NAPABA Press Release: Michelle K. Lee First Woman to Lead U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

March 10, 2015

Contact: Tina Matsuoka
(202) 775-9555

WASHINGTON — Last night, the U.S. Senate confirmed Michelle K. Lee as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Lee is the first woman and person of color to lead the USPTO.

“We congratulate Michelle Lee on her historic confirmation,” said George C. Chen, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “Ms. Lee is breaking barriers not only for the Asian Pacific American community, but for all women and communities of color in the tech and legal industries.”

President Obama nominated Lee for the position in October 2014. Lee has over twenty years of experience in intellectual property and patent law. Prior to her confirmation, Lee served as the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and the acting Director and Deputy Director of the USPTO, and she also headed the USPTO Silicon Valley office. Prior to her public service, she was Google’s first Deputy General Counsel and Head of Patents and Patents Strategy.

Lee holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering and Masters of Science in computer science from MIT. She received her JD from Stanford Law School.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 70 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Public Interest Fellowships for the 2015 ACS National Convention

In order to help public interest lawyers attend the ACS National Convention, ACS will again be making available a limited number of fellowships for attorneys working in the government and public interest sectors.  The 2015 ACS National Convention will take place at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC from June 11-13.  Recipients will receive a combination of registration for the Convention, lodging at the Capital Hilton and/or a stipend for travel.

The ACS National Convention provides unparalleled networking opportunities for progressive lawyers.  There will again be dedicated networking time following each panel discussion and fellowship recipients will be able to meet leaders from their respective practice and geographic areas. In order to strengthen ties between fellowship recipients and ACS, we require that fellowship recipients join ACS and complete at least three of the following in the coming year:

To apply, please click here and complete the simple online application.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and will be accepted until April 15, 2015, or until filled. Please share this information with public interest attorneys who may be interested in this opportunity. 

ACS National Convention
June 11-13, 2015
Capital Hilton
1001 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 

2015 Fellowship Applications Accepted Until: Wednesday, April 15

To apply, please click here

Head of National Bar Exam Group Defends UBE

Head of National Bar Exam Group Defends UBE


We are pleased to share the 2015 Annual Dinner photographs taken by the talented Corky Lee. Thank you to everyone involved – sponsors, organizers, and all those who attended. You are truly what makes our membership so incredible. We hope you’ll be with us year-round as we chart new frontiers.

To read David Lat’s recap of our night to remember, click here.

To view Karen Zhou’s photos, click here.

To see the previous photo slideshow courtesy of Yang Chen, click here.


Jenny R. Yang
Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
AABANY Women’s Leadership Award

An-Ping Hsieh
Vice President, General Counsel, Hubbell Incorporated
AABANY Corporate Counsel Leadership Award

Preet Bharara
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
AABANY Public Service Leadership Award

These photos are also available on our Facebook page, so feel free to tag yourself and others!