206. Asian Americans and LGBTQI: Intersectionality Challenges in the Legal Profession

DATE: Friday, July 21, 2017      TIME: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
LOCATION: USPTO, 1st floor, California Room

This panel will discuss the challenges faced by LGBTQI Asian Americans in the legal profession. The panelists comprise of individuals from the judiciary, government, private practice, and corporations. The panelists will discuss the impact of the Trump Administration on LGBTQI Asian Americans and the legal profession generally. The panelists will provide advice for junior attorneys and law students.

CLE accreditation pending. Click here to download CLE materials.


Justin Hall

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, NovaBay

Justin Hall joined NovaBay in February 2013 and currently serves as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Hall acts as the chief legal counsel overseeing equity fundraising, the company’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange, our patent portfolio, and all aspects of compliance. Prior to joining NovaBay, Mr. Hall worked as Corporate Counsel at Accuray Incorporated, a radiation oncology company, which he joined in October 2006, where he reported directly to the General Counsel and provided substantive legal advice on a broad range of complex legal matters with a focus on employment, corporate compliance, and corporate governance. Mr. Hall also works as an investment advisor and attorney for the 401(k) Resource Center, which he founded in January 2009, which helps Plan Sponsors manage their retirement plans by providing legal advice. Mr. Hall’s prior experience also includes serving as an investment advisor at Sagemark Consulting from 2000 to 2006, and a stock broker at First Security Van Kasper from 1998 to 2001. Mr. Hall received a B.A. in Business Administration and Management from the University of California, San Diego, and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.

Litigation Associate, Munger, Tolles & Olson

Liz Kim

Liz Kim is a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Kim clerked for Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar of the California Supreme Court, Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and Judge Paul J. Watford of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Kim earned her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. She was elected to the Order of the Coif. Ms. Kim graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a B.A. in political science. Ms. Kim serves as a co-chair of the Asian American Bar Association’s LGBTQ Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the AIDs Legal Referral Panel.

Christine Sun

Associate Director and Legal and Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California


Christine P. Sun is the Associate Director, and Legal and Policy Director for the ACLU of Northern California, where her primary responsibility is leading the ACLU-NC’s legal and policy department. Her previous position was Senior Staff Attorney at the national ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project (IRP). While at IRP, her cases included ADAC v. Brewer, a class-action lawsuit challenging Arizona’s denial of drivers’ licenses to DREAMers, and Valle del Sol v. Whiting, the historic constitutional challenge to Arizona’s S.B. 1070 (the “show me your papers” law). Earlier Christine was Deputy Legal Director at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery, Alabama, where she directed SPLC's economic justice work and work on behalf of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. She also previously served as senior counsel for the national ACLU's LGBT and AIDS Project, where she led the ACLU’s work on behalf of LGBT people in the Deep South. Christine graduated with honors in 1998 from New York University School of Law, where she was an editor of the NYU Law Review. After graduation, Christine served as a law clerk for civil rights legend Judge Robert L. Carter on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and then worked in private practice for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York and Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco. Christine currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus and on the Grant Advisory Committee for the Impact Fund. She is a 21st Century Fellow of the Pipeline Project, and has served as a Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence for the Thelton Henderson Center at Berkeley Law School. She was recognized in 2010 by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the "Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40." In 2012, Christine received a Distinguished Alumna award from NYU Law School's alumni association for minority lawyers, and in 2014, she was named “Alumna of the Year” by the Law School’s LGBT alumni association.

George Tran

Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office

George Tran.JPG

George Tran is a Deputy District Attorney at the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office currently assigned to the Juvenile Justice Unit. He earned his bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and received his law degree from UC Hastings in 2012. While at UC Hastings, George was part of the Civil Justice Clinic where he provided access to legal representation to underserved individuals. George currently serves on the BALIF Board of Directors, sitting as the Gala Development Chair and Executive Committee Member. George is also Vice Chair of the Asian American Bar Association LGBT Committee.

David Tsai

Partner, Vinson & Elkins LLP


David Tsai is a Partner in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s San Francisco office and Co-Managing Partner of V&E’s Taiwan Office. David’s practice focuses on patent, trade secret, complex breach of contract, and product defect litigation for companies innovating biotechnology, medical devices, software, and hardware. He also represents clients in patent negotiations, licensing and overall intellectual property strategy. David has been quoted regarding his work in various business and technology publications including The New York Times. He currently serves as a Director on the Boards of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and the University of California, Riverside. He is also President-Elect of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area and Past President of the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA). David has been recognized as a top 50 California Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, Super Lawyer in IP Litigation, Best Lawyer Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar and National Asian Pacific American Bar, and by the California State Legislature for his work in civil rights. David is a graduate of Harvard, Stanford, and Santa Clara University.