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Lewis & Clark Students Attend National ABA Conventions

November 21, 2019

  • Left to right: Amanda Pham Haines, Mathias Chau, Alexandra Choi Giza
  • Amanda Pham Haines
  • OAPABA and Students at Convention

Three Lewis & Clark Law School students attended the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Convention and the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) Conference, both held in Austin, Texas from November 7-10, 2019. 

The NAPABA Convention is hosted every year usually falling on the first weekend of November. NAPABA is the national APA Bar Association and NAPALSA is the law student affiliate of NAPABA. Every year NAPALSA hosts a two-day conference for law school students internally at the convention.

This year’s conference focused on encouraging Asian Pacific American (APA) students to interact with and engage legal professionals from a variety of practice areas. The conference programming is diverse because we try to capture a variety of interest areas for our members,” stated NAPALSA President Amanda Pham Haines, 2L.“Oftentimes APA professionals are typecasted as having poor people skills and that has often been pointed to as an explanation for the lack of APA professionals in leadership positions or in politics,” stated Pham Haines. “We want to actively work against those stereotypes by providing skills-building events such as a “Career Round Robin” and a “Resume and Interview” workshop. We exclusively received positive feedback and many of our presenters requested to come back next year! Most importantly, students were pleased with the programming and that is all I can really hope for.”

NAPALSA President and the executive board organized and hosted the student conference. Amanda Pham Haines also gave an opening speech alongside NAPABA President-Elect AB Cruz III on leadership and the importance of law students integrating into the communities which they serve. “Participating in national leadership has given me a wide set of skills that I would not have gotten through my coursework” Pham Haines stated about her Presidency. “By holding this position, I have learned how to hold space for differing perspectives (often many at once), prepare speaker memos, and the art of the conference call. This year I brought my family to meet my Oregon APA family and to watch me get sworn in on stage. There are few things in my life that have given me such confidence and joy.”

This year Amanda Pham Haines 2L, Mathias Chau 3L, and Alexandra Choi Giza 2L represented Lewis & Clark at the convention. “Next year’s convention is in LA and we hope with proper fundraising we will be able to bring more students, including 1Ls to run for national positions,” Amanda said.

For students wanting to attend next year’s convention or are interested in learning more, please contact Lewis & Clark’s  Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

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