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A Conversation with ACED Co-Chair Shu-Ping Shen

Trusts & Estates senior counsel Shu-Ping Shen looks ahead to his newly appointed role as co-chair of the firm’s affinity group, Attorneys of Color and Ethnic Diversity (ACED). Shu-Ping discusses how his role enhances his practice, the ways affinity groups can provide a space to empower and support attorneys of color, and his objectives for ACED this year.

Tell us about your practice and the types of matters you primarily work on.

I focus my practice on domestic and international trusts and estate planning, emphasizing tax efficient planning for high-net-worth individuals and families. As part of this planning, I prepare wills and trusts, manage estate and trust administration, and advise on various aspects of wealth planning. I even officiated a virtual wedding for a client once!

How do your responsibilities as an ACED co-chair connect back to your practice?

My responsibilities as an ACED co-chair are deeply connected to my practice. ACED focuses on embracing diversity in thought and attitude, which aligns with the diverse perspectives I encounter in my work with clients. Being part of ACED means belonging to a community, within the larger Loeb community, that shares common experiences and social viewpoints. This connection enriches my understanding of diverse perspectives, which I can apply in my day-to-day work with clients.

What does being a part of the ACED affinity group at Loeb mean to you?

Being active in the Loeb ACED affinity group allows me to find another community within the firm that shares common experiences. The group offers the Loeb community valuable opportunities for community building and networking, especially for lawyers of color. As a result, I have had a chance to meet a diverse group of lawyers from across the firm. This not only enhances the professional and social benefits of the group but also continually exposes me to new perspectives.

I think ACED is also incredibly useful for professional development. As an attorney of color, I think it’s empowering and important to see successful leaders who look like you and who share similar experiences. ACED fosters a space where anyone can ask questions about career development, learn from the professional journeys of peers, get advice or simply build new connections.

In addition to my leadership role in ACED, I am involved in other associations, such as the Trusts and Estates Committees of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, which further enrich my development and offer valuable perspectives that I can learn from and bring back to Loeb.

As a new co-chair, what are your goals and objectives for the New York ACED affinity group?

As co-chair, my vision is to foster a robust membership for the New York ACED affinity group, with active engagement from a diverse group of our lawyers. Many of our members, including myself, joined Loeb during the pandemic and they are still adjusting to being back in the office. Community building and creating opportunities for professional and social engagements are my top priorities. I aim to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and heard, regardless of their background or perspective.

Are there any ACED initiatives you’re looking forward to this year?

I am excited simply to be rebooting the New York ACED affinity group post-pandemic! Meeting in person again will strengthen our sense of community and appreciation for the diversity of ideas. Social events, such as group happy hours, are just the beginning. We have exciting plans to host speakers, networking opportunities and social events in the year ahead. Above all, I look forward to continuing to foster a supportive, inclusive community at Loeb.