The South Asian Bar Association of Chicago

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Please see below for your candidates for the SABA Chicago 2023 Board. 

President Elect

Maliha Siddiqui

Since becoming a SABA member during law school, Maliha has consistently shown a commitment to SABA Chicago as an active member, and an active board member. She has held roles as Vice President of Public Relations and Vice-President of Programming. As VP of PR, she was responsible for marketing, email campaigns, and creating content and flyers. As VP of Programming, she was responsible for organizing one of the most successful years in SABA’s programming history. Among the 50 or so events planned for 2022, Maliha was instrumental in majority of them by either organizing, attending, creating PR materials, or hosting the event. Maliha is responsible for hosting and planning SABA Chicago’s first Community Iftar Dinner and first Community Diwali dinner, in order to showcase the unique diversity of the South Asian diaspora. Maliha planned numerous fireside chats, including a special fireside chat honoring successful female general counsel for Women’s History Month. She hosted in person events, including a Happy Hour at City Winery, a family-friendly ice skating event, and a member appreciation event. She also was instrumental in planning two marquee events: the Judicial Reception and Annual Gala. While leading the awards committee and decorating committee for the Annual Gala, she created programs, posters, agendas, and awards. She also found photographers, DJs, venues, and decorators. She also planned and moderated a panel for victims of domestic violence in the South Asian community. A lifelong Chicagoan, Maliha has deep roots in the legal and South Asian Chicagoland communities. She grew up attending birthday parties and community events at the Indo-American Center (“IAC”) in the early 1990s, and after graduating law school at DePaul she saw an opportunity to give back to the community that raised her by volunteering at SABA’s legal clinic, hosted at IAC. Since 2016, she has volunteered the clinic, providing free legal advice to victims of domestic violence. In 2022, she presented monthly programming updates to board members, while also initiating a change in bylaws to ensure active participation by board members. Maliha is also a formal mentor for young south Asian attorneys through SABA’s mentorship program. From her history and involvement, it is apparent that Maliha is committed to South Asian representation and elevating South Asians in the legal community and will continue to do so as president-elect.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/malihasiddiqui/

Treasurer

Neha Nigam

As a member of SABA Chicago's board for four years, I've actively planned and participated in all of the organization's marquee events (Judicial Reception, Installation, Gala, etc.) I have served as the Co-VP of Public Relations and as a General Director. After serving in those roles and working with treasurers throughout the years, I believe I would be a great asset to the board as the Treasurer. I have also investigated financial fraud as an associate at a law firm, am able to keep accurate records, and would safeguard the funds.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/neha-nigam/

VP of Programming

Saman Haque

I have been involved with SABA Chicago since I was a law student. I was a general director for the 2021-2022 year. I was a member of the mentorship committee and had a mentee through the program. This last year, I enjoyed being on the awards committee and decor committee for the Annual Gala; helping set up the judicial reception; and attending/promoting so many of the wonderful events that SABA Chicago has hosted. I look forward to getting an opportunity to continue to help facilitate opportunities for the South Asian legal community to flourish.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/saman-haque-81a960151

Laxmi Sarathy

Having volunteered as the co - VP of programming at the 2022 SABA Chicago Board, I am uniquely positioned to continue the momentum gathered by the 2022 Chicago board. I was involved with many of the over-fifty events sponsored by the 2022 SABA Chicago Board spanning a wide variety of topics including: community building and networking, public interest, gender equality, professional development, and general interest. For 2023, I would like to continue to highlight the role that the south Asian Attorneys play in our communities, expand our outreach and attempt to bridge the gap between the services that the south Asian Chicago membership provides and those who need such services.

