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NCVAA - National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys

Speaker Bios

Honorable Le Jacqueline Duong

Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara

  • Appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007, Judge Duong is the first Vietnamese American woman to be appointed to the bench in northern California
  • In 1975, she and her family escaped by boat to the United States
  • She graduated Magna Cum Laude from SJSU and received her J.D. from UC Davis School of Law
  • Judge Duong currently presides over criminal cases, and has previously served as Administrative Supervising Judge of the South County Courthouse and Supervising Judge for the Appellate Division for Superior Court of Santa Clara County, and has been assigned to Family Court, Juvenile Justice Court and Felony Trials
  • Prior to her judicial appointment, she worked for the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, Santa Clara County Office of County Counsel
  • She is a founding member of VABANC, inaugural NCVAA, and Vietnamese American Professional Women of Silicon Valley
  • She serves her community in other ways, including hosting Education Forums for local school districts, addressing issues like gang violence and prevention, and mental health within the Vietnamese American community


Professor Lan Duong

Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies, University of Southern California

Lan Duong is Associate Professor in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of Treacherous Subjects: Gender, Culture, and Trans-Vietnamese Feminism (Temple University Press, 2012). Dr. Duong’s second book project, Transnational Vietnamese Cinemas and the Archives of Memory, examines Vietnamese cinema from its inception to the present day. She has coedited an anthology called Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders in Literature and Art (University of Washington Press, 2013). A founding member of the Critical Refugee Studies Collective, Duong serves as coeditor for the UC Press book series on Critical Refugee Studies and for the website,


Professor Viet Thanh Nguyen

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author
University Professor
Aerol Arnold Chair of English
Professor of English, Comparative Literature and American Studies & thnicity, University of Southern California

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and numerous other awards. His other books are a short story collection, The Refugees; Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction); and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundations, he is also a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and the editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. His most recent publication is Chicken of the Sea, a children’s book written in collaboration with his six-year-old son, Ellison. His next book is the sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed, forthcoming in March 2021.


Kim Luu-Ng

Founder and Managing Partner, KLN Firm

Kim Luu-Ng is an immigration lawyer and human rights advocate. She is founder and principal of KLN Firm, PC, a boutique immigration law firm that exclusively practices family, citizenship, deportation defense, and humanitarian immigration law (asylum, domestic violence, human trafficking, victims of serious crimes).
Prior to her own practice, Kim worked under the auspices of the Nations to represent survivors of torture in asylum proceedings, and practiced humanitarian immigration law and deportation defense at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. She also served inside US detention centers under the Executive Office of Immigration Review’s Legal Orientation Program as a detention attorney, providing legal orientation and advocacy for detained immigrants, and training pro bono attorneys.

Deeply committed to public service, Kim serves on advisory board for Program for Torture Victims (PTV), a non-profit organization that assists survivors of state-sponsored torture and persecution, and the Community Outreach Committee for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA). Kim previously chaired the Refugee Forum of Los Angeles County, a consortium of NGOs, refugee resettlement agencies, and government entities that advocates for the needs of immigrants fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in Los Angeles County. In 2016, Kim and her husband Chef Bryant Ng founded LA Chefs for Human Rights (LACHR), which has since raised close to $1 million US dollars to support non-profit organizations committed to serving human rights causes.


Honorable John M. Tran

Fairfax Circuit Court Virginia

  • Upon taking the bench on July 1, 2013 Judge Tran became the 63rd Circuit Court judge of record in Fairfax County since 1742
  • The son of a South Vietnamese diplomat and later a refugee in the United States, Judge Tran spent his entire adult life in the Washington Metropolitan Area and proudly considers himself a Virginian
  • Prior to his appointment on the bench, Judge Tran shaped his trial experience as a state and federal prosecutor in Alexandria, Virginia and later as a litigation partner in the Old Town Alexandria law firm of DiMuroGinsberg, P.C.
  • Judge Tran received numerous awards including being an “AV” rated lawyer under Martindale Hubbell, a “Super Lawyer”, a “Best Lawyer”, a 2010 Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and a 2011 Virginia Lawyers Weekly “Leader of the Law”
  • He remains proudest of and grateful for APABA-Va’s 2010 Presidential Award of Merit, APABA-DC’s 2013 Pioneer Award, the National Conference of Vietnamese American Attorneys 2013 Trailblazer Award, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s 2013 Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award and VABA-DC’s 2014 “Crown”
  • He also serves on the Virginia Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Court and is a Member of the Boyd-Graves Conference
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