VABANC 19th Annual Scholarship Dinner

November 17, 2017

Cupertino, California



The Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California (VABANC) cordially invites you to attend VABANC’s 19th Annual Scholarship Dinner. This dinner celebrates VABANC’s commitment to cultivating and nurturing relationships between Vietnamese American judges, attorneys, law students, and the Vietnamese-American communities in Northern California.

Proceeds will support scholarships for law students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the Vietnamese American community and other underserved communities. Proceeds will also support VABANC’s legal clinics in San Jose and Oakland, efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession, and general operations. With support from our donors, last year’s dinner, organized in conjunction with the National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys Conference’s 10-year Commemoration, was attended by over 240 guests, including 9 judges.

Questions? Email us at

Date & Time

Friday, November 17, 2017
 6pm - 9pm

Dynasty Seafood Restaurant*
*Note that this should not be mistaken with the San Jose Dynasty

Sponsorship Information

VABANC's annual scholarship award dinner would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. All sponsors will be recognized in welcoming and closing remarks, the dinner program and slideshow, as well as VABANC's website.


Sponsorship Levels

Presenting Sponsor

10 tickets; Two page cover ad
Event signage
Exclusive opportunity to provide remarks or award scholarships on stage

Diamond Sponsor

10 tickets; Full page ad with priority placement
Event signage 

Platinum Sponsor

10 tickets; Full page ad 

Gold Sponsor

5 tickets; Half page ad

Silver Sponsor

2 tickets; Quarter page ad

Individual Tickets

$120 Non-member
$90 VABANC Member
$70 Non-profit/Government
$50 Students

Sponsorships and tickets may be purchased online or by mailing a check.

Please make checks payable to VABANC and mail to:
Larry Phan
Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP
20 Bicentennial Circle 
Sacramento, CA 95826 

As VABANC is a 501(c)(6) organization, the amount of your contribution may qualify as a business deduction to the extent permitted by law.

Trailblazer Award

Vilaska P. Nguyen
Office of the San Francisco Public Defender


Vilaska Nguyen is a senior trial attorney at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office where he began his indigent defense career in 2004 as a Research Fellow before being promoted to the Misdemeanor Trial Unit. As a misdemeanor attorney, Vilaska balanced a case load ranging from 150-200 clients and litigated more than 30 jury trials to verdict before moving on to the Felony Trial Unit. His current focus is on serious felony matters and he has successfully defended cases involving homicide, sexual assault and hate crimes. Over the course of his career, Vilaska has mentored and championed students who have developed into stellar advocates in the courtroom and become prominent leaders in the legal community.

Vilaska was a recipient of the inaugural VABANC Law Scholarship in 2003 while a student at the University of San Francisco School of Law. As a law student, he expressed his commitment to justice and indigent defense, and his career has shown that commitment to be steadfast over his career. He has since been an active member of VABANC, speaking on numerous panels and volunteering for resume review workshops, all in an effort to increase the diversity pipeline. 

In addition to his involvement with VABANC, Vilaska is active in several other minority bar associations. He currently serves as the Mentorship and Training Director of the Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (AACTLA) and is a Past President and founding member of that organization. His involvement in the community reaches beyond the bar association circle and extends into the community at large. Vilaska also volunteers his time with the San Francisco Bar Association Justice and Diversity Center providing free legal consultation for Project Homeless Connect at various citywide clinics including Bill Graham Auditorium, Bayview Opera House and the LGBT Center.  In 2014, the SFBA Justice and Diversity Center honored him with its Outstanding Volunteer Award.

Youth mentorship is a key tenet in Vilaska’s values. In collaboration with the non-profit organization 826 Valencia, he developed and teaches mock-trial workshops for students ranging in the ages of 14-18 years old. During the course of the workshop, students learn about justice while developing public speaking and advocacy skills. And as a wonderful byproduct, confidence as well. He has expanded on the program to include local middle schools in San Francisco as an enrichment elective.

