Federal Judicial Clerkship Available 

ANNOUNCEMENT  

The Honorable Dora L. Irizarry, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, is currently accepting applications for one (1) clerkship position, starting in July  2022.  

Qualifications:  

At least two years of practice as an attorney prior to start date of clerkship.

Excellent grades. 

Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills, although participation in Law Review or a Journal is not a prerequisite. 

Military and/or other life/career experience is a plus. 

Excellent organizational, administrative, and time management skills. 

Must be vaccinated fully against COVID-19 (including a booster shot). 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the delay in delivery and processing of U.S. mail, interested applicants must forward their application package in PDF format via email  to irizarry_chambers@nyed.uscourts.gov.  

Application package must include:  

One-page cover letter describing your background, career goals, and setting forth why you are interested in a clerkship with Judge Irizarry specifically.

Resume. 

Official law school transcript. 

One writing sample of recent vintage, no longer than 15 pages. Journal or research articles will NOT be accepted. 

Three letters of recommendation, including at least one from a recent employer. The deadline for receipt of materials is February 4, 2022.

NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON- On Dec. 13, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Lucy H. Koh to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Koh is the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Koh on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first Korean American female federal appellate judge in the United States,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a devoted public servant, a trailblazer, a mentor to young lawyers, and a dear friend. She has and continues to make us so proud.

“Thank you, Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Koh. Thank you, President Biden for nominating her. And thank you Leader Schumer for announcing, during our annual NAPABA Convention, that Judge Koh would receive a floor vote.”

In 2010, Judge Koh made history, becoming the first Korean American federal district court judge when she was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to the federal bench, Judge Koh has served on the Superior Court of California, in the U.S. Department of Justice, as special counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an assistant U.S. attorney. Her nomination had strong bi-partisan support, including from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

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 APA 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 Celebrates the Confirmation of Judge Jinsook Ohta to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and Judge Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

WASHINGTON – Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA, issued the following statement in response to the confirmations of Judge Jinsook Ohta to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and Judge Shalina D. Kumar to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan:

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Ohta on her confirmation to become the first Asian American woman to serve as an Article III judge in the Southern District of California. She has a career in public service, serving as a judge on the California Superior Court and as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General in California. Judge Ohta has strong ties to the AAPI community as an active member of NAPABA and the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. We thank Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending Judge Ohta.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Kumar on her historic confirmation to the Eastern District of Michigan. She is the first Asian American to serve as an Article III judge on the federal courts in Michigan. Judge Kumar has extensive experience on the bench, serving as Chief Judge of the Oakland County Sixth Circuit Court in Michigan covering both civil and criminal matters. We thank Senators Stabenow and Peters for recommending Judge Kumar.

“December 2021 has been a historic month with a record four AAPI women judges confirmed by the Senate. We applaud Leader Schumer for his leadership and the Senate for swiftly confirming these nominees, and we thank President Biden for his commitment to diversifying the judiciary.”

Judge Ohta served as a Superior Court Judge for the Superior Court in San Diego County. Previously, she worked in the Consumer Protection Section of the California Attorney General’s Office as Supervising Deputy Attorney General. Judge Ohta clerked for the Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California and is a graduate of Yale University and New York University School of Law.

Judge Kumar has been on the bench since 2007, and over the years, has served as a presiding judge of the Adult Treatment Court, the Chairperson of the Oakland County Criminal Assignment Committee, the bench liaison to the Oakland County Bar Association Circuit Court Committee, a member of the Michigan State Bar Professionalism Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Michigan Judges’ Association. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law.

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 APA 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 Nomination of Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

WASHINGTON –Today, President Biden nominated Judge Kenly Kiya Kato to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Kato on her nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. She is an experienced jurist and has served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge on that court since 2014,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Kato’s life experience, as a daughter whose parents and family were incarcerated during World War II solely because they were of Japanese descent, has shaped her interest in constitutional protections and her work to ensure access to justice. Active in the AAPI community in Riverside, CA, she is a member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire.

