NAPABA Applauds the Confirmation of Judge Edward S. Kiel and Judge Eumi K. Lee to the U.S. District Court

For Immediate Release:
Date: March 21, 2024 
ContactRahat N. Babar, Deputy Executive Director

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Edward S. Kiel to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and Judge Eumi K. Lee to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“We congratulate Judge Edward S. Kiel and Judge Eumi K. Lee on their confirmation to serve on the U.S. District Court,” said Anna Mercado Clark, President of NAPABA. “Judge Kiel is the first Korean American to serve in the district, a 2010 NAPABA Trailblazer awardee, and an active member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey. Judge Lee was the first Korean American to serve as president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and she was a recipient of the 2011 NAPABA Best Under 40 Award. We are exceptionally proud of their commitment to the AANHPI community and are pleased to have supported their nominations.”

“Today, President Biden has appointed 34 AANHPI Article III judges that the U.S. Senate has confirmed. His record of 23 AANHPI Article III women judges confirmed is more than all Presidents combined,” said Priya Purandare, Executive Director of NAPABA.

Judge Edward S. Kiel has been a United States Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey since 2019. Previously, Judge Kiel was a partner at Cole Schotz, P.C., from 2001 to 2019. Before that, he was an associate at Cole Schotz from 1998 to 2001, at Beattie Padovano from 1994 to 1998, and at Jamieson Moore Peskin & Spicer from 1992 to 1994. Judge Kiel served as a law clerk for Presiding Criminal Judge Michael R. Imbriani of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County, from 1991 to 1992. He received his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School in 1991 and his B.A. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1988.

Judge Lee has served as a judge on the Superior Court of California in Alameda County since 2018. She was the first Korean American judge ever appointed to the court in Alameda County. Previously, Judge Lee was a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, and co-founded and co-directed the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice. Earlier in her career, she was an associate at Keker & Van Nest LLP and Thelen, Reid & Priest LLP. Judge Lee clerked for Judge Warren J. Ferguson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Jerome Turner on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her B.A. from Pomona College.

NAPABA thanks New Jersey and California Senators for supporting their nominations.


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.

Nationwide Dialogue on Hate Crimes — NEW DATE: JUNE 26

TRACKING (IN)JUSTICE: A Nationwide Dialogue on Hate Crimes
Wed. June 26, 2013
10:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT / 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm EDT
Asian Law Caucus
55 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco,
and other venues nationwide (TBD)
Live streaming at

NAPABA is sponsoring the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California’s “TRACKING (IN)JUSTICE: A Nationwide Dialogue on Hate Crimes.” The dialogue will focus on the need to monitor hate crimes against Arabs, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims. In the wake of recent vandalism of religious venues, discriminatory publicity materials, attacks on innocent individuals, Oak Creek shootings, and Boston Marathon bombing, there is growing concern about the safety and rights of all community members. Those perceived to be Arab, Sikh, Hindu, or Muslim are increasingly vulnerable to hateful speech and violence more than a decade after 9/11, yet the FBI only tracks hate crimes against Muslims. Join activists from around the country in a discussion urging the FBI to track anti-Arab, anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh crimes in addition to anti-Muslim crimes.

Click here for more information.