The Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association (MNAPABA) will host its annual gala on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. More than 250 are registered to attend the group’s celebration featuring the keynote panel, “Blazing the Trail, Championing Justice.” Moderator Vineeta Sawkar of the Star Tribune will lead a discussion between Ramsey County Attorney John Choi and Daniel Lew, the Chief Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District.
Choi and Lew are trailblazers both nationally and here at home in Minnesota. Choi is the first Korean-American to serve as a top county prosecutor in the United States and the first Asian Pacific American (APA) to do so in Minnesota. Lew is only the fourth APA chief public defender nationally and the first in Minnesota. The keynote discussion will explore the professional triumphs and tribulations of both Choi’s and Lew’s public service career paths.
MNAPABA will also be noting several milestones and honors at Thursday evening’s gala.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), which counts MNAPABA as just one of approximately 68 state and local APA bar associations, will award MNAPABA its highly-coveted Affiliate of the Year award at its upcoming national convention in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Nov. 6-9, 2014.
MNAPABA will also celebrate two additional national honors that will be awarded at the 26th Annual NAPABA Convention.
NAPABA announced it will honor Minneapolis attorney and MNAPABA member Bryan Wong a NAPABA Best Lawyers Under 40 Award winner. Wong is a partner at the Minneapolis intellectual property law firm of Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson, P.C. Wong focuses his patent practice on matters involving patent procurement, infringement investigation, and patentability study. Wong served as MNAPABA’s president from 2011-2012. He is a 1999 graduate of the University of Minnesota and a 2006 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law.
NAPABA will also honor Hamre, Schumann, Mueller & Larson, P.C., with its NAPABA Law Firm Diversity Award. The award honors law firms that actively, affirmatively, consistently, and enthusiastically recruit, retain, and promote APA lawyers to equity partnership and firm leadership. The award “celebrates law firm successes in recognizing the potential, supporting the promise, and raising the influence of APA lawyers.”
MNAPABA will award honors of its own on Thursday. MNAPABA will recognize member Bob Webber of the Webber Law Firm, LLC as its Member of the Year. The organization will recognize member and former MNAPABA President Steven Reeves of Faegre Baker Daniels with MNAPABA’s Leadership Award.