The Vietnamese-American Bar Association of Washington's
5th Annual Banquet

The fourth Annual Banquet’s theme was Ambassadors to Our Communities. This event was held on October 28, 2008 at the Triple Door, and our sold-out event was attended by 230 guests who shared in our celebration!

Guests kicked off the evening’s celebration with hosted hors d’oeuvres and drinks in the Triple Door’s Musicquarium Lounge, and then proceeded to the Mainstage Theatre for a three-course Wild Ginger dinner.

Our keynote speaker was Jerilyn Brusseau, co-founder and President of PeaceTrees Vietnam.  PeaceTrees Vietnam sponsors the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance in the Quang Tri Province of Vietnam as a means of realizing the mission to reverse the legacy of war.  Jerilyn gave a moving speech about being an ambassador to foster cross-cultural friendship and healing with the people and the land of Vietnam.

The theme of being “Ambassadors to Our Communities” was also reflected in VABAW’s Hồng Đức Clerkship.  At the banquet, we featured a presentation by our VABAW 2008 Hồng Đức Clerkship recipient, Stephanie Tuong-Vi Do, University of Washington School of Law Class of 2009.  The Hồng Đức Clerkship seeks to provide a law student with the opportunity to clerk at an international law firm in Vietnam for three summer months.  The student will have the unique experience of learning the local cultures and customs while living in Vietnam and learning international and comparative law working at a major law firm.

Stephanie spent the summer of 2008 at the international law firm Lovells. Lovells is one of the largest international business legal practices, with over 1,600 lawyers operating from 26 offices in Europe, Asia and the United States.  Stephanie clerked at Lovells’ Ho Chi Minh City office in Vietnam, and expressed the following summary of her Hồng Đức Clerkship experience.

The Hồng Đức Clerkship was a way for me to discover Vietnam, to observe its evolution and development, and to see its growing legal system in practice.  I went to Vietnam hoping to develop a new perspective of what it means to be a lawyer and what it means to be a Vietnamese American. And once I was working in Vietnam, I felt the vibrant energy of the country and the diverse group of people drawn to Vietnam and living in Vietnam.  There is more to being a lawyer than mastering a legal regime. Rather, I recognize that being successful in a legal career encompasses a holistic approach that utilizes all of my skill sets and experiences, a flexibility to adapt.

For more information about Stephanie and the Hồng Đức Clerkship, we invite you to view her video presentation. Special thank you to Prolumina Trial Technologies for the video presentation.

Traditional to VABAW’s annual banquets, the evening is concluded by live entertainment that reflects our Vietnamese culture.  For the 2008 celebration, guests were treated to a fashion show of the traditional Vietnamese “ao dai” dress by designer Thai Nguyen.

We thank all our guests for joining in our celebration. Photographs courtesy of event photographer and former VABAW board member Hien Nguyen. We also thank our banquet sponsors:

Tamarind: Davis Wright Tremaine

Papaya: Cairncross & Hempelmann; Christensen O’Connor Johnson & Kindness; Foster Pepper; Garvey Schubert Barer; Helsell Fetterman; Perkins Coie; Ryan Swanson & Cleveland; Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt; Stafford Frey Cooper; Stoel Rives; Stokes Lawrence; and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.