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Breaking into a Public Interest Legal Career

  • 30 Jan 2020
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • K&L Gates, 925 4th Ave #2900, Seattle, WA 98104


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Breaking into a Public Interest Legal Career      Thursday, January 30, K&L Gates, 6-8PM

Moderator: Aileen Tsao, Attorney, King County Dept of Public Defense Aileen is an attorney with the King County Department of Public Defense - The Defender Association Division.  Aileen has represented with adults and juveniles charged with all levels of crimes and facing civil commitment proceedings (involuntary hospitalizations).  Prior to her work at a public defender, Aileen worked in family law, immigration law, and legal marketing. While Aileen was in law school, she interned with the Documentation Center of Cambodia, ACLU of Washington, Judge Mary Yu (King County Superior Court) and The Defender Association.  Aileen is also a board member with ABAW and is a volunteer/former board member with New Horizons (a nonprofit organization that works with homeless youth).    

Paige Hardy, Public Service Specialist, Washington State Bar Association - Paige (she/her) is a queer, mixed race, bipolar attorney in Seattle. She is passionate about reducing mental health stigma and dismantling systems of oppression. As the Public Service Specialist at the WSBA, Paige works to promote pro bono and public service opportunities for legal professionals as well as increasing inclusion and equity in the profession. Prior to her work at the WSBA, she was a staff attorney at the King County Bar Association with their Volunteer Legal Services program representing low-income clients with various civil legal issues and connecting them with pro bono attorneys. During law school, Paige was actively involved with the Access to Justice community and interned with several legal aid organizations. Paige currently serves on the boards for the Korean American Bar Association of Washington, the Washington Attorneys with Disabilities Association, and the International Families Justice Coalition.  

Amy Kim, Attorney, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Dept. of Education - Amy has worked for the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Dept. of Education since 2003, and has worked extensively in schools as a civil rights attorney helping students and families resolve discriminations complaints, including race- and sex-based harassment claims and special education and disability-related concerns.  She is the lead presenter in OCR’s outreach project focusing on the civil rights of Native Youth in schools. 

Previously, she worked for the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.  Amy obtained her B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Washington, and J.D. from the University of Washington, School of Law.  Amy enjoys volunteering in her local community and has assisted a variety of community and civic organizations, including serving as an officer of the International Community Health Services (a community health center), the Civil Rights Law Section of the Washington State Bar Association, and the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee.  Amy is the child of political refugees from Korea, and grew up in Covington, WA.  She currently resides in Seattle.

Lisa Nowlin, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Washington - Lisa’s caseload includes a wide variety of topics ranging from transgender anti-discrimination to police surveillance to immigration. Before joining the ACLU, Lisa was an associate at Keller Rohrback in Seattle, clerked for the Honorable Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and was an associate with Paul Hastings LLP in Washington, D.C. She received her B.A. from Seattle University and her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she helped found the LGBTQ Rights Clinic. While in law school, she interned with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the Brooklyn Family Defense Project. She is active in the community as a President-Elect of the QLaw Foundation’s Board of Directors, a volunteer with LGBTQ legal clinics, and a member of the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee.  

Paulo Palugod, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice - Prior to Earthjustice, Paolo spent seven years as an appointee in the Obama Administration in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. There, he helped oversee the division’s docket, negotiated settlement of Clean Water Act violations by Sunoco Pipeline for oil spills, worked on the Deepwater Horizon enforcement case, and advanced the Administration’s initiatives to further environmental justice and honor obligations to Tribes.  On detail to the Council on Environmental Quality, he led the development of a stakeholder process and report on climate resilience.  

Adrienne Wat, Deputy Director, King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight - Adrienne develops strong internal practices and procedures for the office and assists with the development and implementation of OLEO’s oversight work and issues related to collective bargaining and access to information. Her interest in police oversight work comes from her deep seated desire to advance positive systemic reforms to police practices – many of which she observed as a public defense attorney – and dedication to addressing structural and systemic issues impacting marginalized and low-income communities. Adrienne also previously served as a judicial clerk at the Washington State Supreme Court. She grew up in Hawaii and earned her degrees from Seattle University School of Law and the University of Washington.

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