“We thank President Biden for nominating Judge Kato, and Senators Feinstein and Padilla for recommending her. With only 30 out of the 673 district court judges being AAPI, we urge the Senate to quickly confirm Judge Kato.”

Judge Kato serves as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she maintained a private practice and has served as 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.

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 APA 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 Celebrates the Confirmation of Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Jennifer Sung to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Sung is the first AAPI to serve on the Ninth Circuit in Oregon—a state where Asians are the fastest-growing group and now make up six percent of the state’s population.

“NAPABA congratulates Jennifer Sung on her historic confirmation to the Ninth Circuit to become the first AAPI to serve in Oregon,” said Sid Kanazawa, president of NAPABA. “Judge Sung has a long career serving as an advocate for AAPIs and workers across the nation. We are thankful to Leader Schumer for bringing her nomination for a floor vote, Senators Wyden and Merkley for recommending Judge Sung, and President Biden for nominating her.

“Today there are twelve AAPI federal appellate court judges out of 179 and there has never been a AAPI on the U.S. Supreme Court. The confirmation of Judge Sung highlights an important and urgent need for greater representation of our community on the courts.”

Judge Sung is a member of the Oregon Employment Relations Board and was previously an executive board member of the New York chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She was a partner at McKanna Bishop Joffe, LLP in Portland. Judge Sung is a graduate of Oberlin College and Yale Law School.

Judge Sung’s confirmation follows the confirmation of Judge Lucy H. Koh to the Ninth Circuit on Monday.

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 APA 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 Judicial Nominations of John H. Chun, Dale E. Ho, Jinsook Ohta, and Loren L. AliKhan

WASHINGTON – On September 30, 2021, the White House announced its eighth slate of judicial nominees to serve on the Federal and Washington, D.C. benches, with four Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) candidates including several with strong ties to the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). President Biden has nominated: Judge John H. Chun to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington; Dale E. Ho to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Judge Jinsook Ohta to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; and Loren L. AliKhan to serve on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

“NAPABA offers its congratulations to Judge Chun, Dale Ho, Judge Ohta, and Loren AliKhan on their nominations,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “We applaud President Biden for putting forth a strong and historic slate of highly qualified AAPI candidates and for continuing to broaden the diversity of backgrounds and professional experiences to the bench. We urge the Senate to swiftly confirm them.”

Judge John H. Chun
Judge John H. Chun currently sits as a Judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington, after previously serving as a judge on the King County Superior Court from 2014-2018. If confirmed, Judge Chun would be the first AAPI man to preside in the Western District of Washington. He has been recognized as a top Washington “Super Lawyer.” Judge Chun previously served as the President of the Korean American Bar Association of Washington and is also a member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and NAPABA. He previously clerked for the Hon. Eugene A. Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Chun is a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell Law School.

Dale E. Ho
Dale E. Ho currently serves as director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project and supervises the ACLU’s voting rights litigation across the country. Notably, Ho has argued two crucial cases before the Supreme Court challenging the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census and the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the population count to determine apportionment for the House of Representatives. If confirmed, Ho would be the only active AAPI judge in the district. In 2019, Ho was the recipient of the NAPABA President’s Award and in 2017, was named one of the best Asian American Lawyers Under 40 by NAPABA. He is endorsed by the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Ho previously clerked for the Hon. Barbara Jones on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Robert S. Smith of the New York Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

Judge Jinsook Ohta
Judge Jinsook Ohta currently sits as a judge on the California Superior Court in San Diego. Previously Judge Ohta served as a Supervising Deputy Attorney General with the California Attorney General’s Office. If confirmed, she would be the first AAPI female judge to preside in the Southern District of California. Judge Ohta is a member of NAPABA and the Korean American Bar Association of San Diego. Judge Ohta previously clerked for the Hon. Barry Ted Moskowitz on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. She is a graduate of Yale University and the New York University School of Law.

Loren L. AliKhan
Loren L. AliKhan currently serves as the Solicitor General of the District of Columbia where she directs 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. If confirmed, AliKhan would be the first AAPI judge to sit on the D.C. Court of Appeals. She is endorsed by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Region. Alikhan 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 the Hon. Louis Pollack on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. AliKhan is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and the Georgetown University Law Center.

