Student Commentary

Asian Pacific American Law Student Association | Student Organization Voices Series

Group of Temple Law APALSA Students
APALSA E-Board and 1L Reps at our Welcome (and Welcome Back!) to Temple Law Dinner.

Your Name: Cary Zhang
Graduation Year: May 2021
Name of Organization: Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Position in Organization: Lunar Banquet Chair


Temple Law School: When did you join this organization?
Cary Zhang LAW ’21: I joined APALSA the first day of law school at the student organization fair. The APALSA leaders at the fair were so enthusiastic, I knew that I had found the support I would need to get through 1L year. Anyone (not just students who identify as Asian) can join APALSA their 1L year.

TLS: Why did you decide to join this group?
CZ: I joined APALSA to find support, mentorship, and friendship. Asian-Americans are underrepresented both in law school and the legal profession. I felt that getting to know people who looked like me and were “making it” in the field would be invaluable as I started my career. APALSA also helped me make lasting friendships. It can be overwhelming meeting so many new people at the beginning of 1L year, but APALSA gave me the chance to talk to people in a smaller setting, leading to deeper conversations and friendships.

TLS: What is your organization’s mission?
CZ: Temple APALSA provides academic, professional, and social support for the Asian Pacific American community at Temple Law. We endeavor to create a strong network of students, alumni, and professionals in the greater legal community to increase professional and social opportunities for Asian Pacific American students. We also hope to promote understanding of the legal issues facing this community. It is important for us to collaborate with other student organizations to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all students at Temple Law.

TLS: Can you tell us about a recent or annual event that your organization hosted?
CZ: As Lunar Banquet Chair, I organized Temple APALSA’s annual Lunar Banquet. Unfortunately, this year’s banquet was cancelled due in the interests of public health. But, we were slated to host an amazing banquet with over 200 guests including Temple students, their families, attorneys from firms and organizations around Philadelphia, and Temple professors.
Temple APALSA also recently hosted its annual Career Panel. Several distinguished judges and attorneys from law firms, government, and public interest organizations came to speak with students about their journeys throughout law school and their careers. They gave valuable advice and networked with students after the panel.

TLS: What do you gain as a law student from your involvement in this organization?
CZ: I gain so much from APALSA. Most importantly, I gain a community that I know I can turn to for anything- whether it be academic support, emotional support, career guidance, or just a good time with friends!

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