YLS Honors Asha Rangappa with Diversity Award

DSC_0028-square
YLS Chair David A. McGrath, YLS Senior Advisor Suphi A. Philip, and Diversity Award recipient Asha Rangappa.

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) held its eleventh Diversity Award Dinner on February 7  at Amarante’s Sea Cliff in New Haven. The honor was presented to Asha Rangappa—former FBI agent, CNN contributor, and senior lecturer at Yale University—for her outstanding efforts on behalf of diversity.

YLS Chair David A. McGrath introduced the event and provided the background of the award. The YLS Diversity Award is presented to a person in the legal field who has shown both a personal and professional commitment to the elimination of bias in the legal profession as well as the principle that all people should have full and equal protection in the justice system.

YLS Senior Advisor Suphi A. Philip introduced Attorney Rangappa, noting that the recipient is “the embodiment of a creative, persevering spirit.” To illustrate this point, Attorney Philip shared an anecdote about Attorney Rangappa’s FBI physical fitness exam. After suffering contused ribs in a car accident, Attorney Rangappa continued her training and was able to complete the required running, push-up, pull-up, and sit-up drills to stay in the program beyond the required minimum.

Asha Rangappa is a director of admissions and senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former associate dean at Yale Law School. Prior to her current position, she served as a special agent in the New York Division of the FBI, specializing in counterintelligence investigations. She was one of the first Indian-American female recruits to the FBI after the agency began a post-9/11 push for diversity and inclusion. Her work involved assessing threats to the national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. While in the FBI, Attorney Rangappa gained experience in intelligence trade craft, electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, and firearms and the use of deadly force.

In her previous role as Yale Law School’s dean of admissions, she was a part of the school’s efforts to increase diversity, which resulted in the most diverse class in Yale Law School’s history, in 2017.

Consistently involved in the Connecticut legal community, Attorney Rangappa has served on the boards of the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (SABAC), the Connecticut chapters of the Society of Former Agents of the FBI, and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She has long supported Young Lawyers Section programs, including its Annual Women’s Professional Golf Event.

Attorney Rangappa graciously thanked the CBA and the organizations in attendance in support of her, stating: “Both [Yale] Law School and SABAC have played important roles in both shaping my career and offering me different perspectives on diversity and how it intersects with the legal profession.” She shared that she receives calls from South Asian girls and women each week who want to discuss a potential career in law enforcement or national security; many of them say that this career path had simply never occurred to them as something that they could do until they saw it in front of them.

She concluded the evening with a nod to the future of diversity and inclusion: “We as underrepresent[ed] groups in the legal profession in this country have a responsibility to paint a picture where our communities can’t see this path as one that they belong in and can belong in, and not only because doing so reflects the America we live in, but because it protects it as well.”

Advertisements

Member Spotlight: Frederic S. Ury

fred ury
Frederic S. Ury

Frederic S. Ury, past president of the National Conference of Bar Presidents (NCBP) from 2011-2012 received the 2019 NCBP Fellows Award during the American Bar Association’s 2019 Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas, NV for showing dedication to the NCBP mission, and continuing commitment to bar leaders nationwide. Attorney Ury is also a past president of the Connecticut Bar Association, having served during the 2004-2005 bar year.

The NCBP was founded in 1950 to provide information and training to state and local bar association leaders. Its primary mission is to provide high-quality programming to current bar leaders at two meetings held each year contemporaneously with the annual and midyear meetings of the American Bar Association. At these meetings, former bar presidents and other resource persons provide presentations and workshops focused on topics and issues such as membership expansion, continuing education, access to justice, provision of legal services, community outreach and education, diversity, and finance.

Section Spotlight: YLS Hosts Pro Bono Hour

On Tuesday, January 22, the Young Lawyers Section held its Pro Bono Hour program at Herd Restaurant in Middletown. More than 50 members in attendance learned about pro bono opportunities in a variety of practice areas for ten different Connecticut organizations. Representatives from each of the pro bono organizations detailed the current projects, time requirements, and available training.

