NAPABA Celebrates the Confirmation of Judge John H. Chun

For Immediate Release: 
Date: March 24, 2022 

ContactMary Tablante, Associate Strategic Communications & Marketing Director

WASHINGTON –Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Judge John H. Chun to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.

“NAPABA congratulates Judge Chun on his confirmation to become only the second Asian American Article III district court judge in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, acting president of NAPABA. “Judge Chun is a well-respected jurist who has deep ties to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including as a past president of the Korean American Bar Association of Washington and as a member of NAPABA and the Asian Bar Association of Washington.”

“We thank Senators Murray and Cantwell for recommending Judge Chun and the Biden-Harris Administration for upholding their promise to diversify the judiciary.”

AAPIs represent nearly 10% of the population and constitute the largest community of color in the state of Washington.

Judge Chun served as a judge on the Washington State Court of Appeals in Seattle, Washington and as a judge on the King County Superior Court. He has been recognized as a top Washington “Super Lawyer.” He was a clerk for the Honorable Eugene A. Wright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and is a graduate of Columbia University and Cornell 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 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 Nominations of Nusrat Choudhury, Robert S. Huie and Nina Y. Wang to U.S. District Courts

WASHINGTON –Today [January 19th], the Biden administration announced the nominations of three AAPIs to the following U.S. District Courts: Nusrat Choudhury to the Eastern District of New York, Robert S. Huie to the Southern District of California, and Judge Nina Wang to the District of Colorado.

“NAPABA applauds the Biden administration for honoring its commitment to nominate a more representative judiciary,” said A.B. Cruz III, Acting President of NAPABA. “To date, there are a total 45 AAPI Article III judges, ten of whom were confirmed within President Biden’s first year in office.

“Ms. Choudhury, Mr. Huie and Judge Wang have impeccable careers, serving our nation in government and civil rights. We thank Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Bennet, Gillibrand, Padilla and Hickenlooper for recommending them and NAPABA urges the Senate to quickly confirm them.”

Nusrat Choudhury is the Roger Pascal Legal Director at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois where she oversees a team advancing civil rights and civil liberties. She has more than a decade of experience advocating for underserved communities in her previous roles at the ACLU Foundation in New York. Choudhury clerked for the Honorable Barrington D. Parker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for the Honorable Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She received her B.A. from Columbia University, M.P.A. from Princeton University and J.D. from Yale Law School. If confirmed, Choudhury would be the first Bangladeshi American to serve as an Article III judge.

Robert S. Huie is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of California where he served as deputy chief of the Major Frauds and Public Corruption Section. He has also served in the U.S. Department of Justice as a resident legal advisor and diplomat in the U.S. Embassies in North Africa and Eastern Europe. He currently serves as counsel at Jones Day San Diego. Huie clerked for the Honorable José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and is a graduate of Calvin College and Yale Law School.

Judge Nina Y. Wang is a U.S. magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Previously, she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Colorado and was a partner at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. Judge Wang clerked for the Honorable Peter J. Messitte of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and is a graduate of Washington University and Harvard Law School. Active in the AAPI community, Judge Wang is a recipient of NAPABA’s Best Under 40 Award and served as president of NAPABA’s Colorado affiliate APABA Colorado.

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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.

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.

AABANY Congratulates Member Eunkyong Choi on Her Appointment as Special Trial Judge

On December 6, 2021, Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court, Maurice B. Foley announced that AABANY Member, Eunkyong Choi, has been selected to serve as a Special Trial Judge.

Eunkyong Choi holds a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Political Science from the University of Akron, and both a Juris Doctor and Master of Laws in Taxation from the Washington University School of Law. In addition to time spent in private practice working on a variety of legal issues, Eunkyong taught Ethics & Media at Sanford Brown College and was a Lecturer in Law at the Washington University School of Law. Eunkyong spent several years working for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs), having served as the LITC Program Director for Nevada Legal Services from 2010-2014 and as a Supervising Attorney with the Washington University LITC from 2014- 2016. In June 2016, she became head of The Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, an independent office within the New York City Department of Finance set up to help New York City residents with property and business tax problems after they have found difficulty in fixing them on their own.

Eunkyong spoke at the AABANY Fall Conference in 2017 in a program titled “The Melting Impôt: The Intersection Between Immigration and Tax.” The panel discussed tax issues faced by many immigrant and ESL taxpayers who are unaware of their taxpayer rights and responsibilities. In July 2018, AABANY co-sponsored Diversity Tax Day for Professionals Working with Limited English Proficiency Taxpayer in which Eunkyong was a guest speaker. In October 2020, she was a speaker on AABANY’s Real Estate Committee program, “New York City and Long Island Real Estate Taxes.”

Please join AABANY in congratulating Eunkyong Choi on her appointment as Special Trial Judge in the United States Tax Court.

NAPABA Celebrates the Historic Confirmation of Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

On Oct. 21, the U.S. Senate confirmed Tana Lin to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. 

