NAPABA Congratulates Josh Hsu on Appointment as Counsel to the Vice President

For Immediate Release: December 30, 2020

Contact: Priya Purandare, Executive Director

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Josh Hsu on his appointment as Counsel to the Vice President. Hsu is the first Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) to serve in the lead legal role for the Vice President of the United States. 

“Josh Hsu has been a rising star and major contributor within the NAPABA community for many years.  In 2015, he was recognized as one of NAPABA’s Best Lawyers Under 40. We are delighted that the Biden-Harris administration has appointed him to a senior leadership position as Counsel to the Vice President,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “Vice President-elect Harris had one of the most diverse staffs in the Senate and her recent executive office appointments demonstrate her continued commitment to creating a government that better reflects the American citizenry. We celebrate Josh in his new role and trust that the Biden-Harris administration will continue to recognize the value of AAPI attorneys by rightfully placing them in leadership roles.”

Prior to his appointment, Hsu served as National Policy Director for Vice President-elect Harris’ presidential campaign and was formerly Deputy Chief of Staff and General Counsel for her Senate office. He has served as Chief Counsel for Nominations in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee under Ranking Member Patrick Leahy and as an attorney in the national legal department at the American Civil Liberties Union. Hsu clerked for the Honorable Denny Chin on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Georgetown University.

NAPABA advocated for a senior level appointment for Josh Hsu. We thank President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris for appointing him to the position.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) represents 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 in government and the judiciary on the local, state, and federal levels, 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.

Second Circuit Pro Bono Panel Announcement

The Criminal Justice Act/Pro Bono Committee is accepting applications for the Second Circuit’s Pro Bono Panel. The deadline to be considered for appointment in 2020 is April 30, 2020.

Pro Bono Panel members will, at the Court’s invitation or on a litigant’s motion for appointment of counsel, represent pro se litigants in civil appeals that present issues of first impression, complex issues of law or fact, or potentially meritorious claims warranting further briefing and oral argument. Pro bono representation will be provided to litigants who would otherwise be unable to pay for counsel and are ineligible for the appointment of counsel pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act.

Cases in which pro bono counsel will be appointed cover a broad range of legal issues, including prisoner civil rights, labor and employment, discrimination, social security, immigration, and tax law.

Applicants must be admitted to and members in good standing of the Bar of the Second Circuit or have an admission application pending before this Court, and have at least three years of appellate litigation experience. Pro Bono Panel members will serve for a three-year term.

Pro Bono Panel members who were appointed by the Court in 2017 for a three-year term must submit a new application if they wish to remain on the Panel.

An application package must contain a resume, a written application (available on the Court’s website at and three writing samples, preferably appellate briefs on which the applicant was the primary author. These materials must be submitted to David Bober, Director of Legal Affairs, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007, by April 30, 2020.

The Plan for the Appointment of Pro Bono Counsel and the application form are available click here.  


CONTACT: Karen Van Outryve 212-417-8741


The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is seeking applicants for the SDNY Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel.  Applications are available on the court’s website at Completed applications must be addressed to David Patton, Executive Director of the Federal Defenders of New York, and submitted electronically by May 31, 2014 to [email protected]; no paper applications will be accepted.

The CJA Panel is comprised of private attorneys who are authorized to serve as appointed defense counsel pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. To qualify for a position on the CJA Panel, attorneys must be members in good standing of the Southern District and have proven experience and competency in the field of federal criminal defense work. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of attorneys that will forward its recommendations to the Southern District Board of Judges’ Defender Services Committee. The Court is committed to increasing the diversity of the applicant pool and encourages qualified female and minority lawyers to apply for positions.

Candidates can apply to be a member of either the Foley Square or the White Plains CJA Panels, or to both panels. CJA Panel attorneys commit to being “on duty” one day every four to six months if a member of the Foley Square panel and approximately one day every month if on the White Plains panel. On that “duty day,” CJA attorneys represent clients when the Federal Defender has a conflict; the hours of duty are from 9:00 a.m. until the closing of the Magistrate Judges Office, which is sometimes after 5:00 p.m. CJA Panel members serve a three-year term and are reimbursed at the rate of $126/hour for in-court and out-of-court time.

“Our justice system owes a great debt to the efforts of CJA attorneys,” said United States District Judge Cathy Seibel, who leads the Southern District’s Defender Services Committee. “They are instrumental to fulfilling the Constitutional mandate that every defendant has a right to

Southern District Chief Judge Loretta A. Preska said, “The Southern District’s CJA Panel is the best in the nation, and we are fortunate that so many capable attorneys take part in this program.”

Attorneys can also apply for membership on panels that represent defendants in capital cases and in non-trial work, primarily habeas corpus proceedings. In addition, the Southern District also sponsors a mentoring program that helps identify and prepare experienced state court
practitioners for appointment to the Panel. While the mentorship program is aimed at increasing the diversity of the Panel, the program is open to all.

Contact Peter Quijano at 212-686-0666 or Anthony Ricco at 212-791-3919 for more information on the mentorship program.

