VABA-DC 2015 Scholarship Announcement
Application Due Date: April 1, 2015
VABA-DC was established, in part, to contribute to the public interest by serving as a voice for the local Vietnamese American community and assisting community members with legal concerns. In furtherance of that mission, we are proud to sponsor up to two $1,500 scholarships for law students who have served or plan to serve the Vietnamese American community or have overcome significant adversity in achieving their academic goals.
Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of community service, academic performance, and their written essay. The scholarship recipient(s) will be expected to attend a VABA-DC Scholarship Dinner in their honor to be held in May 2015.
Please join us for the
Sixth Annual VABA-DC Scholarship Celebration
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
1627 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
Featuring Keynote Speaker
The Honorable John M. Tran
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge
2014 Lunar New Year “Tet” Festival
January 19, 2014 - Silver Spring, MD
VABA-DC would like to congratulate the Association of Vietnamese Americans (AVA) for its success in organizing and hosting the 2014 Lunar New Year “Tet” Festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. We thank everyone who visited our table for their interest in our mission and for their continued support. VABA-DC looks forward to participating and engaging the community at this event for years to come. Chúc mừng năm mới!
March 19, 2013 VABA-DC's 5th Annual Scholarship Dinner
Thank you for making the 2013 Fifth Annual VABA-DC Scholarship Dinner a huge success! On the evening of March 19, we had over 150 people gathered at GWU to hear NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden deliver a remarkable keynote speech. We were joined by NASA General Counsel Michael Wholley and enjoyed a video greeting by the first Vietnamese American NASA Astronaut Eugene H. Trinh. We awarded scholarships to Kathy Nguyen (University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D. Candidate) and Linh Ly (University of Baltimore Law School, J.D. Candidate) and celebrated the accomplishments of our Vietnamese American legal community with art flown in from Vietnam by Galerie Brigitte and traditional Vietnamese instrumentals by Nhung Vu. Our Vietnamese culinary experience was made possible by Present Restaurant’s Chef Luong Tran who prepared our meal onsite with his entire culinary team.
A special thank you to our sponsors, donors, speakers and guests for being a large part of our continued tradition of success!
View more pictures of the event here: VABA-DC Scholarship Dinner Photos
March 18, 2013 Student Outreach
The story that most Vietnamese American lawyers will tell you is that they did not know any lawyers while they were growing up and that the idea of going to law school did not even cross their minds until later in life. But, many of these lawyers will also tell you that pursuing the law turned out to be absolutely the right thing for them. Reflecting on this reality, one of VABA-DC’s former scholarship recipients insightfully observed: "We should start with the high school students at the time they are thinking about college and career directions and in need of information, guidance and inspiration. I didn't discover my interest in and passion for the law until several years after college graduation - a bit of soul searching and wandering on my part. I think that any efforts to reach out to and introduce what it means to be a lawyer in America to our young students would yield long-lasting, career shaping impact."
VABA-DC agrees and is starting a series of informal conversations with college students to teach them about the law track, possible careers with a law degree, and the doors it can open. On Monday, March 18, 2013, when Hansel Pham and Caroline Nguyen, two of VABA-DC’s board members, met with a group of Vietnamese American students at Georgetown to discuss their careers and answer students’ questions. The event was organized by the Georgetown University Vietnamese Students Association (GUVSA), and seven students were in attendance.
None of the students were currently pre-law, but everyone asked truly insightful questions about the legal practice, including the truly interdisciplinary nature of the law, the reasons why an engineer or business major might want to become a lawyer, justifications for representing unsympathetic clients, the nature of practicing law in a big law firm, and the reality about the current legal job market.
“It was really great meeting with young and energetic students, who were genuinely curious about the law path,” said Hansel. “It doesn’t matter if they are not currently pre-law; our goal was to inform them about the versatility of a JD and the different types of legal careers, and the meet-and-greet accomplished that. We are separately happy to have started a relationship with GUVSA. As we told the students, VABA-DC exists in large part to help the next generation of lawyers, so students should feel free to reach out to us at any point, even years from now, for help or advice.”
