship program seeks to help law students face the challenges law students face at their school or in their career pursuit.
For community and pro-bono service programs, we will continue to provide legal information in Chinese languages to the Chinese community at our monthly free legal clinic that takes place every third Wednesday of the month. In collaboration with Chinatown Service Center (CSC), we will continue to sponsor our 28th Annual Holiday Food Basket drive which will provide 300 food baskets (100 more baskets from last year) to the low-income families in surrounding Los Angeles area who have been pre-selected by CSC for need. Our 16th Annual APA Community Holiday Toy Drive co-sponsorship will also benefit CSC’s low-income families. Finally, our “Blue Car” project will take a new turn in providing mentorship to the youth and/or adult community in Chinatown.
To maintain our goals, we need your new and continuing support and participation. We cannot do it without you. As you celebrate with us tonight, we thank all of you for making the last 40 years possible. Thank you to our past presidents, past board members, past honorary board advisors, and members and friends who have helped build the organization to what it is now. Thank you also the many individuals, organizations, law firms, companies, and bar associations who have provided financial and collaborative resources to support our work over the years. Last, but not least, thank you to our current and dedicated board members and honorary board advisors who will work with us this year. Thank you for 40 wonderful years and here’s to the next 40!