By: Jamie Carpino ‘22, APALSA 1L Representative
On November 13th, we had the pleasure of hosting a career panel on the theme “Cracking the Bamboo Ceiling” to discuss Asian-American leadership in the legal profession. We encouraged members to read a recent Harvard Business Review article about the dearth of Asian-American representation in leadership positions to prepare for the discussion.
Some esteemed members of the Philadelphia Asian-American legal community graciously gave their time to be with us for the event. The panel was moderated by APALSA’s VP of Communications, Chelsea Hollenstein ’20.
Our panelists, from left to right:
- Min Suh, Partner at Buchanan Ingersoll
- Professor Tom C.W. Lin, Professor at Temple Law
- The Honorable Stella Tsai, Court of Common Pleas Judge
- Chi-Ser Tran ‘16, Staff Attorney at Community Legal Services
- John Huh ‘06, Partner at DLA Piper
- Deborah Hong, Partner at Stradley Ronon
- Pearl Kim, former Delaware County Assistant District Attorney and 2018 Republican Congressional Candidate for Pennsylvania’s 5th District
Topics discussed included overcoming cultural norms, interacting with others the workplace, and preventing yourself from becoming an obstacle to your own success. The panelists emphasized being authentic and true to yourself and others, and to use your own story to bolster your confidence. They also discussed utilizing your mentors in the workplace and in life to be your advocate and open doors for you at the right time, and important rewarding it is to always be kind and pay it forward.
Some key takeaways paraphrased from the panelists:
- You have to be authentic. You have to be yourself. I love that Oscar Wilde quote, ‘Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.’
- You’re going to be a minority professional, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be a professional minority.
- Sometimes your firm will pair you up with a mentor because they look like you, speak like you, for whatever reason, but find your advocates too.
- It’s about finding the right person to open the right door for you at the right time.
- Be who you are to your significant other and closest friends. It’s just about remembering who you are and to act like yourself with everyone.
- Sometimes the most difficult conversations are the ones that we have with ourselves.
Following the panel, we held a sushi and wine reception where the audience had a chance to interact with the panelists more casually.
We want to thank all of the panelists for joining us and Temple’s Office of Career Services, Dean Bretschneider, Dean Johnston, and Dean Lennon for their support in making the event possible. We also want to thank the Temple Law community for a great turnout! We hope to see you at our next event – the 2019 Lunar Banquet on February 8, 2019!