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A look back and moving forward ...

As 2020 gets underway, I want to take a moment and thank each of you for supporting MELAW in 2018-2019. It has been a honor to serve as your president and I am so very proud of all that our board has accomplished in such a short time. I've highlighted those accomplishments below so please take a moment to review them and know that your board is doing everything possible to further our mission and to support our community in every way. Your new president, Omar Nur, took the initiative late last year and this year's activities are well-underway. MELAW is proud to note that, this year, we are chairing the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee (JAJEC), which is a major undertaking and responsibility to ensure that our future judiciary recognizes and supports our diversity goals.

Thanks to your support at the 2019 MELAW Annual Event, we donated 25% of our proceeds to the Refugee Women's Alliance (ReWA). We had a wonderful turnout and a special thank you to all our sponsors once again!

2019 MELAW Annual Event. Pictured left to right: Dua Abudiab, Mohamed Khalil, Talya West, Safa Peera, Arthur DeLong, Tanya Fekri, and Kerem Levitas with family. Center: Omar Nur

Our 2018-2019 accomplishments include:

Annual Event: successfully hosted our first annual event in a number of years with a special beneficiary and recognized outstanding service with the "World Peace Through Law Award"

CLEs: Hosted “Protecting Speech Freedoms in a Climate of Hate” with the Cardozo Society

Clinics: Continue to hold regularly and have now partnered with SABAW to expand our client base and attorney volunteers

JAJEC: Joined the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee

Joint MBA Potluck: Participated to foster relationships with other minority bar associations

Judicial Institute Committee: Represented the MBAs for the second year running and helped select top diverse lawyers to attend a two-day institute to help them prepare for a judicial position

MBE appeals: Signed on to letter, with other MBAs, proposing that bar exam appeals process be reinstated

Mentorship: Hosted event and continuing mentorship program with the South Asian Bar Association of Washington (SABAW)

Panels: Three board members served on the “Legally Brown” panel hosted by the Middle Eastern and South Asian Law Student Association (MESALSA) at UW

Networking events: Hosted with WSBA Diversity and other MBAs in Bellevue, Bellingham, and Tacoma where we spoke about our board’s mission and accomplishments

Online Presence: Re-vamped by creating a Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, and website with job postings, upcoming events, and announcements

Spring Joint MBA Meeting: strengthened leadership bonds, brainstormed new ideas, and will chair Fall meeting

Tragedy response: Submitted a unified statement to our legal community about the New Zealand shootings

Unconscious bias: Submitted request to WSBA requiring MCLE unconscious bias training each reporting period

WCMLP: Joined the Washington Coalition of Minority Legal Professionals which rates law enforcement in elected positions

If you have any suggestions for what we can do better OR if you'd like to get involved, please email [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you at our events this year!


Dua Abudiab

MELAW Immediate Past-President

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