VP of Public Relations

Abiman Rajadurai

Same role as last year and looking forward to building our digital presence.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abiman-rajadurai

Ronak Shah

My name is Ronak Shah and it would be a privilege to serve as VP of Public Relations on the 2023 Executive Board for SABA Chicago. I am committed to continuing to work with the SABA Chicago community and leadership to build on our important initiatives. My prior experience includes serving as a General Director on the 2022 Executive Board for SABA Chicago, and as a former Board Member on the North American South Asian Law Student Association (NASALSA) and the University of Wisconsin Law School chapter of South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA). I have also served as the Director of Projects on the Executive Board for Young Jain Professionals. In many ways, the early stages of my career were shaped and supported by my involvement with these organizations. I would like to continue to create opportunities for members of SABA Chicago to collaborate through events, service, and professional development. Being a part of these organizations has helped me to be better prepared for this position, and the role of VP of Public Relations will allow me to me more involved in helping run an organization I truly believe in. I will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of VP of Public Relations along with being able to balance a vision for the long-term  health of SABA Chicago. I am looking forward to bringing my experience to the VP of Public Relations position and continuing to serve on the SABA Chicago Executive Board. Thank you for your consideration.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronakshah623/

Secretary

Neha Khandhadia

I have served as Secretary and Co-Chair of the Endorsement Committee this past year. As Secretary I started to put procedures in place for voting, agendas, and board minutes. I want to continue to work on refining and putting in more procedures in place to help the board. As Co-Chair of the Endorsement Committee, I helped put the processes in place for SABA's endorsements. I also interviewed and wrote letters of endorsements for judicial candidates. Next year, I would like to continue to expand and build the committee.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/neha-khandhadia-29858125/

General Director

Akshita Singh

I’ve always been good at finding how I can best serve a team and supporting the efforts of each person in the group. In my current job, I often take a leadership role for the Chicago office and plan the events throughout the year, this often involves frequent team projects. I am able to quickly identify each team member’s shining qualities and assign them with tasks they were best suited to excel with. From what I’ve read, this job involves lots of group work, and this is definitely one of my strongest skill sets. I also have lots of experience with leadership roles in committees. Throughout my years in high school, college, and law school I stepped into the role of providing service to others and cultivating better relationships. My firm will be a huge asset in supporting my role during the timeframe of being Director. DEI is developing at the firm and we are eager to make change. I believe we can have Dickinson-Wright be a huge asset throughout the year.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/singhakshita/

Adnan Shafi

I currently hold a General Director position in SABA Chicago. During my time as a General Director, I moderated an event with Salman Azam. I also served in the Membership committee and as a law school liaison. I learnt a lot this year and would like to run for this position again for the next year.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/adnan-shafi-8573a9b8

Saurish Appleby-Bhattacharjee

I previously worked in Los Angeles before moving to Chicago. While in LA, I was an active member of SABA-SC, having served as its Public Interest Foundation Grants Chair in 2017, and as a member of the Banquet Committee. Since moving to Chicago a few years ago, I have been looking for opportunities to get more involved with our SABA chapter here. To that end, I recently spoke on a panel hosted by SABA-DC and SABA-Chicago regarding "South Asian Reflections on Being a Prosecutor." As a fellow of the SABA Leadership Institute in 2022, I met numerous mid-career South Asian attorneys across the country and am eager to increase collaborations between SABA-Chicago and other chapters. Lastly, I have a longstanding commitment to diversity initiatives in academia and industry, as evidenced by my work on the Hiring Committee at my office, my service on the alumni DEI Committee of my high school, and the DEI-related topics I emphasize to my students as part of my course curriculum as an adjunct professor at DePaul Law.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/saurish-appleby-bhattacharjee/

Aseem Jha

I am currently a third-year associate at Kirkland and Ellis in the Technology & IP Transactions Group. Over the past year, I've really enjoyed getting involved in SABA and seeing how SABA Chicago can build and nurture crucial relationships in the South Asian legal community here. I've also appreciated the strong and growing partnership between Kirkland and SABA, especially with respect to jointly-hosted events. I'd like to build on the progress of the past year and help grow SABA Chicago to continue providing excellent opportunities for folks to get together and connect. Additionally, I'd like to help strengthen the SABA-Kirkland ties and help put together even more joint events in the year to come. Also, as a midlevel associate, I'd love to help create more opportunities for young attorneys (and possibly even law students) to connect and build lasting relationships.

https://www.kirkland.com/lawyers/j/jha-aseem

Payal Shah

I'm a previous Board Member, General Director of SABA Chicago and have actively participated in the past to plan events, speaker panels, and galas. After taking a short break this year, I would love to get more involved again next year and assist with future programming for SABA events, including in-house committee meetings.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/payal-shah-01049b26/

