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Panel List and Descriptions

Below is the current list of panels and their descriptions. If you have questions about these panels, please contact Programming Chair Jayasri Ganapathy at


Diversity in international arbitration + building a career as an arbitrator and counsel in the field.


The panelists will discuss the lack of diversity in the international arbitration arena and share lessons from their journey. They will also discuss options for young practitioners as well as seasoned litigators, to break in to and build a successful career as counsel and arbitrator in the international arbitration field.


Young Associates Round Table- Competing & Succeeding as a New Lawyer

Career Development

A panel of young associates (practicing perhaps 5 years/fewer), discussing common issues/concerns as you start building your career. How to be meaningfully involved in Bar Associations without your billable hour suffering/how to ask for work/what to do when you are stuck with remedial tasks/how to get into new practice areas/how to maintain a healthy lifestyle/etc. How to ask for what you want from your career without sounding entitled (the millennial issue). Open forum for asking questions on how to deal with situations that commonly arise for young associates (how various pay schemes work, the keys to staying on a partnership track, work/life balance, etc.).

Younger attorneys would benefit from having an open floor to discuss things that come up, while the panel can discuss common issues overall first. This doesn't have to be at firms only, so the panel can be diverse as far as fields and/or position (in house, non-profit, law firm, etc.).


When a Small Case Becomes a Big Case: Keeping E-Discovery Cost in Check

Career Development

Join us for a discussion Plan, Price, Product and Protocol: Creating a cost-effective e-discovery plan.


Things I Wish I Had Known

Career Development

A panel for young lawyers where more senior lawyers talk about things they didn't know but wish they had known earlier in their career.


The Path(s) to Going In-House

Career Development

This panel will focus on pathways to moving to an in-house position. We will highlight different paths to going in-house based on each speaker's level of experience. Senior attorneys will discuss their hiring practices including the qualities and skills they find vital, while junior lawyers will focus on positioning and tools they found to be effective in their search. We'll also discuss the differences in hiring practices across industries and regions. Finally, we will highlight effective paths to pursue including those through law firms, networking, internships, and secondments. In doing so, we will highlight best practices for connecting with in-house counsel when looking for a job based on each panelists' individual experiences and expectations.


Marijuana Legalization: Civil Rights and States' Rights

Civil Rights

Eight states and DC have created legalized cannabis markets, but it has not come without controversy. Several states, including NY and NJ, are considering legalization, but the federal government is encouraging heavy handed prosecution of marijuana possession and distribution. In the US, Black individuals are 4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. Marijuana may be legal in two adjacent states, but transporting it over the state border is a federal crime. Medicinal marijuana is legal in 29 states and has proven health benefits but most insurance companies are reluctant to cover it. Recreational marijuana dispensaries are big business in the states that have them, but owners can't open bank accounts in traditional banks. Considering social, criminal and racial justice, business/entrepreneurship, medicine, and states' rights, this panel will discuss the legal and policy approaches to marijuana legalization from multiple angles.


The Fight Continues: Voting Rights, Citizenship, and Civic Participation

Civil Rights

The right to vote is a fundamental right, yet it is still out of reach for many Americans. Through an examination of history, legal doctrine, and advocacy efforts, this panel will discuss the right to vote and civic participation with a focus on South Asian communities. Topics will include disenfranchisement of communities of color, including those with criminal convictions; federal government initiatives to undermine voting; voter suppression tactics locally and nationally; immigrant voting and civic participation.


The State of South Asian Americans 95 years after United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind

Civil Rights

Please join us as we discuss the The United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind and how far the South Asian American community has come since this case was decided 95 years ago.The Supreme Court case, which determined that Bhagat Singh Thind, "a high caste Hindu of full Indian blood, born at Amrit Sar, Punjab, India," was not a "white person," led to the revocation of Thind's naturalization as a US citizen and rendered future naturalization applicants of Indian origin as "aliens ineligible for citizenship." Our distinguished speakers will discuss the case, the progression of the rights of South Asians in the United States since then, and where the community is now.


Doing Business in India


Panelists discuss different aspects of doing business in India. The panel could include a lawyer, global company executive (U.S. and Indian), and consultant advising clients in India.


Global M&A Transactions in an Era of Enhanced Compliance Enforcement


The panel will share their own experiences in actual transactions and provide a practical perspective on the issue, including how diligence should be structured to identify potential problems, how to deal with problems identified, how the relevant agreements should be drafted, and what steps should be taken as part of the integration process post-Closing.


Banking and Finance Law Developments


Updates and developments in banking and finance (to be flushed out) - Corporate lending and financial techniques innovations. The impact of Volcker and tax rules on securitization.


Crypto World: Government Enforcement and Cryptocurrency


This panel would explore the intersection of digital currency and criminal law, namely, the use of current laws to regulate digital currency. This panel would explore money laundering prosecutions and enforcement from the federal government in a multitude of perspectives--SEC, IRS, criminal, and regulatory (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network).


Fostering Greater Inclusion in the #MeToo Era

Diversity & Inclusion

A panel discussion related to the #MeToo movement, the fallout and tips for becoming a more inclusive organization and addressing the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated profession


South Asians Carrying the Torch

Diversity & Inclusion

This panel will discuss the pros, cons, and consequences of running for local office. And serving in government.


Shut Out: Panel Discussion of NLJ Article on Supreme Court Clerk Statistics

Diversity & Inclusion

The law clerks who advise the Supreme Court justices are a homogenous bunch: 85 percent of Supreme Court law clerks over the past 12 years have been white, and twice as many have been women as men. Join ## recent Supreme Court clerks, all South Asian women, to talk about the significance of those numbers. We’ll talk about why the demographics look the way they do, identify concrete ways diversity in clerk hiring matters to the Supreme Court’s docket, and discuss the lessons we took from our time at the Court that might be applied in other settings. I would request sponsorship from SAWAN.


