wrc logo.jpg

107. Language Access and Asian Pacific Americans: Progress and Challenges

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017      TIME: 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
LOCATION: City Hall, Committee Room 119

This year marks the 10th anniversary of NAPABA’s groundbreaking report, "Increasing Access to Justice for Limited English Proficient Asian Pacific Americans: A Report for Action." The report identified major challenges limited English proficient individuals, in particular members of the Asian Pacific American community, faced in courts and set out best practices for federal and state courts to follow. Following the report, the American Bar Association adopted the recommendations in its “Standards for Language Access in Courts.”

There are now twenty-one million Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S, and thirty-five percent of the Asian American population is limited English proficient. As the population grows in new regions in the country, what progress has been made to serve these populations and what gaps in service still remain at the local, state, and federal level?

This session will explore emerging issues in language access as NAPABA prepares to issue an updated version of its report. We assess the current state of access and identify areas of improvement and gaps that remain in the courts, administrative agencies, and other providers. With the help of attendees, the session will identify new and innovative models of compliance, best practices, and real stories from the private and public sector for inclusion in a forthcoming NAPABA report on language access.

CLE accreditation pending. Click here to download CLE materials.


NAPABA Southwest Regional Governor, NAPABA

Daniel David Hu

Mr. Hu is NAPABA’s Southwest Region Governor. He also co-chairs the Pro-bono Community Service Committee. Mr. Hu is currently employed as the Chief, Civil Division, with the US Attorney’s Office in Houston. He joined the US Attorney’s office in 1992 from private practice. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in chemistry from Rice. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School where he was a Teaching Quizmaster. After law school he clerked for U.S. District Judge Norman W. Black. He is also Vice-Chair of Lone Star Legal Aid and a trustee of the Houston Arboretum. Mr. Hu was formerly Chairman of the Board of Lone Star Legal Aid, a Commissioner on the Texas Access to Justice Commission and a Board member for the State Bar of Texas.

Les Jin

Vice President, NAPABA Law Foundation

Les is a recently retired federal executive and current vice-president for the NAPABA Law Foundation. He is a former executive director for NAPABA and in that capacity he oversaw the research and writing of NAPABA’s original language access report. He started his career as a VISTA volunteer and legal aid lawyer in Chicago. He has held various other jobs, including trial lawyer for the EEOC and senior counselor for the Civil Rights Division of US Department of Justice. He also served as deputy director for a civil rights enforcement agency at Department of Labor and as general counsel for another federal agency.

Joann Lee

Directing Attorney, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Joann Lee is the directing attorney of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Community Outreach Project of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). Bilingual in Korean, Ms. Lee has provided direct legal services to the growing indigent API immigrant population in the Los Angeles area at LAFLA since 2000.  Ms. Lee directs outreach efforts, media work, and projects designed to provide monolingual and limited-English proficient APIs improved access to services.  Ms. Lee specializes in the areas of family and immigration law, with a focus on representing domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking survivors before the family and immigration courts, as well as other administrative bodies.  She has extensive experience navigating local courts and government agencies to obtain appropriate language services for clients, including filing administrative complaints and litigation based on state and federal civil rights language access requirements.  In 2015, Ms. Lee was appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to serve on the California Judicial Council Language Access Plan Implementation Task Force.  Ms. Lee is closely connected with local API communities and has served on the boards of the Korean American Bar Association of Southern California, Korean Resource Center, and the Center for the Pacific Asian Family, a domestic violence/sexual assault shelter serving API women and children.

Policy Director, NAPABA

Navdeep Singh

Navdeep Singh.jpg

Attorney and author, Navdeep Singh serves as NAPABA's policy director. Navdeep leads NAPABA’s civil rights, public policy, and legal advocacy programs. He speaks about current topics in the law, strategic development, and community engagement to government agencies, universities, and legal organizations.

Navdeep has worked extensively on issues affecting post-9/11 communities, hate crimes, racial profiling, and language access. Navdeep co-authored “Turban Myths” — the first study on implicit bias and the Sikh American community — with researchers from Stanford University, advised the FBI on the implementation of expanded hate crimes categories, and wrote about racial profiling and the growth of the Asian Pacific American community for UCLA’s AAPI Nexus Journal. He was part of the community-based rapid response team after the attack on the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Navdeep held positions at the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Transportation Security Administration, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and in the private sector. He is a graduate of the FBI’s Citizen’s Academy, and received his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School and his B.S. in Systems Engineering and Economics with a minor in Asian Pacific American Studies from the University of Virginia.