Thomas Tang Moot Court Judges Needed for NAPABA Convention

We need your help to serve as judges for the Thomas Tang Moot Court Competition on Friday, November 8, 2013, during the NAPABA Convention in Kansas City, MO.  The rounds will take place from 9:15 to 10:15 and 10:30 to 11:30 at the Convention Hotel, Kansas City Marriott Downtown.  

Please sign up to judge either one or both of the preliminary rounds via Wejoinin.   (  

This year’s problem addresses the following issues:

I.  Whether § 66.04 of the Apalsa Revised Statutes (“ARS”) precluding a public defender from withdrawing on the basis of excessive workload or lack of resource violates the right to effective assistance of counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

 A.  Whether ARS § 66.04 is facially unconstitutional.     

 B.  Whether ARS § 66.04 is unconstitutional as applied in this case.

 II.  Whether the sanctions imposed on Appellant by the Professional Ethics Board of the State Bar of Apalsa violated her rights under the Constitution of the United States.

A.  Whether the sanctions imposed for refusing to comply with a court order to represent a criminal defendant violate the Fifth Amendment right to due process.

B.  Whether the sanctions imposed for Appellant’s public statement regarding her refusal to comply with a court order to represent a criminal defendant violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression.

NAPABA IHC Mentoring Program

The NAPABA In-House Counsel Committee’s mentoring program is accepting applications for in-house counsel (including attorneys working for the public sector, academic institutions, and non-profits) to participate as a mentee and/or mentor. The program seeks to foster relationships between NAPABA members who are experienced in-house counsel and NAPABA members who are either (i) new to the in-house position and in need of guidance, including advice on professional development, career goals and transitioning into the in-house position, or (ii) experienced in-house practitioners in need of guidance on how to move forward or position themselves to take advantage of future opportunities. Applications are due to Lusanna Ro at [email protected] and David Kahng at [email protected] by February 15, 2013.

Please encourage your IHC members to participate. More information about the program can be found here:

NYSBA: Empire State Counsel Program

Passing along some important information from NYSBA:

New York State Bar Association

Office of the Presidentimage

Dear Jean:

I write in my capacity as the President of the New York State Bar Association to tell you about the Empire State Counsel® Program and cordially invite you to join the ranks of this elite group.  The Empire State Counsel® Program is a purely voluntary initiative which seeks to recognize those who perform significant pro bono service. 

The Empire State Counsel® designation is reserved exclusively for NYSBA members who, during the calendar year, performed 50 hours or more of free legal assistance either through direct legal representation of a low-income individual; or by donating free legal services to an organization whose services are designed primarily to address the legal and other basic needs of persons of limited financial means; or by providing free legal services to an organization dedicated to increasing the availability of legal services to vulnerable and/or low-income populations.   The program is open to NYSBA members even if they are employed in another state or overseas. If you are not currently a member of the Association, but otherwise meet the criteria, we hope that you will consider becoming a member. If you join the Association by February 28th, you will receive a free membership to the section of your choice and a free NYSBA tote bag. Click here to access the Membership Application.

To date, more than 6,897 NYSBA members, located in virtually every state in the United States, as well as in Europe, Indonesia, Africa, Canada and India, have achieved this distinction.  Since the program was launched by then President Mark Alcott approximately six years ago, Empire State Counsel® members, collectively, have donated 1,001,924 hours of free legal services to individuals and families. Our members’ pro bono contributions have provided critical legal assistance in the areas of mortgage foreclosure, landlord-tenant issues, bankruptcy, immigration, asylum, domestic violence, child custody, and vital government benefits. 

In recognition of the significant contributions our members make to pro bono through their law firms, the Association plans to award a plaque to the law firms enrolling the largest number of Empire State Counsel® for service during 2012.  An award will also be presented to two individual attorneys whose pro bono contribution made a significant difference during 2012.

Individual honorees will receive a certificate suitable for framing and the signature Empire State Counsel® lapel pin.  Honorees may use this honorific designation as a credential on their resume and the names of the individual honorees will be published in a variety of Association publications.  Empire State Counsel® honorees will be recognized during the Association’s Annual Meeting at the complimentary Justice for All Luncheon which will be held on Thursday, January 24th at the Hilton New York, from 12:30 to 2:00pm.

Kindly share this letter with the attorneys at your firm who are actively involved in pro bono. Hopefully they will find the program worthwhile and wish to register.  Enrollment is open now through the end of February 2013.  The 2012 Verification Form is a fillable PDF form that is available online at  and may be submitted directly to the Department of Pro Bono Affairs for processing.  Alternatively, if it is more convenient, the firm’s pro bono coordinator may submit a list of attorney names and their respective pro bono hours, together with a single completed verification form attesting to the accuracy of the list.  The Department of Pro Bono Affairs will be responsible for determining the membership status of each attorney and will relay that information back to the firm pro bono coordinator.  Any questions about the program may be directed to Gloria Herron Arthur, Director, Department of Pro Bono Affairs, at [email protected]  or by telephone at (518) 487-5641.  
Thank you for your consideration of this program.


Seymour W. James, Jr., President