NAPABA Congratulates BJay Pak on Nomination to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2017

                                                   For More Information, Contact:
                                                   Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
                                                   bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — On Friday, July 21, President Trump announced the nomination of Byung J. “BJay” Pak to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. If confirmed, Pak would be the first Asian Pacific American to hold this position.

“We congratulate BJay Pak on his nomination to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia,” said Cyndie M. Chang, president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). “A respected community member and experienced attorney with a record of leadership in government and in private practice, Mr. Pak has more than demonstrated his ability to lead the U.S. Attorney’s office.”

A longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Mr. Pak has served on the board of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association, a NAPABA affiliate, and was a former chair of the NAPABA Government Enforcement and Compliance Committee. He has also spoken on legal education courses sponsored by NAPABA and is a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.

An experienced litigator and former prosecutor, Mr. Pak is currently a partner at Chambers Pak Burch & Adams LLC, where he focuses on complex litigation. Previously, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia for six years, a partner at Ballard Spahr LLP and Schiff Harding LLP, and an associate at Alston & Bird LLP. Mr. Pak also served in the Georgia House or Representatives.

Mr. Pak clerked for Judge Richard Mills of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. He received his B.B.A. from Stetson University in 1995 and his J.D., summa cum laude, from University of Illinois College of Law in 1998.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Byung J. “BJay” Pak to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster, NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or bschuster@napaba.org.

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 almost 50,000 attorneys and over 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services 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.

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association | 1612 K St. NW, Suite 510 | Washington, D.C. 20006 | www.napaba.org

NAPABA Congratulates Jessie K. Liu on Nomination to be the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia

For Immediate Release
June 13, 2017

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager

bschuster@napaba.org, 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — On
Monday, President Trump announced the nomination of Jessie K. Liu to be
United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. If confirmed, Liu
would be the first Asian Pacific American and the second woman to serve
as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

“We
congratulate Jessie K. Liu on her nomination to serve as the United
States Attorney for the District of Columbia,” said Cyndie M. Chang,
president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
(NAPABA). “An experienced and respected attorney with a record of
leadership at the U.S. Department of Justice, Ms. Liu has demonstrated
the ability to lead the U.S. Attorney’s office. We are encouraged to see
Asian Pacific American women like Ms. Liu continue to break barriers
and serve as role models.”

A
longtime member of the Asian Pacific American legal community, Liu
served as a co-chair of the 2012 NAPABA Convention in Washington, D.C.
She is also a recipient of the NAPABA Best Under 40 Award.

A
litigator with almost 20 years of experience, Ms. Liu has a history of
federal government service. She is presently the Deputy General Counsel
for the Department of the Treasury. She previously served as an
Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia for four years and
in several senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice for three
years, including as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil
Rights Division, counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, and Deputy
Chief of Staff for the National Security Division. She also was a
partner at the law firms Morrison & Foerster LLP and Jenner &
Block LLP.

Ms.
Liu clerked for then-Chief Judge Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Houston, Texas. She received her
A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her J.D. from Yale Law School.

NAPABA commends President Trump for announcing the nomination of Jessie K. Liu to serve as the U.S. Attorney.

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 almost
50,000 attorneys and approximately 75 national, state, and local Asian
Pacific American bar associations. Its members include solo
practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services 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.

Fireside Chat with Joon Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York

By:  Albert W. Suh, Esq.
Co-Chair, Young Lawyers Committee

Tucked away between the Beaux-Arts grandeur of the Manhattan Municipal Building and the imposing brutalist cube of One Police Plaza is a neat and unassuming gray office building. Yet within that building sit some of the brightest legal minds and one of the most powerful law enforcement offices in the United States – the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York – and at the top sits a man who, similarly, betrays little of his expansive influence and accomplishments behind his clean lines and unassuming demeanor. 

He may be one of the most powerful attorneys in America, leading an office of more than 200 federal prosecutors, but Joon Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York doesn’t let that faze him. With humility, grace, and candor, Joon continues the outstanding work and tradition of the federal prosecution office of the Southern District of New York.

