Category Archives: News

OAPABA student members Alexis Shimada & Melissa Cohen elected to NAPALSA Board at 2015 NAPABA Convention: NAPABA Rising in NOLA

From November 5-8, 2015, twenty OAPABA members attended the 2015 NAPABA Convention in New Orleans: NAPABA Rising. It was a record attendance by OAPABA members for a NAPABA Convention. The Convention was attended by approximately 1,600 Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law students, legal scholars, and elected officials from around the country.

At the 27th Anniversary Gala, Alexis Shimada from Willamette University College of Law was inducted as president of the student chapter, NAPALSA. Willamette University College of Law student, Melissa Cohen, was also inducted as the 2016 Pacific Northwest regional director for NAPALSA. Congratulations to our OAPABA student members and for WUCL APALSA’s continued leadership with NAPALSA!

More pictures can be found on OAPABA’s Facebook page!

OAPABA is pleased to announce Julia Markley as the recipient of this year’s Judge Lynn R. Nakamoto Award during its Annual Gala Dinner

On October 30, 2015, OAPABA held its third annual Gala Dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland. Over 180 people attended. Justice Mary Yu of the Washington Supreme Court was the keynote speaker. Justice Yu is the first Latina, first Asian, and first openly gay justice on that court. Bollywood Dreams Entertainment provided a pre-dinner interactive performance.

At the dinner, OAPABA awarded Julia Markley with the Judge Lynn R. Nakamoto Award. Julia, a litigation partner in the Portland, Oregon office of Perkins Coie LLP, is a founding member of OAPABA. Julia served as OAPABA’s first President, and her leadership was integral to OAPABA’s growth in its formative years. The Judge Lynn R. Nakamoto Award honors leaders who have demonstrated leadership, professionalism, mentorship and commitment to the promotion of APAs in the Oregon legal community. Julia’s sterling record of service to Oregon’s APA lawyers, as well as the Oregon APA community as a whole, makes her an ideal choice to receive this award.

OAPABA thanks its sponsors and all attendees for making the dinner a great success! We hope to see you again next year on September 22, 2016, at the Sentinel.


Federal Bar Association of Oregon Awards Julia Markley the James M. Burns Federal Practice Award

OAPABA’s founding president, Julia Markley, received the Honorable James M. Burns Federal Practice Award on May 28, 2015. Named in honor of a widely respected federal trial judge, the late James M. Burns, the Federal Bar Association for the District of Oregon (Oregon FBA) gives the award to lawyers who have “improved the practice of law before the U.S. District Court of Oregon.” Congratulations, Julia!

OAPABA President-Elect Liani Reeves Recipient of OWLS Mercedes Deiz Award


Congratulations to Liani Reeves on being the 2015 Oregon Women Lawyers Judge Mercedes Deiz Award winner!  The Judge Mercedes Deiz Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting minorities in the legal profession and in the community.  A well-deserved award for Liani!

Liani was recognized for her award at the 23rd Roberts-Deiz Awards Dinner on March 13, 2015.



OAPABA Members Attend NAPABA National Conference 2014

On November 4-8, 2014, OAPABA members presented, argued, mentored, networked, and learned at the 26th Annual National Convention of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).  The annual convention of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA) was held jointly with the NAPABA Convention.

Peggy Nagae and Liani Reeves moderated and presented at CLE sessions; Reeves gave the keynote speech at the NAPALSA Reception; Samrach Sar was honored as the NAPALSA Student of the Year and elected treasurer of the 2015 NAPALSA board; Tucker Kraght and Derek Nelson of Willamette University College of Law competed in the Thomas Tang National Moot Court competition; and Julia Markley and her colleagues received NAPABA’s Law Firm Diversity Award on behalf of Perkins Coie LLP.  Also attending were Judge Lynn Nakamoto, Annie Jhun, Wilson Ta, Jennifer Yeh, Daniel Noeun, Alexis Shimada, and Soohyun Park.