“The Pro Bono Hour was a wonderful opportunity for YLS members from a range of organizations—both in-house council and those at firms—to learn about the pro bono opportunities available throughout the state,” said YLS Assistant Pro Bono Director Alexandra J. Cavaliere. “It is my hope that those in attendance will take these opportunities back to their firms to expand the reach of the messages shared by the pro bono representatives that night.”

Attendees were encouraged by many of the pro bono representatives to examine their availability and passions and to approach an organization to see how they can help. Currently the need for pro bono service is great, any volunteer assistance is appreciated. For more volunteer opportunities, visit ctbar.org/probonoorganizations.

dsc_0050
Ashleigh Backman of Statewide Legal Services discussing available pro bono opportunities.

 

Mindfulness for Lawyers CLE

It’s the latest buzzword in business. It’s being taught at Harvard and at Wharton. It’s being talked about at prestigious leadership conferences like Davos. It’s being practiced at places like Google, Apple, and Aetna Healthcare.

Everyone’s excited about it because the science shows that it reduces stress, enhances wellness, increases productivity, and significantly improves the bottom line.

At this seminar, Walt Hampton taught attendees how mindfulness can help them improve their focus, productivity, and effectiveness with clients; the science behind mindfulness; and how to start a mindfulness practice.

1.24.19 mindfulness (1)

1.24.19 mindfulness (2)

Free CLE for All Government Lawyers

CBA logo CMYKIn an effort to assist lawyers affected by the shutdown of the federal government, the Connecticut Bar Association is offering free CLE programs to all affected lawyers through the month of February.

Through February, any lawyer who works for the federal government may register for free, for any CLE course offered through April 30, 2019.

“The Connecticut Bar Association recognizes and appreciates the efforts of all lawyers who keep our federal government and the federal judiciary running. If the CBA can be of further assistance, please feel free to let us know,” state CBA President Jonathan M. Shapiro.

A member who qualifies for this offer may take advantage of it by contacting the CBA’s Member Service Center at MSC@ctbar.org or (844)469-2221.

Young Lawyers Section Collects over 30,000 Meals This Holiday Season

donations photoThe Young Lawyers Section’s Horn of Plenty Food Drive collected over 30,000 meals for Connecticut residents struggling with hunger this fall. Food drive participants’ monetary donations were matched two to one by Feeding America’s Give a Meal with Bank of America program. The YLS also collected food items for Connecticut Foodbank and Foodshare at law firms across the state.

The Horn of Plenty Food Drive was organized by YLS Public Service Co-directors Joanna M. Kornafel and Linda A. Bulkovitch. Cindy M. Cieslak, Sara J. Dickson, Jonathan E. Friedler, Ron J. Houde, Jr., Meredith F. McBride, and Molly C. Sanford assisted with the food collection.

“This year’s Horn of Plenty was a huge success because of the team of volunteers that helped collect food and monetary donations as well as the greater Connecticut bar community that supported our efforts,” shared YLS Public Service Co-directors Linda A. Bulkovitch and Joanna M. Kornafel. “Together we all made a difference in fighting hunger in our home state. Thank you to everyone. We know that we really made a positive difference.”

Monetary donations were made by Attorneys Austin Berescik-Johns, Patricia M. Carreiro, David A, McGrath, and Diane W. Whitney, as well as Green & Sklarz LLC, Polinsky Law Group, and Rose Kallor LLP.

Become a Workers’ Compensation Certified Specialist

Workers' Compensation Cert Logo

Are you a committed practitioner of workers’ compensation law?
Have you considered becoming a workers’ compensation certified specialist?

Now’s your chance to take your career to the next level. The CBA Examining and Standing Committees on Workers’ Compensation Certification will hold an exam to certify new specialists on May 17, 2019. Learn more about the program here.

The process to become eligible to sit for the exam begins with filing a notice of intent to apply by January 4, 2019.