Neil Vohra

As a partner in the M&A private equity group of one of the world's largest law firms, i am uniquely positioned to be a catalyst for change and have worked to use that platform to promote the careers and opportunities of diverse attorneys. At Kirkland, I co-chair the Asian and South Asian Business Networking Groups and am also actively involved with various committees, including the recruitment efforts of the firm where we continually try to improve on our diversity efforts. Personally, I also serve on the board of Apna Ghar, a non-profit aimed at solving gender violence issues, particularly in the South Asian communities. I am an endless champion of diversity, equity & inclusion and have attempted to be more active within SABA this year as well. I feel the resources i could bring to the organization as well as the things I could personally learn from those already involved would be a winning combination for all involved.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-vohra-/

Oishika Gupta

I am an Immigration Attorney and have been practicing law in the US for over 13 years now. I am originally from India and came to the US to do my Masters. I am currently a Partner in my firm and also the DE&I Co-chair for the Fragomen Chicago and Troy offices. I have held multiple positions of seniority within the firm and look forward to being able to engage and be involved with SABA Chicago as well.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/oishika-gupta-652b7411/

Madhavi Seth

I've served with SABA for the past two years and would like to continue supporting SABA as a general director next year.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/madhaviseth/

Amrith Kaur Aakre

As a current SABA Chicago General Director, I am already familiar with the board responsibilities and operations. During 2022, I organized the annual Judicial Reception, helping to make it one of the most successful events of the year, and also the October judicial reception recognizing the achievements of SABA advisory members Justice Tailor and Judge Van Tine. In addition, I organized and hosted the September Brunch and Burn event, and attended several SABA events throughout the year as well the majority of board meetings. I have been an active member and advocate for SABA Chicago throughout my term and plan to continue serving as a dedicated and active member if re-elected.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/amrith-kaur-aakre-8b829a4/

Antara Nath Rivera

I have been a member of SABA since 2000, when I was a law clerk. As an attorney, I have intermittently been involved with committees throughout the years. While there was a time period, I was unable to be directly involved, I always supported SABA. I would like to get more involved now that I am back in Illinois. I am currently on the Board of Directors for two separate organizations (Kalapriya and Cook County Board of Ethics). I understand the logistics of being on a board, the commitment, and the joys of its accomplishments. I am also currently a mentor through SABA. I would be honored to be part of the new board to continue to mentor law students and new attorneys as well as continue to give back to the South Asian community.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/antara-nath-rivera-9724606/

Shiva Kooragayala

I served as a General Director of SABA Chicago this past year, and I have shown a commitment to both the organization as well as its broader mission of supporting South Asian attorneys throughout Chicago. I have helped create attorney spotlights, which has given me a chance to engage with other board members and many of SABA's general members. This year, I'd like to get more involved with the SABA foundation and the other pro bono work that our chapter does!

https://www.linkedin.com/in/skooragayala/

Nasir Hussain

I am eager to increase my firm's and my own involvement in SABA Chicago and to support the advancement of South Asian attorneys in our community through great programming and networking events. If elected, I will draw on my past and current experience serving in leadership and board positions for other organizations, including the American Bar Association, the National Association of Muslim Lawyers, and the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms. In those roles, I've planned networking events, organized substantive programming, implemented initiatives to grow active membership, and have assisted with planning conferences. I hope to have the opportunity to contribute to SABA Chicago in the same ways!

https://www.winston.com/en/who-we-are/professionals/hussain-nasir.html

Radhe Patel

In law school I served as Vice President of my South Asian Law Students Association chapter, as well as the President of the ACS chapter-- the second largest student organization on campus. Outside of school I've cofounded a PAC in New York City, and a nonprofit that provides both direct services to incarcerated folks on Rikers Island and support upon their release from jail. I believe the leadership, organization, and event planning skills I've developed through these roles qualify me to serve on the SABA board.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/radhepatel/

