Legal Advisory Board
The Legal Program is excited to announce the formation of our Legal Advisory Board, which consists of experienced, practicing attorneys who are passionate about NAPAWF's mission and work and will advise and support the work of the legal program and its Director as the program develops.
Advocacy Director, Legal Voice
Courtney Chappell has over 15 years of experience promoting racial and social justice. She is currently the Advocacy Director at Legal Voice where she helps to manage the organization’s strategic initiatives to advance the legal rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ individuals across the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Legal Voice, she served in a variety of leadership roles. She was the Senior Director of State Capacity Building at State Voices, and the Executive Director of the Center for Asian Pacific American Women. During the Obama Administration, Courtney served as Deputy Director at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, where she created a regional interagency working group that linked local AAPI communities with federal services and programs, becoming one of the Initiative's strongest legacies.
Courtney is passionate about using the law to advocate for women of color and vulnerable populations and leveraging different strategies – organizing, coalition building, community lawyering, and policy advocacy – to do so. As the Deputy Director at the DC Employment Justice Center, she worked in coalition to help the District to pass comprehensive unemployment insurance legislation and a "ban the box" bill that prohibited discrimination against workers with criminal records. Courtney also served as the first Policy & Programs Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, where she spearheaded the organization’s reproductive justice program and developed a multi-pronged action agenda that included lobbying, grassroots organizing, and public education.
Courtney graduated magna cum laude from the American University Washington College of Law, where she was a staff member of the American University Law Review. She has served on the boards of the Third Wave Foundation, the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, and the DC Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Courtney currently lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and two daughters.
Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program
Priscilla Huang is a Senior Attorney in the National Health Law Program’s Los Angeles offices. She focuses on reproductive health and justice issues in Medicaid and the private insurance market
Priscilla has a background in reproductive justice, racial and ethnic health disparities, and immigrant health care access. Prior to joining the National Health Law Program, Priscilla was a consultant and senior advisor with the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, where she spearheaded various federal interagency efforts on improving language services and data collection and reporting.
Before that, Priscilla was the senior director of impact strategies at the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, where she served as the organization’s primary policy strategist and oversaw its Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation advocacy efforts. Priscilla was also the Policy and Programs Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, where she led their federal advocacy efforts on reproductive justice, immigrant rights, and anti-human trafficking.
Priscilla has served on several boards and advisory committees and has been recognized for her leadership by the National Immigration Law Center, Families USA, the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, and others. Priscilla received her JD from American University, Washington College of Law, where she was one of ten Public Interest/Public Service Scholars. She received a BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College.
Counsel, Cohen & Gresser LLP
Erica Lai is a complex commercial litigator in the Washington, DC office of Cohen & Gresser LLP, specializing in civil antitrust, class actions, and white collar defense. She has counseled corporate and governmental clients litigating at all levels of federal and state trial and appellate courts, and federal agency proceedings. Erica’s advocacy extends beyond litigation to advising clients on proposed legislation, bills before Congress, government relations initiatives, and congressional investigations, including helping secure congressional resolutions acknowledging the injustice of the Chinese exclusion laws.
Erica has extensive pro bono experience in cases involving civil rights, immigration, and reproductive justice before federal district courts and courts of appeal, and advocacy to the U.S. Department of Justice. She successfully appealed the premature dismissal of an inmate’s civil rights claims to the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, helped persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to allow evidence of a convicted individual’s actual innocence not presented to the trial court to act as a gateway to merits consideration of otherwise time-barred habeas claims, and successfully challenged two states’ practice of denying driver’s licenses to DACA recipients.
Prior to joining Cohen & Gresser, Erica was a senior Litigation and Public Policy and Government Affairs associate at Covington & Burling LLP. Erica clerked for the Honorable John M. Walker, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Honorable Michael M. Baylson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 2008, she served as a Law Clerk for the United States Senate Judiciary Committee. Erica graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was on the Editorial Board of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. She also has a Public Policy Analysis Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Pomona College.
Pro Bono Counsel, Robins Kaplan LLP
Jenny Lee (she/her/hers) is Pro Bono Counsel at Robins Kaplan LLP, where she oversees the firm’s award-winning pro bono program and maintains a pro bono practice, primarily representing juveniles, immigrants, and victims of sexual violence. Prior to joining Robins Kaplan, Jenny was a staff attorney at the ACLU’s National Office in the Reproductive Freedom Project, where she challenged abortion restrictions across the country, including in Alaska, Wisconsin, and Alabama. She also worked at a plaintiffs’ class action firm where she sued financial institutions for mismanaging their 401(k) plans. Jenny is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, two children, and two dogs.
Lisa P. Mak
Associate, Minami Tamaki LLP
Lisa P. Mak is a trial attorney at the San Francisco law firm of Minami Tamaki LLP in the Consumer and Employee Rights Group. She is passionate about protecting the rights of workers, especially workers from minority and marginalized groups. She has extensive experience representing workers in various industries for all types of employment disputes, including discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour violations. Ms. Mak has served as trial counsel in several high-profile employment discrimination and retaliation cases.
Ms. Mak has been selected as a SuperLawyers Rising Star since 2015, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in California. She has been honored for her civil rights work by the Center for Workers’ Rights, the Equal Justice Society, and the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area. Ms. Mak graduated from UC San Diego summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and received her law degree from UC Hastings.
Ms. Mak is deeply committed to community service and diversity issues. She currently serves as an Officer for the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, as a member of the Board of Directors for Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Bar Association of San Francisco. She is also actively involved in the Minority Bar Coalition and the California Employment Lawyers Association.
Ms. Mak writes frequently about social justice and workplace equality issues, and her work has been published in Plaintiff Magazine and on the CELA Voice blog. She is also a certified domestic violence counselor.
Jenny R. Yang
Partner, Working Ideal
Former Chair and Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Jenny R. Yang served as a Commissioner and Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from 2013 to 2018. Under her leadership, the Commission launched the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace to identify innovative solutions to prevent harassment at work. Currently, as an Open Society Foundations Leadership in Government Fellow, and as a Fellow with the Urban Institute, Ms. Yang is studying the impact of structural changes in the workplace on employment protections – including anti-harassment protections – for the growing number of Americans working as independent contractors, subcontractors, temporary workers, and in the gig economy. In addition, as a Partner with Working Ideal, she is helping employers implement evidenced-based practices to promote inclusion and equality of opportunity. She is also teaching a seminar at the Georgetown University Law Center on the evolution of the nation's civil rights laws.
Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Yang represented workers nationwide as a partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section. Ms. Yang clerked on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A graduate of Cornell University, she earned a B.A., with distinction, in Government and a J.D., cum laude, from New York University School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Law Review and a Root-Tilden Public Interest Scholar.
Ms. Yang served as a Co-Chair and member of NAPAWF's National Governing Board from 1998-2004. She served as member of the Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center from 2008 to 2013. She currently serves on the Board of Overseers for the Heller School for Public Policy and Management at Brandeis and as an Advisory Board Member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of DC.