The Legal Ethics of My Cousin Vinny


This is a legal ethics program using the popular film My Cousin Vinny


Litigating High Profile Cases

General Litigation

This program takes several practicing lawyers, a media relations person, and a judge and talks about the interesting dynamics of litigating cases that are also being litigated in the press.


Where the Case Is Won - Picking the Perfect Jury

General Litigation

A panel discussion of what they look for in potential jurors, focusing on overt and subconscious biases potential jurors may have against South Asian attorneys and litigants. How do trial attorneys draw out those biases or educate jurors about who their clients are - i.e. not ISIS members.


Recent Developments In Internal Investigations

General Litigation

Wells Fargo, Uber, Equifax, United Airlines, Equifax….even though stock markets have been calm in recent times, there have been no shortage of bad actors and public relations snafus amongst the country's largest companies. This panel of in-house counsel and external practitioners will discuss the pressures and stakes involved when companies undergo a crisis and discover problematic conduct. Our panelists will explore companies' reactions depending on the scope of the problem, including their approach to conducting internal investigations, engaging outside counsel, dealing with governmental agencies, handling conflicts, managing various internal committees.

Legal, Policy, and Public Health Approaches to the Opioids Epidemic


In recent years, trends that began in the 1990’s of increased use of both prescription and illegal opioids medications in North America have exploded into a full-blown epidemic. States and the federal government have attempted to address the problem through a range of policy initiatives. Medical professionals have looked to curb the over-prescribing of opioids and address medical training in pain management. And finally, courts are front and center in the crisis, with almost 400 lawsuits having been filed over the past several years against the manufacturers of these drugs, the doctors who prescribe them, and the intermediary companies that distribute them. Local and federal attorneys have also prioritized the prosecution of heroin distributors, counterfeiters, and “pill mills” in recent years. Come hear from a unique panel of attorneys, policy, and clinical professionals to discuss new developments in this multifaceted problem and what it will take to solve it.


H1B issues and impact in the current administration


This CLE covers the most recent and pressing issue faced by the Indian community is proposed changes to H1B visa laws. Indians file the maximum number of H1B visa applications. Therefore, any change in law impacts Indians the most. This also takes away from contributions made by Indians in America’s progress. Also, they are tax paying legally staying individuals, they deserve respect not uncertainty re their status in the States.


3 Patent Law Game Changers – Have Alice, Akamai and the AIA Really Changed the Game?

Intellectual Property

Recent Supreme Court decisions related to patentable subject matter (Alice v. CLS Bank) and joint/divided direct infringement (Akamai v. Limelight) and the enactment of the post-grant review procedures in the America Invents Act were widely predicted to usher in a wave of change in how patents were obtained, enforced and challenged. Our panel of experienced in-house counsel and litigators will examine whether those predictions have come true, how the technology, life sciences and other industries have been impacted and whether more changes in these areas are around the corner.

IP and Fashion

Intellectual Property

What’s trending in the protection and enforcement of IP in the fashion industry, including design patent protection and the copyright eligibility of designs.


It’s Happening: Navigating the Legal Implications of Rideshare, Driver-less Cars, and Drone Delivery Systems


The transportation industry is changing drastically. From the exponential growth of Rideshare use to the arrival of drone and driver-less car technology, the legal implications are endless. This panel is expected to cover three legal aspects of these changes. First, a bankruptcy judge will explain the current effect of Lyft/Uber on taxi drivers and car dealerships (i.e. insolvency in 2018). Second, a patent attorney will talk about the expected conflict between large technology companies with respect to their driver-less cars and drone delivery systems patents. Finally, a Uber/Lyft representative can talk about what potential government regulations are on the horizon.


Legal Spend

Practice Management

When IP legal expenses are internally viewed as a cost center, management of spend and taking the right approach can result in revenue generation for businesses.


Where Have You Been: Navigating Consumer Privacy in Targeted Media and the Internet of Things


As more and more data about consumers is collected and packaged through Internet activity and connected devices, advertisers in all sectors continue to seek new ways to put that data to use through analytics and targeting. This panel offers a discussion of the considerations companies should keep in mind when they enter the big data game.

Topics to be discussed include FTC and state privacy regulation of online behavioral advertising, how to implement principles of choice, notice, and consent, constraints on just in time advertising, cross-device tracking, and leveraging sensitive data for marketing purposes.


Global Citizen: Mobilizing to Address Atrocities

Public Interest

Panelists from the United Nations and few credible international NGOs (HRW) to explain how private firm attorneys who work full-time can help address atrocities occurring j developing countries such as Rohingya. SABA should leverage it's resource to support vulnerable communities.


Pivot to Offense: Agile Counseling in Regulated Spaces


A deep dive into issues facing agile counselors which play in regulated industries, including how in-house counsel, outside counsel, and regulators must alter decision-making based on regulatory shifts and associated client demands.


Supreme Court Review


 This panel will review developments in the Supreme Court during the Court’s 2016 Term, including the most important cases that the Court decided, and the effect of the election on the composition of the Court. This perennially popular panel will review the big decisions that have come out of the newly full Supreme Court. With their typical humor and insight, Kannon Shanmugam, Head Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation at Williams & Connolly LLP; Pratik Shah, Co-Head Supreme Court & Appellate Practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; Rakesh Kilaru, partner at Wilkinson Wlash; Loren AliKhan, Deputy Solicitar Genral at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia; and  Tejinder Singh, partner at Goldstein and Russell; will tackle all of this and more.



Tax Reform: Last Year We Debated It, This Year We Analyze the Results


Comprehensive review of the most important changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act relevant to SABA community.