Pam K. Sran

I would be honored to join SABA-Chicago in a leadership capacity and contribute to the south asian bar and community. I have been a licensed attorney for over four years. During that time, I have been involved in several bar associations (including leadership capacity), served as a board member, and maintained an active pro bono practice. I also served in leadership roles during law school. My bar and leadership experience includes Chicago Bar Association’s YSL Business Law Litigation Committee Co-Chair (2022-23); Uni. of IL Law School Alumni Board Member (2019-21 two-year term), student-alumni relations committee chair (2019-20), elected secretary (2020-21); executive board committee (2020-21); ex-officio to various committees (2020-21); WBAI Annual Dinner Planning Committee, member (2019-2020); Uni. of IL Law School Mentorship Program, Mentor (2018-present); Selected Law Firm Associate Representative to NAPABA Conference (2021); Law Firm internal Diversity of Inclusion Committee (2021-22); and Law Firm internal Women in the Profession Committee (2021-22). I also am an active member of the following bar associations: SABA-Chicago, NAPABA; and ABA Section on Litigation. My pro bono experience includes serving as a volunteer attorney to the following organizations: Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission, National Immigration Justice Center, Equip for Equality’s Special Education Clinic; Woodlawn Legal Aid Clinic; Street Law and Diversity Pipeline Program in partnership with McDonald’s Corporation. I also volunteered over 300 hours assisting pro bono litigants with filing name changes and civil harassment temporary restraining orders. In addition to the above, I served in leadership roles during law school, including Education Law and Policy Society President (2017-18); Vice President (2016-17); Phi Alpha Delta Honorary Society Academic Chair (2015-16); Faculty Committee on Student Career Services Student Representative (2016-17); Uni. of Illinois Champaign Urbana Librarian’s Student Advisory Counsel Law School Representative (2016-17); and Peer Advisor to 1Ls (2016-17).

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pams/

Erika Noronha

I have recently joined SABA and attended a few in person events organized by the 2022 Board. With an interest in networking among the legal community in Chicago, I was excited to find a welcoming organization that encourages participation and facilitates growth. I am interested in becoming an active member of the SABA Board as a General Director. I am a New York licensed attorney working at a personal law firm in Chicago for over 5 years specializing in sexual abuse cases. Starting at a small firm reporting directly to the 2 firm partners, I appreciated the value of their dedicated mentorship and guidance. With 100 employees now, I manage a team of paralegals and a large volume of clients on diverse cases. I would like to continue this mentorship among our legal community and engage with the SABA network providing them a forum to improve their skills and knowledge whether as new law students or experienced professionals. Whether it is organizing events or creating a more active online network through the SABA board, I would like to use my management skills to reach more community members and provide a renewed space for current members. As a foreign student who completed my Masters in Law, I have personally benefitted from networking among legal peers and learning from their experiences, and I would like to be part of providing the same opportunity to the current and future SABA community.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/erika-noronha-ba5a6bb1

Sameeul Haque

The value I offer SABA Chicago as a General Director comes from both my experiences with SABA and as a board member of another organization. I have worked with SABA since the Spring of 2018, after I met Debjani Desai at an AABA event. Through Debjani, I started being involved with SABA. As a law student, I volunteered at SABA’s Judicial Reception and Gala. I continued volunteering for SABA while practicing as well, helping coordinate catering for 2021’s Gala, while preparing for my own wedding, and helping set up at this year’s Gala. However, my qualifications do not just stem from what I have done for SABA, but also from understanding what SABA has done for me and what it continues to do for others. I participated in the mentorship program, where I was fortunate to be paired with Saranya Raghavan. Saranya gave me valuable guidance, not just while I was her assigned mentee but well afterwards, when I was a first-year attorney struggling to find my footing in IP. The mentorship and aid she offered me is something I want to provide others as well. Furthermore, my experience as Vice President for the Organization for Ethical Source (OES) illustrates my commitment to the organizations I join. As Vice President of OES, I have helped organize board elections and a virtual conference; spoken at a virtual conference, on a podcast, and in a Twitter Space; and participated in report writing. While some of these activities may not have a direct correlation to SABA’s activities, they do require time, dedication, and attention to detail, and they are what I can offer SABA as a General Director.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sameeul-haque/

Sunil Shashikant Bhave

I have been a member of SABA, and previously of IABA, since 2007, but have not yet volunteered for a Board position. I have a wide-ranging background not only as an attorney, but also with volunteer experience with organizations such as the Indo-American Center, the Korean American Community Services Center, and Community Consolidated School District 59. I am also a committed public servant, and I believe I could assist in advancing a public interest committee/government attorney committee. I also work well with others and am eager to work in a collaborative environment to advance the goals of SABA under the leadership of the Board.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sbhave


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