• Sunday, May 18, 2014 11:29 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)
    SABA-DC's Spring 2014 newsletter highlights happenings in the Washington D.C.'s South Asian legal community.  We hope you enjoy reading it and welcome your feedback. 
  • Monday, May 05, 2014 4:50 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)

    CHICAGO (APRIL 30, 2014) – The South Asian Bar Association of (“SABA”) North America and the Indian-American Bar Association of Chicago (IABA) congratulate Manish Shah on his confirmation to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where he previously served as a law clerk. The Senate approved him unanimously. “Manish Shah’s unanimous confirmation demonstrates, yet again, what an extraordinary pool of talent we have in our community,” stated Nadeem Bezar, President of SABA North America.

    “Mr. Shah’s confirmation as the first South Asian American federal judge in Illinois represents another significant milestone for our community. We look forward to his service on the bench and applaud the president and the US Senate for nominating and confirming him,” said Tejas Shah, President of IABA. Judge Shah is the first Article III South Asian judge in Illinois.

    Manish Shah currently serves as the Chief of the Criminal Division at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he has worked since 2001. His decision to spend almost his entire career in the U.S. Attorney’s office demonstrates a dedication to public service. Additionally, he has given back to new attorneys by teaching at the National Advocacy Center and instructing at a legal aid workshop at the University of Chicago.

    Judge Shah received his J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in 1998, and his B.A. with honors, and with distinction, from Stanford University in 1994. He began his legal career as a Litigation Associate at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe in San Francisco, CA where he represented clients in commercial and antitrust litigation, and subsequently clerked for Hon. James B. Zagel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

    Neil C. Maskeri

    Vice President of Public Relations

    South Asian Bar Association of North America


    SABA North America (formerly NASABA/North American South Asian Bar Association) is a voluntary bar organization and serves as an umbrella organization to 26 chapters in the United States and Canada. SABA North America is a recognized forum for professional growth and advancement for South Asian attorneys in North America and seeks to protect the rights and liberties of the South Asian community across the continent. Learn more at

  • Tuesday, April 29, 2014 9:19 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)
    SABA-DC has endorsed the following candidates for the 2014 DC Bar Elections:

    DC Bar President:  Stephen Glover
    DC Bar Treasurer:  Sarah Shyr
    DC Bar Board of Governors:  Keiko K. Takagi, Sergio F. Oehninger
    DC Bar ABA delegate:  Lucy Thomson

    The voting period runs from April 29 to May 23, 2014.  SABA-DC members are encouraged to vote. To vote online, please visit:

  • Monday, March 17, 2014 5:20 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)
    Through its Public Interest Fellowship Program, SABA-DC provides financial assistance in the form of summer fellowships to law students working in the public interest sector for the benefit of the South Asian community and the metropolitan D.C. area.  Applicants must be current law school students in good standing, and must plan to be employed in the public sector during the summer.  Since the Fellowship program’s inception in 2006, SABA-DC has provided almost $40,000 in funding to highly qualified and outstanding law students.

    Applications are available at, and must be submitted by April 14 for consideration.
  • Friday, February 28, 2014 4:10 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)
    The SABA-DC Winter Newsletter is here!  

    We have had some wonderfully exciting times and have many stories to share, from the Winter Public Interest Fellowship Gala, to our Civil & Human Rights Symposium, and a spotlight on the work of SABA-DC member Pratik Shah.  Please follow this link to catch up happenings in the SABA-DC community over the past few months.

  • Tuesday, November 12, 2013 2:14 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)

    Check out our Fall Newsletter, which includes pictures and information from the latter half of this year, including:


    - Special events with high profile speakers

    - The NASABA Convention in San Francisco

    - Fellowship information

    - Dinner series


  • Monday, August 05, 2013 2:20 PM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)



    On the one year anniversary of the shooting at the Oak Creek, Wisconsin Gurdwara, the South Asian Bar Association, Washington D.C. (SABA-DC) reflects on the events of that tragic day and honors the memory of the victims. On August 5, 2013, six people, Paramjit Kaur, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Prakash Singh, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, and Suveg Singh, were shot and killed in their place of worship in an act of hatred and terror.


    Following the Oak Creek tragedy, the SABA-DC community came together to support the Oak Creek community and held a fundraiser raising money for the families of the victims. We appreciated the support of the entire SABA-DC community.


    Since the attacks of September 11th, 2001, Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs and South Asians have increasingly been the victims of hate crimes and the crime perpetrated at the Oak Creek Gurdwara brought that violence to the forefront of the country's consciousness.  Reacting to the community's call for change, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began tracking hate crimes committed against Sikhs, Hindus and Arabs and SABA-DC is encouraged by this recent decision. 


    As we focus our thoughts on the memory of the victims, we hope that today is a day of peace and reflection for the families of the victims, the Oak Creek community and the South Asian community as a whole. 


