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NAPABA Press Release

910 17th St., N.W., Suite 315
Washington, D.C. 20006

Click here to download a PDF copy of the press release.

Monday, November 7, 2005

CONTACT: Les Jin, (202) 775-9555


Washington, D.C. – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) congratulates Wan J. Kim on his confirmation on Friday, November 4, 2005, as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice. Mr. Kim will oversee the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and becomes the United States’ top civil rights enforcement officer.

Mr. Kim is the first immigrant and the first Korean American to serve in this position, and he also becomes the first Asian Pacific American to receive Senate confirmation to this post.

NAPABA endorsed Mr. Kim in July of this year for this position. In its letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, NAPABA’s then-President Michael P. Chu wrote, “Mr. Kim’s nearly ten years of experience within the Department of Justice and his work with the Asian Pacific American community show dedication that will make him an effective and responsive protector of civil rights.”

NAPABA President Amy Lin Meyerson stated, “Mr. Kim’s confirmation marks a historic day for Asian Pacific Americans fighting for representation in the administration of justice.” She further commented, “In the coming year, NAPABA will continue to address important civil rights issues, including the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act and language access in the courts and at the polls. We look forward to working with Mr. Kim to ensure that the Justice Department actively enforces the civil rights laws that allow communities of color, and consequently, all Americans, to have full access to justice in the United States.”

“NAPABA is proud to have supported our friend and colleague Wan J. Kim for the position of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights,” stated NAPABA Executive Director Les Jin. “Mr. Kim’s first-hand experiences of the struggles of immigrant life give him a unique asset to enforce the civil rights laws of this land that exist to protect historically marginalized communities.”

At NAPABA’s 17th Annual Convention in October 2005, Mr. Kim received one of the NAPABA “Best Lawyers Under 40” award. An active NAPABA member, Mr. Kim serves on the Board of Directors of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Education Fund, the Washington, D.C. NAPABA affiliate’s charitable foundation that grants law student fellowships for public interest or government organizations that benefits the broader Asian Pacific American community or the local community.

Prior to his confirmation, Mr. Kim served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, supervising the Criminal, Educational Opportunities, and Housing and Civil Enforcement Sections. He has nearly ten years of experience as an attorney in the Department of Justice, first as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division, later as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and most recently with the Civil Rights Division.


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 over 40,000 attorneys and 47 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent 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 APA communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.


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