Honoree: Andrew Tai
Honored by: Latham & Watkins
Andrew Tai embodies the meaning of volunteerism. Taking time out from a busy law practice in one of the largest law firms in the world to spend several weeks a year in Cambodia to work in an orphanage is one of his greatest pleasures and proudest achievements. For the past two years, Andrew has gone with small teams of 7-10 people to serve at an orphanage in Poipet (near the border of Thailand and Cambodia). The work there mostly consists of two types of tasks. One is at the Happy Home (which houses about 40 orphans, ages 3-18), or at a local school that is run by the Happy Home (sessions have about 200 children from all over Poipet). While there, Andrew and members of his church teach the children academics (English, math) as well as leisure sports and activities such as dodgeball, ultimate Frisbee, and capture the flag. The group also performed manual labor that the Home can’t afford to hire people for; as an example, on the last trip, the team helped dig out several large trees and repaint the playground equipment and walls. Outside of the formal work, Andrew and his group spent time with the children eating together, playing together, and going on field trips to some of Cambodia’s rich historical landmarks.
In addition to the service trip, Andrew is involved in outreach to the homeless population herein Orange County. About every two months he gets together w
ith a group to pack sandwiches, sanitary supplies, and clothes, and brings them to some of the homeless who live near the Federal courthouse in Santa Ana. At Latham & Watkins, Andrew has been involved in a number of pro bono cases including helping a woman get appointed as conservator over her husband who was suffering from dementia, assisting victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders against their abusers, and helping victims of crime obtain U-Visa immigration status. In sum, Latham & Watkins is very honored to honor Andrew Tai’s achievements in volunteerism and we are extremely humbled by the dedication and respect for humanity that motivates him to make Orange County and Cambodia a better place to live.