February 20, 2014

Turkish American legal professionals have organized the first Turkish American Law Conference on January 31st, 2014 at the New York Law School. At this conference, legal professionals decided that necessary steps must be taken to form Turkish American Bar Association. Turkish American Bar Association will aspire to build a professional network and a support system to facilitate Turkish-American legal professionals to excel in legal practice; and to promote enable and facilitate their increased participation in the judiciary, legislation, government, politics, non-profits academia. It will also aim to encourage these professionals to pursue their continued involvement in civic, humanitarian and community issues and platforms, and to support, further, succor and foster the interests of the Turkish-American community in general. Moreover, it will encourage and provide guidance to young minds to pursue law careers.

Legal professionals, attorneys, academics, law students, and prospective law students from different states joined the conference. The conference started with a video message from Federal Judge Jay Karahan. Judge Karahan encouraged participants to form the association and ensured that he will be the first member of the Turkish American Bar Association. Other prominent guests participated at the conference to show their outstanding support. The Attorney General of Vermont and New York Supreme Court Judge Deborah A. Dowling restated the significance of community ties and how attorneys can reach out to their communities. Professor Lenni Benson, immigration law professor at New York Law School not only shared her expertise on immigration law but also shed a light on the insufficiencies of our immigration system. Moreover, Professor Nuray Eksi traveled from Turkey to share her knowledge with the participants and also show her support for the formation of the Bar Association.

Throughout the day, there were different panels with topics ranging from business law, family law, private practice, immigration law, international law, dual citizenship, to social security. Additionally, a pre-law seminar was organized for current and prospective law students. Students were given guidance and tips on how to pursue law career.

This conference effort was initiated with the support of The Department Turks Abroad and Related Communities and New York Turkish Consulate, as well as Turkish American civic organizations including TADF ATAA, TACCI, CTAA, TAA, TABID, and TCC. Mr. Remzi G Kulen participated at the Conference organizing committee with other esteemed attorneys who volunteered their time for almost a year to make the conference possible. Legal professionals will come together to establish the Turkish American Bar in 2014.