What it's like to attend a law school banquet as an alumnus

In one word: Grateful.

About a month ago, I received an invitation to UC Davis APALSA (Asian Pacific American Law Student Association)'s annual banquet, and as a previous Co-chair I felt compelled to attend [I did consult a previous Co-Chair whether I should attend and it was a 14 minute walk from my office so I really didn't have an excuse.] For me banquet was a stressful (and expensive) event to coordinate, but it truly is a celebration of APALSA's accomplishments and a nice way to end the law school semester.

This year's banquet was at Sterling Hotel, which featured a nice ballroom and a convenient location for Sacramento practitioners and judges (which this APALSA board did a very nice job of recruiting). I was impressed not only at the amount of judges and professionals that came in comparison to previous years, but at the awesome gift baskets donated and the open bar and food [steak and salmon] that definitely made the ticket price more bang for its buck.

Before attending I made sure some of my friends/co-board-members/classmates (Sue and Addy- King Hall Class of 2016 woot woot) would come so I wouldn't be a complete loner and the night would be less awk.
I only had one glass of wine before this pic... Asian glow is a real problem (my last meal was ramen 6 hours before this, it's national #RamenNoodleDay btw).

One of the very first people I ran into was Professor Villazor, and it was great catching up, saying hi to the kids and seeing how excited they were to be in CA despite having to be at a non-kid-friendly event.
I basically took this pic for Isabella, who shares an equal or greater amount of appreciation of having RCV our 1L year. 

Professor Villazor was actually my reference for a job interview I had last week, and I totally forgot to remind her that I was interviewing for a new position so on another note always follow-up with references that they might get a call from a potential employer! It's great always knowing you have a reliable reference and source of support, and this opportunity to bond with professors was something only the King Hall community would be able to provide and that I'm extremely thankful for. Although this will be Professor's last semester in Davis, I know that we will be connecting at NAPABA and other events in the future. 

I also spoke with Professor Chin, who I'm co-authoring a paper with (forthcoming 2018 or 2019), and met new faculty and learned about their experiences in practice. I reconnected with attorneys who I met during law school and reminded me to get more involved with local bar associations, and it was great to share that the advice they gave years ago was still helpful today.

The most rewarding part was seeing APALSA grow- as this banquet featured the most professors, professionals, and judges than I've seen in than the previous 5 years. As a practicing lawyer now, there are days when I miss the "free-er" days of law school, and I fondly see APALSA as something that gave me the opportunity to work on my leadership skills, be involved with a winning California Supreme Court case that made national news, and be a part of a supportive community. 

Although most of my daily life is focusing on my career and being the best public servant I can be as an attorney on Governor Brown's legal team and giving advice affecting California's public safety, banquet reminded me to give back to the people and community that helped me get to where I am today. As said by Leslie Knope: "No one achieves anything alone." APALSA is a true testament to that statement, and it is truly fulfilling to have been a part of a supportive group that inspires me to give back and create more opportunities for future change-makers.


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