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.

In the News: Judge James Cho and President Terry Shen in NYLJ

AABANY President Terry Shen was quoted in a New York Law Journal article published on April 6, 2021 titled “Former Federal Prosecutor Named US Magistrate Judge in Brooklyn.” The article highlights AABANY Past President James Cho, who was sworn in on Monday, April 5 as the Eastern District of New York’s newest magistrate judge and the district’s first Korean American judge. 

In the article, Terry Shen was quoted praising the appointment as “another important step” toward more diversity on the bench. Speaking more about Judge Cho, Terry said: “In his time as president of AABANY, Judge Cho displayed a combination of insightful leadership, work ethic, and commitment to public service that will undoubtedly equip him to be an exceptional federal judge. We congratulate Mr. Cho on this outstanding achievement.” 

To read the full article on, please click here (subscription may be required).

2016 Council of Korean Americans National Summit & Gala

2016 Council of Korean Americans National Summit & Gala

KALAGNY Congratulates the Honorable Kathryn Paek

AABANY joins the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York in congratulating the Honorable Kathryn Paek on her historic appointment.

Here’s the announcement from KALAGNY:

The Honorable Kathryn Paek was appointed as a Judge of the New York City Criminal Court. She is the first Korean American woman judge in the New York State courts.

Judge Paek is a graduate of Northwestern University School of Law and appointed to the bench this year by the New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio.  Prior to her appointment, she was the Chief of Staff for the Office of Policy and Planning for the New York State Court System.  She was also a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society  in the Criminal Defense Division and the Immigration Unit.

Congratulations, Judge Paek!


May 27, 2014

WASHINGTON — The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) acknowledges the suffering of WWII Comfort Women and other victims of human trafficking and opposes human trafficking in all of its forms.

In 2007, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 121, which recognized that the Government of Japan, in the 1930’s through the end of World War II, forced women to provide sex to soldiers in its Imperial Armed Forces. The U.S. Department of State in its 2003 Japan Report referenced thousands of these victims of sexual slavery, commonly referred to as “Comfort Women,” who were kidnapped or coerced from countries including China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and the Philippines.

Memorials in honor of Comfort Women have been erected in the U.S. and throughout the world. One such Comfort Women memorial was erected in July 2013 in Glendale, California, and a lawsuit, Gingery et al. v. City of Glendale, was filed earlier this year to force its removal, which caused controversy and spurred dialogue, particularly about differing Japanese and Korean viewpoints of the wartime and post-war treatment of Comfort Women.

“NAPABA members and affiliates across the country—including members of Korean American and Japanese American bar associations—have long worked together in multiethnic coalitions to support civil rights and justice for all of our communities,” said Bill Simonitsch, president of NAPABA. “I am heartened to see that the Asian Pacific American legal community refused to allow historical disagreements and the controversy over the Glendale memorial to divide us.”

NAPABA strongly condemns human trafficking, past and present, and supports fact-based measures to educate the public about Comfort Women and other victims of human trafficking.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and 68 state and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, 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.

From our friends at KALAGNY: Pro Bono Clinics

KALAGNY’s Pro Bono Clinics

Volunteer Today, Help Us Help Our Community

KALAGNY is pleased to announce the start of our monthly pro bono clinic in New York City. This is in addition to our ongoing monthly pro bono clinic in Flushing. Please spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors in need of legal counsel.

Clinic details are as follows:

New York City – 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 20137 -9 p.m.
@ Korean American Association of Greater New York (“KAAGNY”)
149 West 24th Street, 6th Floor, NYC (between 6th and 7th Avenues) (map)

Wednesday, November 6, 20137-9 p.m.

Wednesday, December 4, 20137-9 p.m.

Flushing – 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 20137-9 p.m.
@ Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York (“KCS”)
35-56 159th Street, Flushing (map)

Tuesday, December 3, 20137-9 p.m.

New York City & Flushing – 2014

First Tuesday of Every Month, 7-9 p.m.
@ KCS (Flushing)

We are recruiting attorneys with a minimum of five (5) years experience related to a specific area of law including but not limited to: Immigration, Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, Labor & Employment, Estate Planning, Family Law, General Litigation, etc. We are also recruiting law students to assist administratively and linguistically. To participate, you must be a KALAGNY member in good standing. Bilingual Korean & English is preferred but not mandatory.

If you wish to help us help our community, please click here to register to 

KALAGNY’s Pro Bono Committee Chair will contact you once you register. Please do not show up to volunteer at our clinic without an invitation. Thank you!

Kyun Yi, KALAGNY President