September 2021 Cover Story - The OCBA’s 2022 Secretarial Candidates: Mei Tsang and Shirin Forootan

In the OCBA’s annual election, two outstanding and contributing members of the Orange County legal community are nominated for Secretary of the OCBA to serve the term beginning January 1, 2022. Yearly, the Secretary elevates to Treasurer, President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past-President. The person you elect will influence the development and direction of the OCBA for years to come.

If you are an active attorney member of the OCBA, please vote. The online election will open for voting on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, and will close at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at www.ocbar.org/vote.

In their own words, here are the statements from your two candidates for OCBA Secretary: Mei Tsang and Shirin Forootan.

Mei Tsang
Mei Tsang is an intellectual property partner at Umberg Zipser LLP. Mei has served two terms as an elected OCBA Board member. She has held numerous leadership positions within the OCBA over the past fifteen years. Among other things, she was the chair for the IP & Technology Section, a Board member of the OCBA Charitable Fund for the past eight years, including co-chairing the Raise Your Glass event, and currently is the co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. She has contributed articles to Orange County Lawyer magazine and produced numerous webinars. She is also a member of the Racial Justice Task Force, the COVID Task Force, the Intergenerational Task Force, the Mentoring Committee, the Editorial Advisory Committee, the Lawyer Well Being Committee, and Mommy Esq.

Mei is known for her positive, can-do attitude. She never turns down an opportunity to help and serve. In addition to her service with the OCBA, Mei currently is serving as President-Elect and Chair of Fund Development for Community Legal Aid of SoCal. Mei is also a proud member of Orange County Women Lawyers Association, Orange County Asian Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association, Thurgood Marshall Bar Association, OCKABA, Lavender Bar, ABTL, and a volunteer for the Constitutional Rights Foundation of OC.

Our profession is facing very challenging times. All the traditional rules seem to be up in the air, ranging from how we work, who we are (in the face of State Bar changes), to our generational differences, and even how we connect with each other. The OCBA has been tackling these challenges head on. Mei is proud to be part of those efforts and looks forward to continuing to contribute to them.

As a Chinese immigrant who came to this country at a young age, Mei had to learn how to adapt and evolve. Mei is prepared to lead the OCBA to adapt and evolve as well.

Mei thanks you for your support and wants to hear from you as to how the OCBA can better serve you. Please visit www.meitsang4ocba.com for more information and a partial list of endorsements.

Shirin Forootan
Shirin Forootan has the leadership experience, diplomacy, and work ethic that would make an excellent leader for our bar association. She has practiced law for over a decade. She has worked at both large and small firms, practiced defense and plaintiff’s-side litigation, and has served in advice and counsel roles.

Shirin has served on the OCBA Board of Directors for the past five years. In 2020, she served as Chair of the Labor & Employment Section. Shirin currently serves as Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee and is also actively involved in the Legislative Resolutions Committee and Administration of Justice Committee. In past years, Shirin has chaired the Community Outreach Committee, the Lawyer Well-Being Task Force (now Committee), and Mommy Esquire Committee.

Shirin’s varied law firm experiences and her vast volunteer leadership roles allow her to be uniquely suited to respond to the needs of our diverse bar members.

As OCBA Secretary, Shirin’s vision includes creating a standing “Bench-Bar” committee where issues affecting our cases and clients can be directly discussed and resolved with our local courts. Shirin is dedicated to thinking out of the box to find and implement solutions to help us all. Shirin also seeks to create a “Know Your Rights” committee where our bar educates community members about legal fundamentals on various legal topics. Shirin believes that furthering justice starts with knowing your rights. Lastly, Shirin looks forward to working closely with the racial justice task force to further their mission.

Shirin became a lawyer to help other people. As Secretary, she would work tirelessly to carry out the mission of our bar: “To Enhance the System of Justice, To Support the Lawyers Who Serve It, and To Assist the Community Served By It.”

Shirin is a partner and employment litigator at Workplace Justice Advocates, PLC, in Irvine. She graduated from UCSD, then UCLA School of Law. She lives in Newport Beach with her husband and third-grade son.

Please vote for Shirin for 2022 OCBA Secretary so she can continue her long-standing commitment to serving our bar. To learn more about her, please visit: www.shirin4ocba.com.