Access to the Legal System: Criminal, Housing and Immigration Law

Moderator

Jason Y. Chan

Jason Y. Chan, Partner of Seed, Chan and Associates, LLC. Attorney Chan attended Northeastern University and received a political science and psychology degree. He then went on to attend law school at New England School of Law. Attorney Jason Chan started his career with the Worcester District Attorney’s Office. Attorney Chan now focuses his practice on criminal defense. His firm has offices in Boston, Worcester, Beverly, and New Bedford.

Panelists

Judge Myong J. Joun, Associate Justice, Boston Municipal Court

HON. MYONG J. JOUN was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Boston Municipal Court by Governor Deval Patrick in 2014. Prior to his appointment, Judge Joun was in private practice focusing on criminal defense and civil rights litigation in state and federal courts. He received B.A. degrees in philosophy and political science from the University of Massachusetts and a J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law. He has served as an author, lecturer and panelist on topics related to criminal justice, civil rights and civil liberties. From 2003-2005, he served as president of AALAM. When not on the bench, he enjoys running, fishing, and woodworking.


Bethany Li, Senior Attorney, Asian Outreach at Greater Boston Legal Services

Bethany Li is a senior attorney leading the Asian Outreach Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services. The Asian Outreach Unit uses a community lawyering model to serve the legal needs of Asian Americans by strengthening the impact of community organizing through direct legal services, advocacy and legislative campaigns, and impact litigation. Previously, Ms. Li was a Robert M. Cover Fellow at Yale Law School, where she taught and supervised students in the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. Ms. Li also served as a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she litigated discriminatory zoning cases concerning immigrant and Muslim communities, represented low-income workers in wage theft cases, and guided the launch of the first undocumented Asian American youth group on the East Coast. Ms. Li also taught on Asian American civil rights and legal issues at City University of New York-Hunter College. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Amherst College.


Andrew Leong, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Boston

Andrew Leong is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Previously he taught at the College of Public and Community Service for over 25 years. From 1987 to 1993, he was Clinical Director of the Chinatown Clinical Program at Boston College Law School. He was the Supervising Attorney of the Asian Outreach Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services from 1986 to 1990. 

Professor Leong has provided pro bono legal assistance on numerous occasions. In 2015, he assisted in the case of Brookline Public School v. Larry Chen (a 7th-8th grade middle school teacher at the Driscoll School in Brookline, MA dismissed for allegedly uttering “bull shit” in a private conversation during off school hours in the school). See 

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/10/06/brookline-students-protest-punishment-of-beloved-teacher/. In 2016, he assisted a pair of African American police officers in Brookline that filed formal complaints against the Brookline Police Department where fellow officers and superiors on the police force used racial epithets against them. See https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/12/23/brookline-probes-police-officers-racism-complaints/ecsJXoYLflXPt8tJuUh6oM/story.html

Professor Leong is a beneficiary of the affirmative action program at and a 1985 graduate of Boston College Law School. Beyond his professional legal and teaching experience, Prof. Leong has been active in community work, having served on the boards of numerous organizations, including: Board of Directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, the Civil Rights Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a founding board member of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston, the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund, and a member of the Boston Bar Association’s Action Committee to Promote Volunteerism. He was the Chair of the Campaign to Protect Chinatown in furthering protection for Boston Chinatown against institutional expansion, environmental racism, and gentrification.

Andrew Leong was the President of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts from 1989 to 1994. During the same period he was also the President of the Harry H. Dow Memorial Legal Assistance Fund. He had served on the Governor’s Advisory Task Force on City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson, and the Delivery of Legal Services Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association. In addition, he has served on the Board of Trustee of numerous organizations, such as the Asian American Resource Workshop, Asian Community Development Corporation, the Chinatown Quincy School Community Council (Chair), the Institute for Affirmative Action, Executive Committee of the Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and John Jay College Center on Race, Crime and Justice.

Prof. Leong specializes his work in law, justice, and equality pertaining to disenfranchised communities, with a focus on Asian Americans. Substantive areas include anti-Asian violence, hate crimes, immigration reform, Asian American legal history, environmental justice, anti-gentrification strategies, and community lawyering. Prof. Leong has provided legal representation and technical assistance to victims of anti-Asian violence since the 1980s. He was the legal counsel for thirteen victims of an anti-Asian bias hate incident at Tufts University and successfully negotiated an agreement where the perpetrator admitted to his guilt (see http://www.tuftsdaily.com/freshman-admits-to-racial-incident-with-ksa-members-1.1734525?firstComment=80); Prof. Leong also provided legal counsel and training on a case where more than thirty Asian students were systematically beaten on one day in South Philadelphia High School (see http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/15/philadelphia-school-district-agrees-to-measures-to-quell-anti-asian-violence/ ). The work with the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund resulted in the US Department of Justice substantiating the complaint against the Philadelphia School District in discriminating against Asian American students (See Cecilia Chen and Andrew Leong, “We Have the Power to Make Change: The Role of Community Lawyering in Challenging Anti-Asian Harassment at South Philadelphia High School,” Asian American Law Journal, 26 pages, University of California-Berkeley, Spring 2013.) More recently, Prof. Leong is a co-author of a national report on the impact of gentrification on three Chinatowns, see

 http://aaldef.org/Chinatown%20Then%20and%20Now%20AALDEF.pdf

Lastly, Prof. Leong is most proud of being one of two lead plaintiffs in a proposed class action lawsuit back in 2007 against cereal giant Kellogg and Viacom under MGL c. 93A, working as a client with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to comment on the law work related to the case. The landmark implications of the pre-lawsuit settlement took a giant initial step against the obesity epidemic. Seehttp://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB113763884339250539 and
http://www.cspinet.org/new/200706141.html and http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/viacom___kellogg.pdf