2011 Year in Review

Greetings!

2011 has been a year of remarkable achievements and developments for the Iranian American Bar Association. As we bring this year to a close, we reflect on our accomplishments, and strategize on ways to continue to improve moving forward.

This year’s highlights include:

*Awarding our first IABA fellowship at the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, CA.

Christina Sinha, our 2011-2012 fellow, has been:

  • Preparing an impact report on the Iran Sanctions. The report’s focus is on how the sanctions are affecting the daily lives of Iranian Americans including impact on their travel, charitable giving, and family interactions;
  • Addressing discrimination against Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (“AMEMSA”) communities, with a particular focus on discrimination against Iranians and Iranian-Americans;
  • Engaging in policy reform to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of our communities. 

*Receiving a favorable ruling following the filing of an amicus brief regarding the interpretation of the Iranian Transactions Regulations (“ITR”). In October 2011, a federal appellate court in New York ruled favorably in interpreting the ITR, thereby reversing in part Mahmoud Reza Banki’s June 2010 convictions for violating the Iran trade embargo. In its opinion, the Second Circuit referred to the amicus brief, acknowledging IABA’s position.  

*Awarding scholarships to two deserving students, Nima Rahimi (University of California, Davis) and Roxana Rahmani (Harvard University), for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the Iranian American community. We hope that the scholarship encourages more students to take an active leadership role in the Iranian American and broader legal community.

*Elevating IABA’s voice by becoming an active participant with various minority bar coalitions throughout our chapters.

*Establishing protocols and guidelines for judicial endorsements.

*Organizing various educational events and networking opportunities for our members nationwide.

*Providing probono legal clinics, disseminating information to low-income communities about legal rights and remedies.

*Partnering with other community and legal organizations, including Asian Law Caucus (ALC)National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Pars Equality Center, and Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) on issues of advocacy and community advancement. 

*Launching our new website – improving technological infrastructure thereby increasing knowledge and access to IABA events and membership benefits. Added features will include Find A Lawyer to facilitate locating an attorney with a particular practice area, and Member Spotlight, profiling and highlighting the accomplishments of our members.

While we have accomplished a lot, IABA’s full potential and impact will only be reached through further engagement. We encourage you to become active and help directly, in three primary ways below:

1) Membership is the lifeline of any organization. Renew your dedication of time and resources to IABA, recruit new members, and continue the pipeline efforts at law schools.

If your membership has lapsed, please renew as your community-oriented New Year’s Resolution!

2) Support our annual scholarship fund. Your contribution is an investment in the next generation of well deserving lawyers. Pastrecipients have been rising stars at reputable legal institutions throughout the country, including Boalt Hall at University of California Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale, among others.

3) Garner the support of your law firms to include IABA in next year’s budget planning. Contributions are needed at the chapter level for annual events, and at the national level for the scholarship, fellowship, and other educational events. All contributions will be recognized on our website and are tax deductible.

We welcome your thoughts and input. Please write to let us know how we are doing, and ways in which we should strive to improve in 2012. You may contact us at info@iaba.us. We rely on you – our members and loyal supporters – to make IABA a leading and vital minority bar association.

We extend our best wishes for a healthy and enjoyable holiday season and look forward to another productive year.  

Nahal Iravani-Sani
President