“NAPABA congratulates Tana Lin on her historic confirmation to become the first Asian American Article III district court judge in the state of Washington,” said A.B. Cruz III, president of NAPABA. “She is a devout public servant who has an exemplary legal career as a civil rights attorney and former public defender who’s enforced civil rights statutes, federal anti-discrimination laws, and a variety of other complex litigation matters.

“In addition to her impeccable qualifications, Judge Lin has a life experience that many in our community can relate to. She immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when she was three years old, worked her way through school, and is a leader in the community. Judge Lin has also served as a past board member of the Asian Bar Association of Washington, where she continues to be an active member.”

AAPIs represent nearly 10% of the population and constitute the largest community of color in the state of Washington. President Biden has nominated two AAPIs to the Federal courts in Washington State.

With 30 years of legal experience, Judge Lin has been named as a Super Lawyer for Washington for her practice at Keller Rohrback LLP. She has worked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Michigan Poverty Law Program. Judge Lin is a graduate of the New York University School of Law and Cornell University. 

NAPABA commends President Biden for nominating Judge Lin to the bench and thanks Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for their support of her nomination. Judge Lin’s confirmation increases the number of active AAPI Article III judges to 40 nationwide: 10 federal appellate court judges and 30 federal district court judges.


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: The Hon. Denny Chin Inducted as the First Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence

On September 14th, The New York Law Journal reported that Judge Denny Chin of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (and past AABANY President, 1992-93) became Fordham Law’s first ever Lawrence W. Pierce Distinguished Jurist in Residence. This distinction allows Judge Chin to continue his role as a Judge while devoting more of his time to teaching and building connections with the law students at Fordham. Judge Chin is especially excited to teach classes that deal with Asian Americans and the law saying the topic is “dear to my heart.” 

To read the full article, click here (subscription required).

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.

AABANY Congratulates Member Rose Cuison-Villazor on Her Appointment as the First Filipina-American Dean of an American Law School

AABANY has learned that Dean Rose Cuison-Villazor will be serving as interim co-dean of Rutgers Law School, becoming the first Asian-American female dean at Rutgers Law and the first Filipina-American dean of an American law school. Since July 2019, she has served as the vice dean of Rutgers Law School (https://patch.com/new-jersey/newarknj/rutgers-law-school-dean-trailblazes-asian-american-women).

AABANY is proud to recognize Dean Cuison-Villazor among its membership and congratulates her on this historic appointment, just one among many of her trailblazing accomplishments. An expert in immigration and citizenship law, she is a founding director of the Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice at Rutgers Law School. According to Rutgers Law’s own announcement:

Cuison-Villazor teaches, researches and writes in the areas of immigration and citizenship law, property law, Asian Americans and the law, equal protection law and critical race theory. She teaches Property Law, Immigration Law, Critical Race Theory, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and the Law, Estates in Land, and Introduction to U.S. Law and recently testified before a Congressional committee on land rights. She earned her LLM from Columbia Law School, JD from American University and BA from the University of Texas.

Dean Cuison-Villazor’s scholarship regarding immigration and citizenship law has been notable, highlighting previously neglected legal history concerning property and race. Dean Cuison-Villazor’s 2010 law review article “Rediscovering Oyama v. California: At the Intersection of Property, Race, and Citizenship” inspired AABANY’s own Oyama v. California trial reenactment. Oyama v. California overturned the California Alien Land Laws which prohibited “aliens ineligible for citizenship,” i.e., Asian Americans, from owning property. The case established legal precedent for future civil rights cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. Read more about the trial reenactment here.

AABANY’s Academic Committee Co-Chairs Catherine Kim, Donna Lee, Elaine Chiu, and Thomas Lee extend a special congratulations to Dean Cuison-Villazor, stating:

AABANY congratulates and is extremely proud of Dean Cuison-Villazor’s appointment as interim co-dean of Rutgers Law School. She is an immigration, citizenship, and race & the law scholar with a national reputation, a gifted teacher, and a superb leader. Rutgers Law is fortunate to have Rose lead its Newark campus at this critical time, as is AABANY to claim her as a cherished colleague.

Please join AABANY in recognizing Dean Cuison-Villazor for her accomplishment. To learn more about the Academic Committee, visit https://www.aabany.org/page/352.

AABANY Members: Applications for the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General’s Honors Program and Summer Law Intern Program are now open!

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management is excited to announce that the Attorney General’s Honors Program (HP) and Summer Law Intern Program (SLIP) application is now open. The deadline for receipt of applications is Wednesday, September 8, 2021, at 11:59 PM ET. Applications must be submitted via the online application. There are many exciting opportunities throughout DOJ, including entry-level attorney positions (permanent and term-limited) as well as paid summer legal internships.

Detailed information about the HP and SLIP, including offices participating and the number of available positions, can be found at:

Information about all of DOJ’s legal hiring programs, including experienced attorney hiring and volunteer internships, is online at https://www.justice.gov/legal-careers. The Department places a high value on diversity of experiences and perspectives and encourages applications from qualified candidates from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, veterans, LGBT individuals, and persons with disabilities. 

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.