NAPABA Inspirational Video Series
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Currently, our country is deeply divided and there is a need for understanding and tolerance. Thus, the theme of this campaign—inclusion. Through these videos, we hope to bring people together by educating lawyers and non-lawyers that Asian Pacific Americans are not “foreigners,” but people who contribute to society and who have shared values and deserve all of the rights and protections to which all Americans are entitled. Our Asian Pacific American attorney members are diverse, inspiring, and courageous. The members we feature in these videos show how woven their lives have been in the American experience, how they’ve been impacted by social policy in America, and that they are just like everyone else . . . trying to achieve the American dream.

These are your stories. These are our stories. These are NAPABA's stories.

September 2017 |
Introduction & Neal Katyal

How did Mr. Katyal's high school and college debate teams teach him the power of speech and help guide him towards practicing law instead of medicine? In the first video of the series, learn which case launched Mr. Katyal's career—a case no one wanted to take—and why he considers arguing before the United States Supreme Court one of his greatest honors.

About Neal Katyal
Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general of the United States, has orally argued 35 cases before the United States Supreme Court, with 33 of them in the last eight years. In the 2016-17 Term alone, Mr. Katyal argued seven cases in six separate arguments at the Supreme Court, far more than any other advocate in the nation (the next highest number, four arguments, was reached by two attorneys). At the age of 47, he has already argued more Supreme Court cases in U.S. history than has any minority attorney, breaking the record held by Justice Thurgood Marshall.

October 2017 |
Karen Narasaki

Viewers will hear how a young girl whose parents were incarcerated during World War II learned about her family history and grew up to become a civil rights leader and Asian Pacific American role model. You'll also find out Ms. Narasaki's thoughts and fears about the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities.

About Karen Narasaki
Karen Narasaki is an independent civil and human rights consultant. President Barack Obama appointed her to the United States Commission on Civil Rights in July of 2014. She previously served as president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, one of the nation's premier civil rights organizations. Prior to that she was the Washington Representative for the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). And before JACL, she was an attorney with Perkins Coie.

Ms. Narasaki began her career as a law clerk for Judge Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1985 through 1986. Ms. Narasaki is currently Chair of the Asian American Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast/NBCU. 

November 2017 | Brian Sun

Learn how a first-generation Chinese American got his start thanks to a unique job on his resume and about the reason he decided to pursue a career in law. You’ll also hear what motivates Brian daily and the impact the murder of Vincent Chin had on him.

About Brian Sun
Brian Sun has earned a national reputation as a distinguished trial lawyer in complex business litigation and white collar criminal defense. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has been named by Lawdragon Magazine as one of America's 500 leading lawyers. Mr. Sun is recognized as a Band 1 lawyer by Chambers and listed among the most highly regarded lawyers in the U.S. by Who's Who Legal in the area of business crime defense.

December 2017 | Judge Denny Chin

How did the son of a garment factory seamstress and Chinese restaurant cook come to sit in chambers once occupied by Justice Thurgood Marshall?

This edition of the NAPABA Inspirational Video Series showcases Judge Denny Chin and his path to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Chin leads you on a journey from his immigration to the U.S. from Hong Kong at the age of two to his first law school internship with the Southern District of New York where he realized—almost immediately—that he wanted to become a judge.

About Judge Denny Chin
Judge Denny Chin is a United States Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was sworn in on April 26, 2010. He had previously served, from Sept. 13, 1994, through April 23, 2010, as a U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York.

In the District Court, Judge Chin presided over a number of important matters, including cases involving Megan's Law, the Million Youth March, Al Franken's use of the phrase "Fair and Balanced" in the title of a book, the Naked Cowboy, and the Google Books project. He also presided over two criminal trials arising out of the United Nations Oil for Food Program, as well as the trial of an Afghan warlord charged with conspiring to import heroin, and the guilty plea and sentencing of financier Bernard L. Madoff.

In the Circuit Court, Judge Chin has authored opinions or dissents in cases involving the enforceability of arbitration clauses in on-line agreements, the General Motors bankruptcy, environmental regulations governing the discharge of ballast water from ships, the constitutionality of the government's seizure and retention of computer hard drives, barriers to access for voters with disabilities, and the streaming of copyrighted television broadcasts over the Internet. 

January 2018Mia Yamamoto

A new year brings new NAPABA Inspirational Videos! Our January feature showcases Mia Yamamoto, renowned criminal defense attorney and civil rights activist, who was “born doing time” in the Poston War Relocation Center during the period of Japanese-American incarceration. Learn why Ms. Yamamoto was inspired to pursue a career in law by her father—a lawyer for the NAACP and ACLU—and how her self-defined “prison legacy” helps her connect with clients who have limited access to justice.             

About Mia Yamamoto
Ms. Yamamoto is a distinguished and successful criminal defense attorney in Southern California. She has tried over 200 jury trials and represented thousands of clients accused of criminal offenses, including murder, assault, sex offenses, drug offenses, theft, white-collar offenses, regulatory offenses, and DUI.

Ms. Yamamoto is a former deputy public defender and has been in private practice since 1985. She is the past president of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, past president of the Japanese American Bar Association, past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, as well as co-founder and past chair of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance (a coalition of minority, women, and LGBT bar associations in Los Angeles).

February 2018 | Don Liu

The NAPABA Inspirational Video Series continues in February with an inspiring story from Don Liu, executive vice president and chief legal officer for Target. Growing up in an area with very few people of color, young Don felt ashamed of being Asian American and felt misunderstood by his peers. Learn how Don grew to appreciate his Asian American heritage and to embrace the power of diversity and inclusion as he climbed to the top of the corporate ladder.            

About Don Liu
Don Liu is executive vice president and chief legal & risk officer for Target and a member of its executive leadership team. He oversees all legal, risk and compliance, corporate governance and governmental affairs matters for the company. Don also serves as Target’s chief compliance officer and corporate secretary.

Prior to joining Target in 2016, Don was executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, for Xerox Corp. He also held in-house legal leadership roles at Toll Brothers, IKON Office Solutions, and Aetna U.S. Healthcare. He began his career in private practice, specializing in securities and mergers and acquisitions.

Don graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, and received his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law.

March 2018 | Judge Dolly Gee

The NAPABA Inspirational Video Series concludes with a stirring account of determination and perseverance from Judge Dolly Gee, United States district judge for the Central District of California.

Judge Gee’s mother did not speak English and young Dolly served as her mother’s translator by accompanying her to doctors’ offices, grocery stores, and other places on a daily basis. After her mother found work in a garment factory, Judge Gee became a witness to the workplace abuses her mother and other women suffered and she decided that she would grow up and fight these kinds of inequities.

In this final video of this series, you can hear about how Judge Gee was persuaded to apply for her first judgeship and how she received a surprise nomination from President Bill Clinton. However, things would not proceed as planned for Judge Gee and it would take 10 years and a lesson in getting out of her comfort zone for her to finally reach the bench.        

About Judge Dolly Gee
Judge Dolly M. Gee is a former partner at Schwartz, Steinsapir, Dohrmann, & Sommers. A graduate of University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, Ms. Gee joined the firm in 1986 and became a partner in 1990. While at the firm, she worked as a pioneering lawyer in the fields of labor law, workplace harassment, and employment discrimination.

In 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Judge Gee to the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the Senate confirmed her by unanimous consent on Dec. 24, 2009. Upon her confirmation, Judge Gee became the first Chinese American woman to serve as a U.S. Federal Court Judge. Since joining the federal bench, Judge Gee has issued several significant rulings, including a landmark decision ordering the U.S. government to provide legal counsel for mentally disabled immigrants who are detained for potential deportation.

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