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NINTH ANNUAL NASABA CONVENTION SIGNALS COMING OF AGE FOR SOUTH ASIAN ATTORNEYS

July 9, 2012

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – More than four hundred attorneys of South Asian descent gathered at the 2012 North American South Asian Bar Association (“NASABA”) Convention, which ran from June 28 to July 1, 2012, at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriott. NASABA’s VP of Convention, Nadeem Bezar, credited the South Asian Bar Association of Philadelphia (“SABA Philadelphia”) with co-hosting the Convention and was appreciative of SABA Philadelphia’s “tireless work to showcase Philadelphia’s tremendous legal history,” which underlay the Convention theme “It All Starts Here.”

The 2012 Convention featured keynotes, presenters and guests with no shortage of accolades, including the Honorable Edward Rendell (former Pennsylvania Governor, former Mayor of Philadelphia), Sri Srinivasan (U.S. Principal Deputy Solicitor General and current federal judicial nominee to the D.C. Circuit), the Honorable Cathy Bissoon (United States District Judge, Western District of Pennsylvania), Preeta Bansal (former Office of Management and Budget General Counsel and New York Solicitor General), Neal Katyal (former U.S. Acting Solicitor General), Farooq Kathwari (Ethen Allen President & CEO), and Thomas Sager (DuPont General Counsel), among other notables.

A diverse line-up of industry leading presenters covered topics ranging from healthcare to immigration to cross border M&A transactions. Peer perspectives were shared on South Asians in politics, pathways to the bench, and Supreme Court practice. Go-to litigators discussed strategies for dealing with the press in high-stakes litigation involving national and international media scrutiny. And everyone who every dreamed of becoming a sports agent benefitted from the “Sports Law 101” panel moderated by Kevin Nagandhi of ESPN.

Capping off the panel and workshop presentations, Convention attendees were treated to a reargument of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Virginia, where the high court struck down the Virginia Military Institute’s long-standing male-only admission policy. “The National Constitution Center in historic Independence Place was a perfect setting for the Supreme Court reargument,” added Nadeem Bezar, which was presided over by the Honorable Theodore McKee (Chief Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for The Third Circuit), the Honorable Amul Thapar, (United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky), and the Honorable Jay Gandhi (United States Magistrate Judge for Central District of California). Neal Katyal represented Virginia and Preeta Bansal represented the United States, while both left onlookers in awe after witnessing the exchange between these prominent appellate lawyers and distinguished members of the judiciary.

Along with the much-anticipated Saturday Night Gala featuring fine dining, high-energy entertainment, and an inspiring keynote presentation from Anurima Bhargava (Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice), the Convention provided a unique forum for attorneys to learn from and network with peers and leading lawyers. More than a forum for continuing legal education (CLE) and networking, “[t]he Convention highlighted so much of the amazing work NASABA did throughout the year. The best part was witnessing the intellectual genius of our members showcased in the programming[,]” shared outgoing NASABA President, Jolsna John.

In terms of the future, incoming President, Emilie Ninan, shared her “delight[] to be working with such a talented and dedicated leadership team” and added that “[NASABA] will use the energy and momentum created by the successful 2012 Convention to take the organization to the next level, focusing on adding value and staying relevant, creating a distinct identity and working collectively to influence change.”

Next year’s 10th Anniversary Convention will be held June 20-23, 2013 in San Francisco.

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About NASABA: The North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) is the principal voice for legal issues in the South Asian community and a diverse voice for the community at large. NASABA chapters serve local communities in the United States and Canada, and their members are leaders practicing in large and small law firms, government agencies, academia, and public interest groups. With over 6,000 members in 27 chapters NASABA provides a powerful support network for South Asians in the legal community as well as a deep expert pool for the media and events.

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Contact: Ashwin Janakiram
NASABA Vice President of Public Relations
Email: PublicRelations@nasaba.com
Phone: (312) 834-4050
Website: http://nasaba.com / Facebook: http://bit.ly/NASABA / @na_sa_ba

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