OAPABA Board Members Hong Dao, Liani Reeves and Kim Sugawa-Fujinaga honored by Oregon State Bar for their Contributions

Hong Dao is the recipient of the OSB President’s Public Service Award, which honors attorneys for their commitments to public service and pro bono work. The criteria for is as follows: Must have made significant contributions to the public through recent efforts in one or more of the following areas:

a.       pro bono legal service to individuals or groups,
b.      law-related public education,
c.       coordination of public service law-related events (such as those associated with Law Day),
d.      service with community boards or organizations,
e.      or similar activities which benefit the public

Liani Reeves and Kim Sugawa-Fujinaga are co-recipients of the OSB President’s Diversity & Inclusion Award, which recognizes members who have made significant contributions to the goal of increasing minority representation in the legal profession.

The criteria for the Diversity & Inclusion Award is as follows: the nominee must have made recent significant contributions to the goal of increasing minority representation in the legal profession in Oregon through creative employment efforts, innovative recruitment and retention programs,advocacy or other significant efforts.

See here for more information

OAPABA member Annie Jhun listed in Western Region Hot List 2014

OABABA congratulates its Awards Committee co-chair, Annie Jhun, for her selection into Lawyers of Color Western Regional Hot List!

Lawyers of Color has named 100 minority attorneys from the Western Region to its Second Annual Hot List, which recognizes early- to mid-career minority attorneys excelling in the legal profession. The honorees, who are in-house counsel, government attorneys, and law firm associates and partners, were chosen through a two-pronged process. – See more here

OAPABA receives First WUCL APALSA Award for Outstanding Support

On April 1, 2014,the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association of Willamette University College of Law held its inaugural 2014 Spring Banquet where OAPABA received the APALSA Award for Outstanding Support.

APALSA also awarded OAPABA member, Liani Reeves, with its inagural the Liani J. Reeves Inspiration Award in recognition of Liani’s mentorship and efforts to help create a legal profession and law school environment that is truly reflective of our community.
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On September 10, 2013, the Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association (OAPABA) held its first inaugural Gala Dinner in Portland, Oregon, honoring Judge Lynn Nakamoto, the first Asian American to serve on the Oregon Court of Appeals. The gala dinner was a great success as it was sold out and well attended by judges, lawyers, and leaders of various bar organizations. The Honorable Ellen F. Rosenblum, Oregon’s first female Attorney General, was the keynote speaker. All future award recipients recognized at the Gala Dinner will receive the Judge Lynn Nakamoto award. OAPABA thanks the various sponsors, volunteers, and attendees who made the dinner a great success!

See below for pictures! Please also join our Facebook page to view additional photos.

Past Events


The Oregon Asian Pacific American Bar Association held its Annual Member Meeting and Board Elections on June 13, 2013.

2013 Elections results are as follows:

President-Elect: Toan Nguyen, Iberdrola Renewables
Secretary: Etta Lockey, PacifiCorp
Treasurer: Jovita Wang, Miller Nash LLP

At-Large Representative: Dan Simon, Multnomah County Circuit Court
At-Large Representative: Duncan Hwang, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
At-Large Representative:  Genevieve Auyeung Kiley, Schwabe, Williamson, & Wyatt
At-Large Representative:  Jonathan Liou, J.S. Liou Legal Services, LLC

Willamette College of Law Student Representative: Mae Lee Browning
Lewis & Clark Law School Student Representative: Wilson Ta
University of Oregon School of Law Student Representative: Kouang Chan

The new officers and board members will join incoming president, Kimberly Sugawa-Fujinaga (McEwen Gisvold LLP) and region representatives Robin McIntyre (Columbia County Counsel Office), the Honorable Beth Bagley (Deschutes County Circuit Court), the Honorable Mustafa Kasubhai (Lane County Circuit Court), and Hong Dao (Oregon Law Center).

OAPABA gives a warm thanks to its outgoing officers and board members:
Simon Whang (president), Karen Nashiwa (treasurer), Jessica Asai (at large representative), Annie Jhun (at large representative), the Honorable Janelle Factora Wipper (at large representative), Anne Nguyen (Lewis & Clark Law School student representative), and Alex Gancayco (University of Oregon law student representative).

OAPABA also thanks the law firm of Perkins Coie for hosting the event and for its continual support.

Last but not least, OAPABA thanks everyone who participated at the meeting.  OAPABA is grateful for its strong membership and looks forward to your continued participation and support.