    For a PDF version of this statement, click here: Oak Creek Anniversary_Press Release.pdf

  • Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:24 AM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)

    The South Asian Bar Association of Washington D.C. (SABA-DC) praises the United States Senate’s passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) last week, the first step on the path to reforming our faulty immigration system. The Senate voted 68-32 to pass the bill, which provides a road to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States and contemplates significant changes to the employment and family based immigration systems. However, SABA-DC is concerned about the bill’s proposed limitation of family-based immigration options for U.S. citizens to petition for their siblings and adult married children over the age of 30 and opposes provisions of the bill that may condone and facilitate profiling on the basis of religion or national origin. SABA-DC’s concerns stem from the impact that these measures would have upon the South Asian-American community.

    SABA-DC however applauds the U.S. Senate in taking this important first step. In addition to creating a pathway to citizenship for many, the bill also seeks to clear family and employment backlogs, offers greater opportunities, protections and rights for workers, including H-1B workers and their spouses and workers recruited abroad, and provides protection for survivors of domestic violence, crimes, and trafficking. And while the bill does not specifically address the same-sex immigrant couples, based on the recent Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept family-based visa petitions filed by same sex couples.

    The bill has moved on to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. We join our umbrella organization, the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA), in calling upon the House to take up the Senate legislation and schedule a vote on this important and historic bill.
  • Wednesday, July 03, 2013 8:07 AM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)
    Our Spring Newsletter is now available!  This edition of the newsletter covers exciting events in the first half of the year, a member spotlight, and information about our Public Interest Fellowship.  
  • Thursday, June 06, 2013 9:45 AM | SABA DC Communications (Administrator)

    Please join SABA-DC in welcoming this year's Summer Public Interest Fellows.  We have a very strong group this year, with summer positions in the U.S. Department of State, local D.C. government, and the U.S. Department of Justice.


    The primary purpose of the SABA-DC Summer Fellowship Program is to help fund a student’s internship with a public interest organization for the benefit of the South Asian community and the metropolitan D.C. area. This year's class represents a significant expansion in the size of the program.  We remain committed to supporting promising law students as they develop their public interest careers.


    Sonia Desai


    My name is Sonia Desai and I am a third-year law student at The George Washington University Law School.  Prior to law school, I served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana for two years, where I assisted the Ministry of Education in the implementation of a national life skills education pilot program in the government schools.  I graduated from the University of Miami, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with majors in International Studies and Political Science, and minors in English and Ecosystem Science and Policy.  


    This summer, I will be interning at the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.  In particular, I will be a Program Intern at the Office of Global Programs, where I will work to promote international legal standards for human rights through assignments that involve research and evaluation of complex democracy and international human rights issues and ensuring adequate oversight of legal assistance instruments.  Through this internship, I hope to learn more about and gain experience with the practical utilization of international legal instruments by the U.S. government and the intersection between human rights law and international assistance.


    Navneet Jaswal


    Originally from St. Louis, MO, I attended Saint Louis University where I majored in Political Science, International Studies and Women’s Studies. At SLU, I was the Pre-Law Department’s coordinator for community service and was lucky enough to help facilitate programs such as “ Missouri Youth In Government” and “Project Citizen” with local high school students. I ultimately earned masters degree at SLU in Political Science with a concentration in Law, Culture, and Politics. Prior to beginning law school, I spent two years serving as a Teach For America Corps Member, during which I received my teaching certification and taught 2nd, 4th, and  5th grade for the Saint Louis Public Schools District.


    Recently, I completed my first year at The George Washington University Law School and will be working for the D.C. Rental Housing Commission this summer where I hope to hone my legal research and writing skills through drafting decisions regarding appeals to the agency.


    Keerat Panu


    My name is Keerat Pannu and I am a second year law student at George Mason University School of Law. I grew up in northern Virginia and attended college at Georgetown University. Upon graduating from law school I hope to pursue a career as a civil rights attorney. My interest in civil rights began when I interned for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund during college. Through this experience I was exposed to the power of a legal education. The attorneys I worked with had the ability to change the civil rights landscape, even history, and I was determined to follow in their footsteps. Since then I have pursued my passion for public service, and civil rights in particular, by interning with Chancellor Rhee at D.C. Public Schools, the Alliance for Excellent Education, and the White House.


    This summer, I will be interning with the Office of General Counsel at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), U.S. Department of Justice. EOIR’s mission is to adjudicate immigration cases by fairly, expeditiously, and uniformly interpreting and administering the Nation’s immigration laws. EOIR conducts immigration court proceedings, appellate reviews, and administrative hearings. These cases involve detained aliens, criminal aliens, and aliens seeking asylum as a form of relief from removal. During my internship with the EOIR, I will assist the Associate General Counsels with their work. The General Counsels work on the development of agency regulations, review and comment on proposed legislation, and respond to Freedom of Information and Privacy Act requests. They also administer EOIR’s Attorney Discipline Program and the Fraud Program, and coordinate EOIR’s involvement in litigation. Through this internship, I hope to gain a better understanding of immigration law and legal policymaking in the field of immigration.

South Asian Bar Association of Washington, D.C.
P.O. Box 65349
Washington, D.C. 20035
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