Founded in 2017 by rising 2L Brent Coulter, the ALBA provides unique experiential opportunities to UC Hastings students interested in forging relationships within the international law and business communities.
The UC Hastings Asian Law and Business Association (ALBA) was founded to serve as a career platform for law students interested in Asian law and business by providing opportunities to meet professionals, engage with the international law and business communities, and gain first-hand experience working on international projects.
In its inaugural year, the ALBA has provided UC Hastings students access to participate in valuable first-hand experiences. A recent trip to China, organized by the ALBA, allowed students to meet with lawyers from some of nation’s leading law firms and learn more about the Chinese legal system. “We had the opportunity to share our knowledge of the US legal system and discuss the contemporary legal climate between the US and China,” says rising 2L Brent Coulter, founder and president of ALBA. “Such an exchange provided us with a unique educational opportunity that will help inform our career decisions.”
The ALBA also established a partnership with China-based NGO, the American Chamber of Commerce of Southwest China (AmCham). Through this partnership, ALBA members contributed to the widely-known and respected AmCham White Paper, an annual US-China advocacy report, by co-authoring a chapter highlighting the challenges businesses face operating in Southwest China and advocating for better policy practices.
“We had the opportunity to use our legal writing skills and work closely with leading foreign organizations and Fortune 500 companies from a variety of industries in the southwest region,” says Brent.
The chapter’s recommendations were aimed at leveling the playing field for foreign entities in Southwest China by implementing fairer and more efficient policies, increasing government transparency, and making it easier to acquire foreign talent. The ALBA’s contribution was published in May 2018 and will be used by an AmCham lobbying delegation to Beijing and DC later this year. “The ALBA team and I are looking forward to contributing once more to the 2019 White Paper,” says Brent.
In addition to another possible contribution to the White Paper, the ALBA will look to continue to expand its member base and establish itself as a valuable resource for those interested in Asian law and business in its second year. This fall, the board plans to host webinars with attorneys practicing law in Asia, engage with organizations and professionals in the Bay Area, travel to East Asia, and forge new relationships within the international law and business communities.
“We are currently looking for organizations and professionals who would like to work together with us,” says Brent. “I encourage those who are interested to read our bios and reach out to us via email.”
Meet the ALBA team at UC Hastings:
Brent Coulter – J.D. Candidate 2020, ALBA Founder and President – spent four years in China where he worked with the American Chamber of Commerce. He speaks Chinese and Spanish. Prior to law school, he worked as the Global Content Marketing Manager for TeleNav. He believes the key to success is fostering strong and lasting relationships with people from different backgrounds.
Ken Kobayashi – J.D. Candidate 2020, ALBA Treasurer – has a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Portland, specializing in finance. He spent two semesters in Beijing and Tokyo and speaks Japanese. Prior to law school, Kobayashi was employed by Fisher Investments in Washington state.
Natalie Ryang – J.D. Candidate 2020, ALBA Administrative VP – is a legal and investment professional with an extensive background in investment analysis and patent and technology transaction. She has lived in Korea, Hong Kong, and the U.S. and is a native speaker of Korean. Ryang attended Stanford Business School and has expertise of financial markets in the U.S. and Asia.
Benson Chao – J.D. Candidate 2019, ALBA Internal Affairs – went to National Taiwan University College of Law. He has lived in both Taiwan and the U.S. and is a native speaker of Chinese. Chao has worked for the Innocence Project in Taiwan (The Taiwan Association for Innocence) and is interested in international law, business, and human rights.
Claudia Ren – J.D. Candidate 2020, ALBA VP of External Affairs – has an extensive corporate and technology background, with experience as a global business specialist. She grew up between China, Germany, and the U.S., and speaks Chinese and German. Ren thrives in fast-paced, high-intensity, and collaborative environments and enjoys developing creative legal solutions in compliance with commercial requirements for startups.
Rui Chao Liu – J.D. Candidate 2020, ALBA Communications – has a background in accounting and is a native speaker of Chinese.