On November 2, 2017, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) will honor Vilaskaamong 18 attorneys selected for the 2017 Best Lawyers Under 40 Award (BU40 Award) from across the country. The BU40 Award recognizes talented individuals in the Asian Pacific American legal community who are under the age of 40 and have achieved prominence and distinction in their respective fields and who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Asian Pacific American civic or community affairs.

At our 19th Annual Scholarship Dinner, VABANC will proudly honor our friend, colleague and mentor, Vilaska, with our Trailblazer Award in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions.


Keynote Speaker

Thuy Thi Nguyen
President, Foothill College


VABANC is very excited to announce that Thuy Thi Nguyen, President of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California will present the keynote address at our 19th Annual Scholarship Dinner. Ms. Nguyen is believed to be the first Vietnamese American college president in the country. She transitioned into her position of academic leadership after a distinguished legal career during which she has served as interim general counsel for the California Community Colleges' Chancellor's Office, General Counsel for the Peralta Community College District, and Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community College League of California. 

Upon graduation from Castlemont High School, a predominantly African American and Latino public school in Oakland, its mayor declared June 23, 1993 "Thuy Thi Nguyen Day" in recognition of her community service. In 2002, Ms. Nguyen was listed among "30 Most Influential Asian Americans Under 30" nationally by Rainmaker Political Group ( In 2007, she was named one of eighteen "Best Lawyers Under 40" in the country by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. In 2016, Thuy received the coveted Diversity Award from the State Bar of California, an award given to an individual who has helped diversify the legal profession. 

And this year, the Carnegie Corporation of New York included Ms. Nguyen in its annual Great Immigrants tribute, recognizing her along with other honorees such as Anthony Hopkins and Liam Neeson, in a full-page public service announcement in The New York Times on the Fourth of July.  VABANC proudly honored Ms. Nguyen with its Trailblazer Award in 2011. 


2017 Scholarship Award

VABANC is very excited to announce that two Scholarship Awards will be granted this year to Jacqueline Khong, who is attending Golden Gate University School of Law, and Ana Duong, a student at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).

Ana Duong

University of California, Berkeley, School of Law   


Ana Duong is a 2L at Berkeley Law. Ana, the daughter of Southeast Asian refugees from Vietnam, is the first in her family to graduate college and to attend law school. Her past experience as a child garment worker inspired her to go to law school and to advocate for marginalized communities.  Ana is a Clinic Director for Berkeley Law’s Workers’ Rights Clinic, which hosts a free weekly clinic for community members with employment-related legal issues. She also serves as Associate Editor for the California Law Review, Co-Chair for the Coalition for Diversity, Social Chair for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, and Submissions Editor for the Asian American Law Journal.   Before law school, Ana earned simultaneous degrees in Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies and Society and Environment from UC Berkeley.  

Ana's VABANC Scholarship Award will help pay for her law school tuition.

Jacqueline Khong

Golden Gate University School of Law


Jacqueline Khong is currently a 3L at Golden Gate University School of Law. Jacqueline is pursuing a career in law to help under served communities in the area of family law.  This past summer, she interned at the Schoenberg Family Law Group. Jacqueline currently volunteers at the KIPP Foundation, a nonprofit creating a national network of public schools for students from educationally under served communities. Next semester, she will be interning at the Family Violence Law Center in Oakland.

Jacqueline’s interest in social justice stems from her work with KIPP schools and social studies in Japan. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in International Studies of Commerce and a minor in Japanese. Jacqueline is originally from Houston, Texas, but permanently moved to California to continue her education and to expand the scope of communities she can help.  

Jacqueline's VABANC Scholarship Award will be used to reduce the financial burden of her legal studies.


Open to all law students, the scholarship is intended to assist recipients who are in pursuit of public interest or social justice goals. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving the Vietnamese-American community in Northern California and who will be using the scholarship award to further their public interest or social justice work, either by pursuing post-graduate work or for a summer position.