NAPABA Applauds the Nomination of Judge Dena M. Coggins

For Immediate Release: 
Date: February 8, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, President Joe Biden nominated Judge Dena M. Coggins to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Dena M. Coggins on her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. With nearly a decade of judicial service, Judge Coggins is well qualified to serve on the bench. We urge the Senate to confirm her quickly,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. 

Judge Dena Michaela Coggins is the Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Court of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, having served in that position since 2023 and as a Superior Court judge since 2021. Judge Coggins was previously an Administrative Law Judge with the State of California’s Office of Administrative Hearings, in the General Jurisdiction Division from 2018 to 2021 and the Special Education Division from 2015 to 2017. Between her positions as an Administrative Law Judge, Judge Coggins served as a supervising attorney and hearing officer at the State of California Victim Compensation Board from 2017 to 2018. From 2013 to 2015, she served as a Deputy Legal Affairs Secretary for the Governor of California. Prior to her state government service, Judge Coggins worked as an associate at Downey Brand L.L.P. from 2012 to 2013 and at Morrison & Foerster L.L.P. from 2007 to 2012. Judge Coggins received her J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2006 and her B.S. from California State University, Sacramento in 2003.

“President Biden has nominated 39 AANHPIs to an Article III court, and 30 judges from our community have been confirmed,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “If President Biden’s nominees are confirmed, AANHPI Article III judges will reflect our representation in the U.S. population at 8%.” 

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Judge Dena M. Coggins and Senators Padilla and Butler for supporting her nomination.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Lisa Wang to the U.S. Court of International Trade


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: February 1, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Lisa Wang to serve on the U.S. Court of International Trade. She is the second from the AANHPI community to serve on this Article III court.

“We congratulate Lisa Wang on her confirmation to serve on the U.S. Court of International Trade,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “She brings deep experience to the bench having worked in private practice and government service, including at the Department of Commerce and in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.”

The U.S. Court of International Trade, an Article III court, has nationwide jurisdiction over civil actions arising from U.S. customs and international trade laws. Appointments to the U.S. Court of International Trade are lifetime appointments.

“Today, President Biden has appointed 30 AANHPI Article III judges that the U.S. Senate has confirmed. We thank President Biden for nominating Ms. Wang and his continued efforts to extend his record-breaking benchmark of AANHPI judges,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA.

Lisa Wang served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance, and she was the U.S. Department of Commerce’s delegate on the Interagency Working Group for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. In that role, Assistant Secretary Wang supported the Administration’s whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AANHPI communities. 

Before her appointment at the Department of Commerce, she was a partner at Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP, where she focused on international trade law matters, including antidumping, countervailing duty litigation, and trade policy issues. Assistant Secretary Wang also served as Senior Attorney with the Office of the Chief Counsel for Trade Enforcement and Compliance at the Department of Commerce, as Assistant General Counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and as Senior Import Administration Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, where she was awarded Commerce’s Bronze Medal Award for Distinguished Performance. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2006 and her B.S. from Cornell University.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge Loren L. AliKhan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: December 5, 2023 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Loren L. AliKhan to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge AliKhan is the first South Asian American woman to serve on this court.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge AliKhan on her confirmation,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “A former Solicitor General for the District and Judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Judge AliKhan will bring a wealth of experience in her service to the residents of Washington, DC on the U.S. District Court.”

“Judge AliKhan is the second Asian American that President Biden has nominated and confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “Today, President Biden has increased his record-breaking benchmark with 29 AANHPI Article III judges that the U.S. Senate has confirmed. We thank President Biden for nominating Judge AliKhan, and Delegate Norton for recommending her.”

Judge AliKhan was the first Asian American judge to sit on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Before her confirmation, she served as the Solicitor General of the District of Columbia, where she directed the District’s appellate litigation and has overseen more than 1,800 appeals before the D.C. Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge AliKhan has the support of NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area. She has been recognized with the Public Sector Trailblazer Award by the South Asian Bar Association of Washington D.C. and previously clerked for the Hon. Thomas L. Ambro on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and Judge Louis H. Pollak on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Judge AliKhan is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Georgetown University Law Center.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Historic Confirmations of Micah W.J. Smith and Shanlyn A.S. Park to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: November 30, 2023 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – On November 29, 2023, the United States Senate confirmed Micah W.J. Smith and, on November 30, 2023, Shanlyn A.S. Park to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. Mr. Smith was confirmed for a vacancy opening on January 30, 2024, and Judge Park was confirmed for opening on October 9, 2024.