NAPABA thanks Senators Schumer and Gillibrand of New York, Senators Feinstein and Padilla of California, Senators Murray and Cantwell of Washington, and Delegate Norton of Washington D.C. for their support of these nominees.

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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 APA 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 Congratulates Judge Florence Pan on her Confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Judge Florence Pan on her historic and overwhelmingly bipartisan (68-30) confirmation to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Pan will become the first Asian Pacific American (APA) woman to serve as an Article III judge in the District of Columbia.

In 2009, Judge Pan was nominated by President Obama to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and was confirmed by unanimous consent by the Senate. She was the first judicial nominee to be confirmed under the Obama Administration, and became the first APA judge to be appointed to any court in the District of Columbia. Judge Pan has over a decade of judicial experience serving in the Criminal, Family Court, and Civil Divisions, and has presided over more than 650 trials. She also has sat by designation on the D.C. Court of Appeals twice.

“Judge Florence Pan, who has ably served our nation’s capital for over a decade on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, is now the first Asian American woman to serve on the U.S. District Court,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “NAPABA applauds the Senate’s historic bipartisan vote confirming this eminently qualified jurist.” Previously, Judge Pan served for 10 years as an Assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, including two years as the deputy chief of the appellate division. She also held positions in the Department of the Treasury and at Main Justice, notably in the Office of the Solicitor General. Judge Pan taught at Georgetown University Law Center and American University, Washington College of Law, and is active in her community having served as the Secretary of NAPABA’s Judicial Council.

Judge Pan is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Ralph K. Winter, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Michael B. Mukasey of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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 APA 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.

Volunteer to be a Judge with Empire Mock Trial on September 24-27 or October 29-November 1

Empire Mock Trial is a nonprofit that brings together extraordinary high school students. It started as a response to COVID-19 and has grown into a robust online mock trial competition program, accessible to any school with an internet connection. This fall, Empire Mock Trial is bringing together 750 high school students for both online and in-person programs. These remarkable young people need the support of the legal community. 

Volunteer to serve as judges or jurors on September 24-27 or October 29-November 1 in the cloud (attorneys can judge one trial or multiple). Over the past year, they’ve worked hard to develop programs for their students that are fun, safe, and educational. 

Attorneys can learn more about the competitions and sign-up to judge here

The format of each trial depends on which competition an attorney signs-up to judge. Here is a description of each:

  • Empire Orbit on September 24-27 – students compete from separate devices (i.e. you’ll see 12-14 students separately connect to your virtual courtroom); 
  • Empire Galaxy on October 29-November 1 – one mock trial team assembles in one room to compete against another team (i.e. you’ll see only 2 teams separately connect to your virtual courtroom);
  • Note: Empire Mock Trial has previously hosted in-person competitions in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Attorneys can earn up to 3 CLE credits for judging. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to Empire Mock Trial’s Executive Director, Justin Matarrese via phone: 646.481.2332 or email: Judge@empiremocktrial.org.

NAPABA Applauds Nomination of Lucy H. Koh to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

On September 8, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Lucy H. Koh of California to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

If confirmed, Judge Koh would be the first female Korean American federal circuit court judge in the nation’s history.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Lucy H. Koh on her historic nomination to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” said A.B. Cruz III, President of NAPABA. “Judge Koh is a proven entity with over a decade of state and federal judicial service, with strong bona fides in technology, intellectual property, business litigation, and criminal law.”

In 2010, Judge Koh was unanimously confirmed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by a 90-0 vote after her nomination received wide bipartisan support. Prior to her tenure on the federal bench, Judge Koh served on the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, having been appointed in 2008 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Judge Koh has held various positions in the U.S. Department of Justice, notably as a special assistant to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, as Special Counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Judge Koh has been a partner at the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery in Silicon Valley and before that, worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Judge Koh is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

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 APA 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 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.