*Jeff * Lehman (middle front), Stuart Cable (second from right), Matthew Kerfoot (center back), Leifan Wang (second from right), Jeff Zhang (fourth from right) and some CBLA directors
CBLA's opening ceremony was held on the evening of April 9, 2009 at the offices of Goodwin Procter in the New York Times Building. At the event, Professor Bill Allen from New York University School of Law gave the opening remarks, and a panel of leading legal practitioners shared with audience their perspectives on law, business, career and China. The panel consisted of Stuart Cable (Partner, Goodwin Procter), Joyce Xu (Senior Counsel, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett) and Matthew Kerfoot (Senior Vice President, HSBC USA).
The inauguration was significantly oversubscribed with a total of 122 attendees, including 81 U.S.-qualified lawyers. Of those lawyers, 68 registered as members of the CBLA on the spot. These members obtained their law degrees from 20 U.S. law schools, including 14 of the top 15 USNEWS ranked law schools, and are from approximately 40 law firms including 9 of the top Vault-ranked 10 law firms.
At the directors' special invitation, a select group of non-lawyer professionals, from investment and commercial banks, private equity funds, hedge funds, rating agencies, government and academia, also attended the opening ceremony. Certain representatives of law students from the NYC-area law schools attended as well.
A distinguished guest, Jeff Lehman, attended the reception of the CBLA opening ceremony. Mr. Lehman was the dean of Michigan Law School, where he successfully defended the law school's affirmative action admission policies, and then president of Cornell University. Since 2007, Mr. Lehman has served as chancellor and founding dean of the Peking University School of Transnational Law located in Shenzhen. It is China's first American-style law school, where courses are taught in English using the Socratic method with a curriculum designed for a J.D. degree.