Joon Kim has served in various capacities at the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York for roughly a decade. He began his legal journey at Harvard Law where he first took interest in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices during a Federal Criminal Prosecution class. From there, he went on to clerk for the Honorable Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum in the Southern District of New York. It was there, as a law clerk, that Joon solidified his decision to become an Assistant U.S. Attorney (“AUSA”), after observing the high levels of skill and excellence that the AUSAs demonstrated.  As an AUSA, Joon rose through the ranks for six years to become a prosecutor in the Organized Crime and Terrorism Unit, successfully working on prosecutions against numerous violent criminal organizations and leaders, such as John Gotti and Sui Min “Frank” Ma.

Joon left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2006 to pursue a career at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP as a partner in white-collar criminal defense and regulatory enforcement. When asked about the transition from prosecution to defense and back, Joon says easily that there was no difficulty for him in transitioning because of his firm belief in the justice system and a central tenet of that system is, in his words, a “good, fair, robust, and vigilant defense.” However, even while at Cleary Gottlieb, Joon longed to return to public service, his lifelong passion.

Joon is driven and inspired by the example of his father, who served as a diplomat for the Republic of Korea. Joon always knew that he wanted to emulate his father in dedicating his life to serving his nation—South Korea, for the father, and the United States for the son. Joon’s young life overseas, with years spent in Korea, Jordan, and the UK as he followed his father’s diplomatic missions, also provided him with a greater sense of perspective, he says. In engaging such varying cultures, Joon learned to embrace perspectives not his own. As a prosecutor, he says that this has helped him pursue justice more effectively by allowing him to place himself in the shoes of witnesses, jurors, and even defendants. It’s an approach that has won him not just his cases but also the admiration and respect of colleagues, victims, and even adversaries.

In 2013 Joon returned to the SDNY at the behest of then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. In announcing Joon’s return to the office, Mr. Bharara said in an email to his staff: “For those of you who don’t know Joon, you will find him to be smart, thoughtful, and funny, in addition to being an exacting lawyer with unerring judgment.” It’s a sentiment that has held firm over the years. As Mr. Bharara left the office and later at his first public appearance, at the Cooper Union, he reiterated that he felt that the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York was in good hands with Joon.

From his position as Chief Counsel, Joon went on to become the Chief of the Criminal Division, then the Deputy U.S. Attorney, and finally to the position of Acting U.S. Attorney. Yet through it all, when asked about his greatest achievements, Joon humbly hearkens back to his days as a line-prosecutor in the Organized Crime Unit. For Joon, taking down violent gangs was a fulfillment of his promise to serve the public – to hold accountable those who preyed upon the innocent, those who hurt people with impunity and without remorse. Of course, he is also very proud of the more recent directions that both he and the office have taken, in aggressively and successfully pursuing white-collar criminals, terrorism, and public corruption.

When asked about the future of the office, Joon expressed his faith in the 227 year-old institution of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York in fiercely and independently seeking justice. He fully intends to continue that tradition, applying the width and breadth of his experience to making sure that the office continues its proud tradition of “doing the right thing,” as they say.

As for himself, Joon simply says that he’ll see what happens next. In the meantime, Joon hopes to see and to inspire more vibrant Asian American participation in public life, whether through public service and public interest work or through more engagement in public discourse. In his dedication to justice and his excellence in service to the public, Joon Kim continues to set the example – and the bar – for Asian American attorneys throughout New York and beyond.


This article was originally published in the 2017 Spring edition of The AABANY Advocate, which can be found on our website here.

Preet Bharara starts from “first principles: Are we doing the right thing, and are we doing it for the right reasons?” – Joon Kim, Acting US Attorney, SDNY.

At the 2015 AABANY Annual Dinner, Charting New Frontiers, we presented the Public Service Leadership Award to Preet Bharara, for his extensive and well-known dedication and commitment to public service as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and in the many years before then. In accepting the award, Preet gave a moving and inspiring speech filled with good humor and the spirit of pride and professionalism in public interest and public service that has characterized his distinguished and storied career. Our usually raucous crowd listened in rapt silence for the entire length of his remarks and rose up in an enthusiastic standing ovation at their conclusion.

Preet, thank you for your leadership and your service, for Charting New Frontiers, for daring to Speak Up, Rise Up and Lift Up, and for serving as an exemplary role model as we seek to Take Charge, Lead Change in the coming weeks and months.