YLS Honors Asha Rangappa with Diversity Award

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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.”

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Member Spotlight: Frederic S. Ury

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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.

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.

Firm Spotlight: Halloran Sage

Halloran Sage donated $1,000 in toys for the 13th annual Tons of Toys celebration hosted by the Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (HYPE). All efforts combined resulted in a collection of over 1,700 toys, which were delivered to the East Hartford YMCA. The event was attended by over 225 young professionals.

Every holiday season, HYPE comes together to collect toys for a local children’s organization. In the past few years HYPE members have donated over 10,000 toys to support The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. This cocktail reception features live music, great food, Santa, and more.

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Section Spotlight: Workers’ Compensation Section

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Hon. Nancy E. Salerno

On December 6, the CBA Workers’ Compensation Section hosted a retirement celebration for Commissioner Nancy E. Salerno at the La Bella Vista in Waterbury. More than 300 section members, workers’ compensation commissioners and attorneys, claim representatives, family, friends, and colleagues celebrated and thanked Commissioner Salerno for her 15 years of service to the commission.

The CBA Workers’ Compensation Section aims to organize members of the CBA who are workers’ compensation practitioners and to educate all members of the bar from all sides at all levels of expertise as to workers’ compensation law. Furthermore, this section attempts to provide services to organizations other than the CBA when those organizations are involved in the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation system.

Interested in joining the section? You can join the Workers’ Compensation Section at any time throughout the bar year.

Construction Complete Outside of CBA Law Center

After over a year of construction, the revitalization of the roads outside of the CBA Law Center is complete. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart unveiled a new roundabout and rededicated the Leo A. Milewski Park on October 29.

The completion of this construction, which included the extension of street and sidewalk enhancements along Bank Street and Columbus Boulevard, the addition of the roundabout, the redirection of bus traffic from Bank Street to Columbus Boulevard, and the restoration and relocation of the sculpture, designed by Olaf Zeidenberg, were part of phase four of New Britain’s Complete Streets Masterplan. The plan focused on safety improvements and beautification work as part of New Britain’s ongoing efforts to make the downtown more attractive to developers and businesses while also enhancing the quality of life for residents.

The park, located directly outside of the CBA Law Center, was named in honor of Leo A. Milewski, a commissioner on the city’s Board of Water in the 1950s and the chairman of the city’s Redevelopment Commission in the 1960s, as a homage to his dedication to moving New Britain forward and contributions to the community. The nearby statue was designed by Olaf Zeidenberg and repurposed as the focal point of the new roundabout.

“Today, we reflect on the spirit that Leo Milewski and Olaf Zeidenberg felt as they were inspired to transform our community nearly half a century ago. One did it through the splendor of art, the other through the tireless planning and execution of a vision for a more vibrant New Britain,” stated Mayor Erin Stewart.

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Roundabout and Leo A. Milewski Park outside of the CBA Law Center.

Member Spotlight: New Haven County Bar Annual Dinner

On October 4, the New Haven County Bar Association held their 111th Annual Dinner at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven. During the event, CBA Past President William H. Clendenen, Jr. received the Yale Sappern Civility Award, and George E. O’Brien, Jr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

William H. Clendenen, Jr. is a past president of the CBA (2015-2016) and a member of the Committee on Human Trafficking, Federal Judicial Committee, and Nominating Committee. Attorney Clendenen is founder and principal of Clendenen & Shea LLC in New Haven.

George E. O’Brien, Jr. is a member of the Labor & Employment Law Section and its executive committee. Attorney O’Brien is a shareholder of Littler Mendelson PC in New Haven.

William H. Clendenen, Jr.

 

Yale Sappern Civility Award
William H. Clendenen, Jr.

 

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Lifetime Achievement Award
George E. O’Brien, Jr.