“NAPABA congratulates Micah Smith and Judge Shanlyn Park on their confirmations to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “Judge Park becomes the first Native Hawaiian woman to serve as an Article III judge, and upon the swearing-in of Mr. Smith next year, it will be the first time in history where all the Article III judges on a U.S. District Court are AANHPI.”

“President Biden continues to extend his record of judges from the AANHPI community,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “Today, President Biden has appointed 28 AANHPI Article III judges that the U.S. Senate has confirmed. We thank President Biden for nominating Mr. Smith and Judge Park, and Senator Hirono and Senator Schatz for recommending them.”

Micah W. J. Smith, a graduate of Kauai High School, is an Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, and Criminal Civil Rights Coordinator in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Hawaii. He has also been the office’s Chief of Appeals and Legal Strategy since 2022. Previously, Mr. Smith served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 2012 to 2018. Earlier in his career, he was an associate and counsel at O’Melveny & Myers. Mr. Smith served as a law clerk for Justice David H. Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

Judge Shanlyn Park, a graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy, has been a state court judge on the First Circuit Court on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, since 2021. Previously, Judge Park worked from 2017 to 2021 at the Honolulu law firms McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon, L.L.P., and Gallagher Kane Amai & Reyes. From 1997 to 2017, Judge Park served as an assistant federal public defender in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Hawaiʻi. Prior to her service in that office, Judge Park was in private practice at Hisaka Stone & Goto from 1996 to 1997. She served as a law clerk for Judge Francis I. Yamashita, U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of Hawaiʻi from 1995 to 1996. Judge Park received her J.D. from the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law in 1995 and her B.A., cum laude, from Chaminade University of Honolulu in 1991.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

For Immediate Release: November 7, 2023
Contact: Rahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy
WASHINGTON – Today, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Kenly Kiya Kato’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Kato on her confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. An experienced jurist, her service as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on that court since 2014 has been exemplary,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “Active in the AANHPI community, her commitment to public service and access to justice was shaped by the incarceration of her parents during World War II solely because they were of Japanese descent.”

“Judge Kato is the 26th Article III judge from the AANHPI community that was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. President Biden continues to extend his record of judges from the AANHPI community,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA. “We thank President Biden for nominating Judge Kato and the late Senator Feinstein and Senator Padilla for recommending her.”

Prior to Judge Kato’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court, she served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Earlier in her career, she maintained a private practice and was a deputy federal public defender. Judge Kato was a law clerk to the late Judge Robert M. Takasugi of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and Harvard Law School.
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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Justice Myong J. Joun to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts


For Immediate Release:
 
Date: July 13, 2023
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director for Policy 

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Myong J. Joun to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Judge Joun is the first Asian American male in Massachusetts to serve as an Article III judge.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Myong Joun on his confirmation to the U.S. District Court,” said Sandra Leung, President of NAPABA. “An exceptional attorney and judge, Judge Joun is a leader in the community. A U.S. Army and Massachusetts National Guard veteran, he is the second former Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts president to be confirmed to an Article III judgeship.”

Before Judge Joun’s confirmation, Governor Deval Patrick appointed him to the Boston Municipal Court. He worked in private practice, specializing in criminal defense and plaintiff’s civil rights litigation in state and federal courts.

Active in the community, Judge Joun is a former president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts, an affiliate of NAPABA. He has served on the boards of directors for the Harry J. Elam Judicial Conference, the National Lawyers Guild, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar Association, and the Executive Management Board of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Judge Joun received his J.D. from Suffolk Law School and his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), represents the interests of over 60,000 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.

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Jennifer Sung to the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Shalina Kumar to the District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

WASHINGTON – On June 30, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jennifer Sung to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. If confirmed, Ms. Sung would be President Biden’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve on the appellate court and the first AAPI to serve on the Ninth Circuit in Oregon. Judge Kumar would be the first AAPI Article III judge on the federal courts in Michigan.

“NAPABA congratulates Jennifer Sung on her nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Shalina Kumar on her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “It is indeed a historic slate for the AAPI legal community. If confirmed, Judge Kumar would be the first AAPI Article III judge in the state of Michigan. President Biden’s intent to nominate Ms. Sung is critical for our community to increase the visibility of AAPI jurists on the appellate bench. Of the 179 authorized federal appellate court judges, there are only 10 AAPIs who are actively serving.”

Ms. Sung is currently a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board, where she adjudicates disputes involving labor relations for an estimated 3,000 Oregon employers and 250,000 workers in the public and private sector covered by collective bargaining laws. Prior to her appointment to the Board, she was a partner at McKanna Bishop Joffee, LLP in Portland. Earlier in her career, Ms. Sung was an executive board member of the New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.

