January 21, 2020: NYC Attorney Wins State Bar’s Diversity Trailblazer Award

By Communications Department

January 21, 2020

January 21, 2020: NYC Attorney Wins State Bar’s Diversity Trailblazer Award


By Communications Department


Kenneth Chin, partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, is the 2020 recipient of the John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award presented by the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Chin will receive his award on January 27 during the NYSBA’s Annual Meeting in New York City. It honors exceptional efforts to promote the full and equal participation of diverse people at all levels of the legal profession. The award is named for John Eric Higgins, former co-chair of the Committee on Minorities in the Profession —  now the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion — who passed away in 2017.

“Kenneth Chin’s longstanding commitment to diversity throughout his career has positively impacted his firm as well as New York’s Asian-American legal community. He inspires and empowers those around him,” said Mirna M. Santiago of Pawling (Girls Rule the Law), chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. “He is a terrific role model for all lawyers.”

Chin is chair of Kramer Levin’s banking and finance practice. He has served on the firm’s diversity committee since its launch in 2005. He has advocated for the recruitment and development of diverse lawyers. Asian-Americans now comprise 11 percent of the firm’s lawyers.

He also has been an active supporter of the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program for College Students at St. John’s Law School, which helps increase the number of diverse, disadvantaged students in law schools.

Chin is a graduate of Columbia University, magna cum laude, and Harvard Law School.

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, which each January attracts thousands of lawyers from around the state, the nation and the world. They come to meet and connect with colleagues and to learn from experts in many areas of law.

A wide range of programs at NYSBA’s 143rd Annual Meeting January 27-31 explores current issues for lawyers and legal practice.

The Presidential Summit on Wednesday, January 29, will look at White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism in America.  At Thursday evening’s sold-out Gala Dinner, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan will receive the Gold Medal, NYSBA’s highest honor, and participate in a fireside-style chat with Prof. John Barrett of St. John’s University School of Law.

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include New York State Attorney General Letitia James, the first African American and the first woman elected to that office; Janet DiFiore, chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals; and Craig Boise, dean of Syracuse University College of Law.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, visit nysba.org/am2020.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, NYSBA has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Brandon Vogel 
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