Rochester Attorney Honored by the New York State Bar Association for Promoting Diversity in the Legal Profession
The New York State Bar Association honored David M. Tang, an attorney committed to diversity in the legal profession, with the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Vanguard Award in a virtual celebration on Oct. 3.
Tang, a partner at Underberg & Kessler in Rochester, represents and advises clients in business, health care, restructuring and commercial litigation matters. At his firm, he serves as chair of the Health Care and Creditors’ Rights practice groups, and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee.
The award, named in honor of the trailblazing Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is presented by the association’s Trial Lawyers Section to a trial lawyer who has made extraordinary efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and has provided opportunities to others through mentoring.
“David is a worthy winner of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Vanguard Award,” said Richard Lewis, president of the New York State Bar Association. “He is dedicated to promoting awareness of issues relating to diversity, equity and inclusion at his firm, in his county bar association, and through his active board service. His clients and colleagues agree that he brings care and attention to everything he does – including his efforts to diversify and mentor the next generation of lawyers and to help his local community.”
In his nomination letter, Underberg & Kessler managing partner Thomas Knab wrote, “David’s commitment to diversity in the legal profession, through his roles as past chair of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee and with mentoring programs such as Lawyers for Learning and the Law Explorers Mock Trial Team at School Without Walls, is indicative of the kind of passion he brings to his work and his willingness to invest his time and energy into worthy causes.”
Tang is active in several charitable organizations, consistently lending his leadership in many ways. He is the chair of the board of WXXI Public Broadcasting Council and The Little Theatre, chair of the St. John’s Foundation, a former trustee of the Monroe County Bar Association and a former director on the boards of the Center for Dispute Settlement and Providence Housing Development Corporation, which supports affordable housing in the Finger Lakes region.
In his acceptance speech, Tang encouraged his colleagues to engage in equity and inclusion work, to continue to invest in others and to guard against the fatigue that sometimes sets in when facing the significant challenge of diversity work. He also shared a quote from the late Justice Ginsburg as a guiding principle, “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”