A study by California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu and researchers at Yale has found Asian Americans very seldom reach the level of partner in law firms or positions as prosecutors and judges, reports the JD Journal.
Liu credits the mentoring he received from the late U.S. Rep Bob Matsui and former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh for his success, but points out there are very few other Asian American role models in the legal profession.
The study found Asian Americans have the lowest rate of partners to associates of all ethnic groups at major law firms.
Only two out of 97 appellate court judges are Asian American.
President Obama nominated Liu to an appellate court position in 2010, but the Republican dominated Senate refused to confirm him. California Governor Jerry Brown subsequently nominated Liu to the State Supreme Court position he has held since 2011.
Liu urged Asian Americans in the legal profession to break the mold and to seek out leadership positions.
“I think for people who feel like they are going into places that are unfamiliar to them and who defy what perhaps is conventional expectation, you always feel like you’re an imposter. There’s always that feeling like, ‘Oh, one day they’re going to find me out.”
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