Judge Kumar currently serves as Chief Judge of the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court in Michigan. She has been on the bench since 2007, has served as presiding judge of the Adult Treatment Court, and was appointed Chief Judge by the Michigan Supreme Court in 2018. Judge Kumar previously practiced at the Weiner & Cox law firm and served on the executive board of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and as a member of the Women’s Bar Association. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and her law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Congratulates Sarala Nagala on Her Historic Nomination to Become a District Court Judge for the District of Connecticut

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Sarala Nagala on her historic nomination to become a district court judge for the District of Connecticut. If confirmed, Ms. Nagala will become the first Asian Pacific American judge to sit as an Article III judge in the District. “NAPABA applauds the Biden Administration for continuing to advance highly experienced and qualified candidates to serve on federal judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “Ms. Nagala has a demonstrated commitment to public service and protecting the rights and safety of her community.”

Ms. Nagala currently serves as the Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut where she is responsible for overseeing prosecutions involving human trafficking, child exploitation, hate crimes, and government program fraud and has served as the District’s Hate Crimes Coordinator. Ms. Nagala is a graduate of Stanford University and University of California Berkeley School of Law. She clerked for the Honorable Judge Susan P. Graber on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Congratulates Regina M. Rodriguez and Zahid N. Quraishi on their Historic Confirmations by the U.S. Senate as United States District Court Judges

WASHINGTON – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Regina M. Rodriguez and Zahid N. Quraishi on their historic confirmations by the U.S. Senate as United States District Court Judges.

Rodriguez will become the first Asian Pacific American (APA) judge to sit on the District Court for the District of Colorado, and the first to serve as an Article III judge within the 10th Circuit.  Quraishi, already a federal magistrate judge, will become the first APA to serve as a district court judge in New Jersey and the first Muslim American Article III judge in the country.

“Regina Rodriguez and Zahid Quraishi represent the promise of justice, equity, and opportunity that is so critical for the success of our federal judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “NAPABA applauds the Senate for the strong bipartisan confirmation of these two highly qualified and experienced nominees.” 

Regina M. Rodriguez has a distinguished reputation as one of Colorado’s most accomplished attorneys with deep experience in both the public and private sectors and a demonstrated commitment to serving the public interest. Rodriguez served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, rising to become Deputy Chief and later Chief of the Civil Division, where she oversaw all civil litigation for the District.  She was the youngest person and the first of Japanese and Mexican descent to hold that role. She received her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law and her B.S. with honors from the University of Iowa. Rodriguez is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado. 

Judge Quraishi has a distinguished legal career with extensive experience as a prosecutor, in the private sector, and serving his country in uniform. In 2019, Judge Quraishi was appointed as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey. His previous government service includes over five years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and as a decorated military prosecutor with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Judge Quraishi is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He received a J.D. from Rutgers Law School in Newark. Quraishi is endorsed by NAPABA’s affiliate, the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey. 

NAPABA thanks President Biden for nominating Rodriguez, Quraishi, and other highly qualified judicial candidates to the federal bench.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 60,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.

NAPABA Applauds the Historic Nomination of Tana Lin to Serve the U.S. District Court for Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release: Date: April 29, 2021

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden nominated Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. If confirmed, Lin will be the first Asian American in the state of Washington to be a sitting Article III judge.

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic nomination to be the first Asian American district court judge on the federal bench in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She has a demonstrated commitment to her community, including as an active member of our NAPABA affiliate, the Asian Bar Association of Washington. We applaud President Biden for continuing to nominate judicial candidates who will better reflect the diversity of the communities and nation they are being called to serve.”

Ms. Lin has a strong record of public service beginning her career with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, handling cases at both the trial and appellate stages. She then joined the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she enforced federal anti-discrimination laws as a trial attorney with the Employment Litigation Section. She continued her public service at the Chicago office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she investigated and litigated employment discrimination cases, enforcing civil rights statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Between 2001-2004, she was the litigation coordinator for the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Ms. Lin is currently of Counsel at Keller Rohback LLP where she handles a variety of complex litigation matters. Her pro bono work there includes securing a nationwide preliminary injunction against the suspension of follow-to-join refugee admissions which was part of the Muslim travel ban. With 30 years of legal experience, she has been named to the Super Lawyers List for Washington from 2012, and 2014-2020.

Ms. Lin immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was 3-years old, and worked her way through high school and also while attending Cornell University and the New York University School of Law.

NAPABA urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Tana Lin for District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington.

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The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in the largest Asian Pacific American membership organization representing the interests of approximately 50,000 legal professionals and nearly 90 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. NAPABA is a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American 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 color in the legal profession.