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.


Feb. 25: DACA renewal and immigration know your rights clinic at Brooklyn Law School


New AALDEF guidance on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)


Remembering AALDEF board member Vivian Cheng-Khanna,1955-2017


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


Nov. 15-16: AALDEF calls on Asian Americans to mobilize in DC for a clean DREAM Act


Feb. 15, 2018: AALDEF lunar new year gala honoring Preet Bharara, Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee


Oct. 1: DACA renewal clinic at Flushing Library


AALDEF denounces ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; new DACA fact sheet


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


AALDEF denounces introduction of RAISE Act to restrict legal imigration


AALDEF exit poll presentations in Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta & San Diego


AALDEF statement on the president's voter fraud commission


Screening of new PBS film "Chinese Exclusion Act" and Q&A with Ric Burns and Li-shin Yu on May 23


New AALDEF report: The Asian American Vote in 2016


AALDEF joins amicus brief in State of Hawaii's challenge to revised Trump travel ban


AALDEF condemns Trump Administration's revamped anti-immigrant travel ban


AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in challenge to Trump travel ban in Brooklyn federal court