The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing over 150 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to support the confirmation of Judge Eumi Lee to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Judge Lee’s ties to the Northern District, as well as her extensive litigation experience, have fully prepared her to serve in this role. Judge Lee earned her B.A. from Pomona College and graduated cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. After law school, Judge Lee clerked for Judge Jerome Turner on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee and Judge Warren J. Ferguson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Judge Lee’s commitment to public service and to justice for all have been evidence throughout her career and will make her an excellent addition to the federal bench. While on the faculty at the University of California College of Law in San Francisco, then named the Hastings College of Law, Judge Lee directed and taught clinical programs, including the Individual Representation Clinic. Through that clinic, Judge Lee mentored and assisted students representing members of marginalized communities, including low-income tenants, low- and moderate-wage workers, indigent individuals with disabilities, and people with past arrests or convictions. Judge Lee supervised students representing clients at all stages of litigation. She also created the curriculum for and led all aspects of the clinic’s “clean slate” program, which includes clients with criminal records seeking dismissals of past convictions, early termination of probation, reductions of felonies to misdemeanors, and findings of factual innocence, among other things. Judge Lee’s academic and clinical contributions demonstrated both deep knowledge of and commitment to reforming our criminal justice system.
Judge Lee has been recognized by her national, regional, and local legal communities for her exemplary talent and dedication. In 2011, Judge Lee was named one of the Best Lawyers Under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Among regional honors, she received the Legal Professional of the Year Award from the Korean American Bar Association of Northern California in 2019. San Francisco organizations, too, have highlighted her service. For example, the Minority Bar Coalition of the San Fransisco Bay Area honored her with its Rising Star Award in 2009 and its Unity Award in 2016. Among the ways Judge Lee gives back to her community, she served as president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area in 2015.
Judge Lee will bring excellent credentials and both professional and demographic diversity to the federal bench. Given her remarkable qualifications, we urge the Senate to confirm Judge Lee to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California expeditiously.