For the students’ part, Kimberly Ta, president of GUVSA, said after the event, “We are happy to see that VABA-DC is such an active network and continuing to give back to the Vietnamese community. We discussed it after the meeting and everyone seemed to have benefited in some way. It really got us thinking and considering the possibilities in law, and I think this is a great first step.”
February 21, 2013 VABA-DC Women's Happy Hour
On February 21st, VABA-DC hosted a women's mentoring event at Teasim bringing together a group of Vietnamese American female attorneys with diverse legal backgrounds, including government lawyers, in-house counsel, law firm associates, non-profit attorneys, and DC area law students. "From VABA-DC founding board members to attorneys new to the DC area, everyone was excited to get together with old and new friends who support each other in their continued career growth. There's a strong need for this type of mentorship and its great that VABA-DC is investing in it!" said Board Member Thanh Nguyen.
February 17, 2013 Vietnamese Literary and Artistic Club’s Tết Festival
VABA-DC would like to thank all of its members who volunteered at the many 2013 Tết (Lunar New Year) festivals in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. This year’s events culminated with the Vietnamese Literary and Artistic Club’s festival in Annandale, Virginia. The cultural performances and artwork provided a backdrop where young and old, and in between, enjoyed the many sights, sounds and flavors of Tết. We received valuable feedback from members of the community that we will use to focus our future community outreach projects. Thank you to the Association of Vietnamese Americans, the Vietnamese Senior Citizens Association and the Vietnamese Literary and Artistic Club for letting VABA-DC be a part of your Tết celebrations. “Chúc mừng năm mới.”
2013 Tet Festival hosted by the Vietnamese Senior Citizens Assocation
VABA-DC’s participation in the February 3, 2013 Tet Festival at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia, hosted by the Vietnamese Senior Citizens Association, was aimed at learning about and addressing the legal needs of the elderly population in the Vietnamese community. Our members distributed Vietnamese language materials on wills as well as information about citizenship eligibility. VABA-DC is encouraged by the interest expressed by many in trust and estate planning which evidences a strong desire to provide for the well-being of younger generations. Many community organizers and leaders also expressed an interest in legal support for non-profits and greater collaboration between the many groups in our community. VABA-DC will take the knowledge gained from this event and incorporate it into its upcoming projects which will hopefully connect legal service providers with those in the community in need of their services.
2013 Lunar New Year "Tet" Festival hosted by the Association of Vietnamese Americans
VABA-DC would like to thank all of its members who proudly represented the diversity of Vietnamese-American attorneys at the 2013 Lunar New Year “Tet” Festival hosted by the Association of Vietnamese Americans in Silver Spring, Maryland on January 27, 2013.
Thirteen members interacted with guests at the VABA-DC table throughout the day and engaged community members and leaders in discussions about the legal needs of the community including the pressing need for greater access to competent legal representation across all sectors. Several community leaders provided insight as to how the community could benefit from additional legal support in the area of non-profit organization. A number of individuals requested assistance in finding referrals to Vietnamese speaking attorneys to help with issues ranging from family law to trusts and estates.
VABA-DC is encouraged by the support of both its members and the community and is energized by the positive response we received at this event. As a result, VABA-DC is seeking to directly address the issues expressed by the community and is establishing a lawyer referral service to aid Vietnamese speakers in finding competent counsel who may be able to meet their language needs. In addition, VABA-DC is exploring ways in which to partner with other non-profits and community organizations to assist in sustaining our collective efforts by supporting their legal needs.
Based on the positive feedback from this event, VABA-DC will be participating in the upcoming Tet Festival on Sunday, February 3, 2013 at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia hosted by the Vietnamese Senior Citizens’ Association and will be continuing the dialog with the community and its leaders. We hope to see you there.