Student Organization Spotlight: Asian Pacific Law Students Association

by Jaime Welsh

APALSA Bowling

The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (“APALSA”) is an organization for students interested in all aspects of the Far East. According to their student organization page, the group’s mission is “to establish a network with graduates and Asian practitioners in the greater Hartford area to learn about career opportunities and obstacles they have encountered and overcome.”

APALSA President Nicole Ackerman stresses that students of any background are invited to join. “We are a small group on a big campus, which makes it feel like a family,” said Ackerman.

APALSA puts on several events each semester. This past fall, APALSA’s main event was the Annual Mid-Autumn celebration, which featured Chinese food and music. They also planned an informal social gathering in West Hartford Center, and a night of dinner and bowling aimed to allow 1Ls to network with upper classmen. In February, students attended a conference on Law and Public Policy hosted by Harvard Law School’s own APALSA group. At the conference, panelists showcased the accomplishments of Asian Americans in the legal community, as well as presented a diverse range of perspectives on social, political and cultural issues.

APALSA also maintains a relationship with the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Bar Association (CAPABA), and APALSA facilitates students forming mentor/ mentee connections with local practitioners through a program hosted by Lawyers for Collaborative Diversity.

Other events planned for this spring semester include: a Diversity Week panel on Asian Americans and Invisibility in Places of Power; a Tea Tasting on April 7, which is co-hosted with SALSA; and a social event such as laser tag or roller-blading, said Ackerman. APALSA’s election meeting for the 2014-2015 executive board will be Monday, April 21st, at 12:30pm in Chase 210.

“The executive board has the freedom to make APALSA whatever they want to, and it would be great to see new ideas brought to the table,” said Ackerman. Consider running for a position if you would like to get more involved.

If you have any questions or are interested in joining APALSA, contact them at, join their TWEN page, or look out for community emails.