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Latest News - April 2018

SABA-SC’s 15th Annual Public Interest Dinner and Installation Recap

SABA-SC and SABA-SC Public Interest Foundation hosted their 15th Annual Public Interest Dinner and Installation on March 29, 2018. The sold-out event was a huge success!

Those who attended were privileged to hear the Honorable Upinder Kalra (Los Angeles Superior Court)—recipient of the Judicial Appreciation Award—speak about the ongoing challenges faced by minority members of the judiciary, who are often discriminated against solely based on their non-Anglo names, and SABA-SC’s ongoing commitment to service. His use of the Sanskrit word “seva” to describe the commitment has inspired SABA-SC to re-name its service event as “SABA-SC Seva Day.” Paul Grewal (Facebook, Inc.)—this year’s Trailblazer—talked about how the unique opportunities and skills he garnered as a former president of SABA Northern California and SABA North America helped prepare him to rise to the challenges he faced as a Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California and now as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Litigation at Facebook. Finally, Munmeeth Soni (Immigrant Defenders Law Center)—our Public Interest Awardee—gave a passionate talk about her work on behalf of transgender asylum seekers, and challenged and reminded everyone of the ongoing need to stand up and fight for those whose civil rights are continually threatened.

At the end of the evening, the boards of directors for SABA-SC and PIF were sworn in, including Purvi Patel and Ashe Puri as Co-Presidents of SABA-SC and Sapna Singh as President of PIF.

SABA-SC Joins U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief Opposing President Trump’s Executive Order

SABA-SC has joined the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and 61 other NAPABA affiliates in filing an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court to oppose President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. The case, Trump v. State of Hawaii (No. 17-965), is scheduled for oral argument on April 25, 2018. A copy of the amicus brief is available at

Member Spotlight

Gopi Panchapakesan

Gopi Panchapakesan is an associate at Bird Marella in Century City. His practice focuses on the litigation of complex business disputes, including commercial fraud, contractual disputes, class actions, and unfair business practices. He has particular experience litigating cases brought under the civil RICO statutes. He represents companies and individuals across a wide variety of industries including retail, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and emerging technology. The best advice he has for young lawyers? Never be afraid to ask for help, whether it be on a case, professional development, or career advancement.

Gopi previously served on SABA-SC PIF’s Board, and currently serves as SABA-SC’s Treasurer. One of his favorite SABA-SC events is the annual Mentorship Reception. The South Asian legal community has grown into what it is today because of the willingness of individuals to mentor and mold the next generation of lawyers. Gopi got another new title this year -- dad -- when Gopi and his wife welcomed their first child. When he isn’t catching up on sleep, he enjoys baking vegan desserts and catching the occasional Lakers game.

Calendar of Events

April 24

CLA International Law Section Networking Mixer

6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Lono Hollywood, 6611 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles

SABA-SC is sponsoring a networking mixer hosted by the International Law Section of the California Lawyers Association and the California Young Lawyers Association. To register, please email For more information, please visit

May 3

API Candidate Forum

6:00 PM-8:00 PM

Delhi Community Center, Santa Ana

SABA-SC is sponsoring the Asian American & Pacific Islander (API) Candidate Forum. The forum will feature candidates running for elected office in Orange County, and the candidates will be speaking on their personal paths to public office and the importance of civic engagement for the API community. Omar Siddiqui (Congress), David Min (Congress), Joe Pak (Buena Park School Board) and State Senator Janet Nguyen will be in attendance. For more information, please visit

May 12

Bar Association Volunteer Day

9 AM-12 PM

Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, 6055 Randolph St., Commerce

Join SABA-SC in supporting the 10th Annual Food from the Bar Campaign to raise much needed food and funds for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, which provides food assistance to people facing hunger in Los Angeles County. Join us and others on May 12 to lend a helping hand; we’ll be assembling food kits for people in need at the Food Bank. To register, please email Bobby Malhotra at

May 19

SABA Naturalization Clinic

(Time & Place TBD)

In partnership with SABA North America, SABA-SC will be hosting a Naturalization Clinic to assist eligible South Asians applying for U.S. citizenship. SABA-SC is seeking attorneys of any experience to help volunteer at this clinic. Prior immigration law experience not required! To volunteer, please contact Pooja Patel at

June 1-2


8:30 PM-10:30 PM

Highways Performance Space

18th Street Arts Center

1651 18th Street, Santa Monica

ArtWallah presents works that express the personal, political, and cultural celebrations and struggles of the South Asian diaspora through music, dance, performance, literature, film, and the visual arts. This year’s festival is directed and curated by Sheetal Gandhi and showcases the work of dance-theater artists Danish Bhandara, Sheetal Gandhi, Lionel Popkin, Richa Shukla, poet Aruni Wijesinghe, theatre artist and stand-up comedian Jimy Shah, music and multimedia artist Paul Livingstone and The SoulForce Project, Rajib Karmaker and artists from the Los Angeles Music and Arts Academy and bands Elephants with Guns, Rusty Rickshaw, and more.

For more information, please visit

June 28-July

SABA North America Annual Convention

New York City

SABA North America’s Annual Convention is the largest gathering of South Asian American lawyers across North America. Come strengthen your community ties and hear from many distinguished speakers. To register, please visit

June 28-30

NASALSA 20th Annual International Conference

New York City

The Annual Conference of the North American South Asian Law Students Association (NASALSA) provides an excellent opportunity for law students to connect. This year, the conference will be taking place in New York City during SABA North America’s Annual Convention and will provide law students with a great opportunity to meet South Asian American lawyers. To register, please visit


The Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) is accepting applications for its 2018 Judicial Pipeline Project. Applications are due by April 30. Candidates will work closely with APABA’s network of advisors to prepare the best possible judicial application. Candidates interested in the Judicial Pipeline Project should be licensed in California for at least 10 years. To apply, please visit

The Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA) is accepting applications for its bar leadership training and developmental programs in Miami, Florida from June 24-26, 2018. Applications are due by May 25, 2018 at 4 p.m. CDT. The CBLA is a collaborative effort among the American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, National Bar Association, National Native American Bar Association, National LGBT Bar Association, and NAPABA. Qualified candidates include attorneys who have been practicing between 5 to 15 years and have served as officers of a NAPABA affiliate or have chaired a NAPABA committee. To apply, please visit

Through its Foundation, South Asian Bar Association of North America, develops and funds public interest projects that benefit the South Asian community in the areas of: domestic violence, immigration rights, hate crimes, discrimination and racial profiling, and access to justice. The Foundation is accepting applications from community-based organizations until April 23, and grants will be awarded at the 2018 SABA NA Convention. For more information, please visit

Job Announcements

The California Bar Foundation (“CBF”) has a job opening for an Executive Director position. The Executive Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and will manage a small, San Francisco based staff. The Executive Director will be primarily responsible for all management functions, including brand strategy, program strategy, public relations, fund development, financial management, Board support, and related administrative duties. To apply, please visit

The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California is accepting applications for full-time attorney positions in its appellate unit, stationed in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit

The Inner City Law Center is seeking to hire a full-time Supervising Attorney to lead its HIV/AIDS Law Project and a full-time Staff Attorney to help expand its homelessness prevention work. For more information, please visit

Reed Smith LLP is seeking to hire an associate in Los Angeles with 2-3 years of experience for its Financial Services Litigation Group. For more information, please visit

Join SABA-SC or Renew Your Membership

South Asian Bar Association of Southern California P.O. Box 4587, Cerritoes, CA 90703-4587
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