NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Judge Meredith A. Vacca to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

For Immediate Release:
Date: May 8, 2024 

Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Meredith A. Vacca to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. If confirmed, Judge Vacca would be the first Asian American and woman of color to serve in the Western District, which includes Buffalo, Rochester, and Elmira.

“NAPABA applauds President Biden’s historic nomination of Judge Meredith A. Vacca,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “Active in the AANHPI community, Judge Vacca, a NAPABA member, is a board member of the Asian American Judges Association of New York. If confirmed, she will serve in a District, particularly the city of Buffalo, with rapid Asian American growth where the population change surpassed New York City this past decade.”

Judge Vacca has been a judge on the Monroe County Court since 2021 and an Acting Justice on the New York State Supreme Court since 2023. Judge Vacca previously served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office in Rochester, New York from 2007 to 2020. From 2005 to 2007, she worked as an associate at Hamberger & Weiss LLP. Judge Vacca received her J.D. from the University of Buffalo School of Law in 2005 and her B.A. from Colgate University in 2002.

“President Biden has nominated 40 AANHPIs to Article III courts, and 34 have been confirmed—more than any President in history,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “As we celebrate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month, we thank President Biden for nominating and Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Gillibrand for supporting Judge Vacca’s historic nomination.”


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 80,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local APA bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities. Through its national network, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development of people of all backgrounds in the legal profession.

2024 NAPABA Awards

Deadline to Submit Nominations | Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Join NAPABA in honoring outstanding attorneys and organizations that have made an impact in the legal profession within Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific (AANHPI) communities by submitting a nomination for the 2024 NAPABA Awards!

Join us November 7-10 in Seattle as we celebrate them and all of our membership at the 2024 NAPABA Convention

Here are just a few of the awards we’re seeking nominations for. Visit our Awards page to see all of the awards, requirements, and information for application.

The NAPABA Military and Veteran Service Award recognizes individuals within the AANHPI legal community serving the U.S. Armed Forces as uniformed personnel, civilians or veterans and is meant to acknowledge AANHPI attorneys who exhibit the highest integrity, competency, and commitment to serving others, the AANHPI community, and their country and whose character and commitment reflect the highest standards of the Armed Forces. Last year’s recipient, Lieutenant Colonel Brian Song, has exhibited those qualities in his military and legal service. Learn more about Brian

The NAPABA Pro Bono Service Award recognizes an attorney or a team of attorneys for outstanding achievements in pro bono service that involved impact litigation to advance or protect civil rights or provided direct legal services to individuals in the furtherance of the administration of justice.

Last year’s honoree, Jennifer Wu, has shown her commitment to service in her client-centered approach and community leadership. Learn more about Jennifer.

The NAPABA Women’s Leadership Award recognizes the accomplishments of women lawyers and is presented to an individual who has achieved excellence in her field or who has demonstrated leadership and advancement of women or women’s issues.

Last year’s honoree, Jenny Ma, is an experienced litigator leading reproductive rights cases in state and federal courts. Learn more about Jenny.

The NAPABA Public Sector Leadership Award seeks to honor a NAPABA member in the public sector (government, non-profit, legal aid – federal or state) for their outstanding achievements in their legal profession.

Last year’s honoree, Jonathan Cruz, is the Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice. Learn more about Jonathan.

The NAPABA In House Counsel Diversity Leadership Award honors an in-house NAPABA member who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment towards supporting NAPABA partners and diversity in the legal profession.Last year’s honorees, Ivan Fong and Simone Wu, exemplify leadership. Learn more about both of them.

The NAPABA In-House Counsel Rising Star Diversity Leadership Award honors an in-house NAPABA member with 10 or less years of in-house experience who has demonstrated leadership and commitment towards supporting NAPABA partners and diversity in the legal profession.

Please note: To be considered in the selection process nominees must be a NAPABA member. A NAPABA membership helps legal professionals raise their professional profile by providing members with exclusive opportunities and national recognition through awards. Not a member? Learn more on how to become a member today!