Leadership Development

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AALDEF was founded over three decades ago by lawyers and community activists who were willing to train young Asian American lawyers, law students, and undergraduates who wanted to serve the needs of their communities. As these younger Asian Americans developed their skills and their own leadership potential, they went on to serve on AALDEF's board and staff. Many continue to provide legal services to the community while working in legal services offices, government agencies, and private law firms all across the country.

To develop the generation of leaders that will be serving the Asian American community in the 21st century, AALDEF created an Asian American Leadership Development Program. The program provides practical work experience in a community-based civil rights organization.

In the summer months, participants also take part in the Public Interest Law Center's Brown Bag lunch program. This program consists of a series of seminars on various civil rights issues developed and coordinated by Public Interest Law Center groups, including AALDEF, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Latino Justice PRLDEF.

AALDEF receives more than 200 applications for the Leadership Development Program each year, and everyone is welcome to apply. The participants in recent programs have attended law schools from California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.


Preliminary results of AALDEF exit poll of more than 7,600 Asian American voters in midterm elections


AALDEF to conduct Asian American Exit Poll and monitor poll sites in 14 states


AALDEF criticizes Trump's intention to end birthright citizenship by executive order


AALDEF stands in solidarity with Pittsburgh and Louisville


Volunteers needed for AALDEF Asian American Exit Poll and to monitor polling places in 2018 elections


AALDEF denounces White House plan to redefine "public charge" for immigrants seeking green cards


Sept. 12: AALDEF legal director Ken Kimerling receives 2018 New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award


35 Asian American groups and higher ed faculty file amicus brief in support of race-conscious admissions at Harvard


AALDEF statement on Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court


AALDEF deplores the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Muslim ban


Korean and Latino workers at Kum Gang San restaurants win enforcement of $2.7 million wage theft judgment


AALDEF opposes Trump administration's politicization of Census 2020 by adding citizenship question


2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA


Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act