Sophomore law student Dillon Yang has been elected president of the National Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (NAPALSA). He is the first Notre Dame law student to serve as president at the national level.
Yang will represent NAPALSA in the wider legal community, working to ensure positive and open communication with Asian Pacific Law Students Association (APALSA) chapters across the country. . He will also chair meetings of the NAPALSA Board of Directors and ensure that the Board of Directors fulfills its governance responsibilities and complies with applicable rules and regulations.
Yang said his personal goals as president are to increase mentorship and networking opportunities among Asian American Pacific Island lawyers and law students, bring together APALSA chapters across the country, and to raise awareness of issues facing the Asian American Pacific Island legal community.
“The pandemic has been particularly devastating for Asian and Pacific Americans. Hate crimes against Asian and Pacific Americans have increased at a dramatic rate across the country. This community is also severely underrepresented in the legal field, representing only 2% of lawyers nationwide. These circumstances prompted me to use my voice to advocate for my community and to lead in that capacity with NAPALSA,” Yang said. “I am honored that the Board has trusted me to lead this organization, and I am thrilled to champion the Asian American Pacific Islander community on a much larger scale. There is a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to get started.
Current NAPALSA president Adrian Lee, a student at George Washington University Law School, contacted Yang last fall and urged him to run for president.
“I’m thrilled that Dillon is the next president of NAPALSA,” Lee said. “His plan to strengthen the community of Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander law students through more professional development opportunities gives me confidence that Dillon will do an incredible job in his role. NAPALSA will continue to grow under his leadership, and I look forward to seeing what he and the next board can accomplish.
At Notre Dame, Yang serves as president of the law school’s Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association. He is also editor of the Notre Dame Journal of Legislation, class representative for the Student Bar Association, and deputy rector at O’Neill Family Hall.
During his freshman summer, he served as a law clerk for Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Last fall, he was a extern to the American Civil Liberties Union in Northern California in the criminal justice program, and he is currently a judicial extern to Judge Michael G. Gotsch Sr. of the U.S. District Court for the District northern Indiana. . Originally from Palo Alto, Calif., he will return to the Bay Area this summer to work for Ropes & Gray in San Francisco.
“Dillon is the first member of the Notre Dame Law School community to be elected president of NAPALSA – an organization in its 41st year. To say we are proud of him is an understatement,” said Max Gaston, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at ND Law. “Dillon’s dedication to supporting the AAPI community, his strength as a culturally competent listener and leader, and his unique ability to unite people make him an example of what it means to be ‘a different kind of person. lawyer” and an ideal candidate to hold the office of President of NAPALSA.