The South Asian Bar Association of San Diego (“SABA-SD”) held its 2010 Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 16, 2010. About 120 attendees gathered at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park for the event.
SABA-SD is dedicated to the advancement and development of attorneys and law students interested in issues affecting the South Asian Community, and this year the group awarded scholarships to Thomas Jefferson School of Law 3Ls Vikram Monder and Raj Matani. Vikram and Raj were honored for their service and dedication to SABA-SD, and their efforts in founding a South Asian Law Students Association at Thomas Jefferson. The law school had a strong presence to cheer on our scholarship winners.
Students Sumit Raghuvanshi, Maliha Haque, Priya Patel, Serina Monder, and Gurneet Gill, and Career Services staff members Beverly Bracker and Gita Varughese were all in attendance.
The Honorable Vijay Gandhi was the evenings keynote speaker. Judge Gandhi was sworn in as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California in April of this year, becoming the first Indian-American federal judge in California, and only the second Indian- American federal judge in US history. Judge Gandhi was a litigation partner at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP before his appointment to the bench. At age 39 he is the youngest federal judge in the Central District and one of the youngest in the country. Judge Gandhi shared that his father’s first job in the US was as a migrant farm worker. His rise to the Federal bench from humble beginnings is truly an inspiring story. He ended his remarks by urging the audience to fight complacency and instead seek out opportunities to challenge oneself and surpass our comfort zones.
The evening also marked the next term for SABA-SD’s Executive Board. For the coming year, Puja Sachdev, a 2006 graduate of Thomas Jefferson will serve as the group’s Treasurer. Puja practices family law, is on the Ethnic Relations and Diversity Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association and the Women’s Resource Fair Committee of Lawyers Club. She also recently earned her M.B.A. and is the only family law attorney in the greater San Diego area with the designation of Certified Divorce Financial AnalystTM.