BOSTON, Oct. 30, 2006 – The American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will award Goodwin Procter's Paul Lee with its prestigious "Spirit of Excellence Award," which celebrates the accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession.
Lee, partner in the firm's Private Equity and Securities & Corporate Finance practices, was nominated for this honor by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) in recognition of his longstanding work in promoting diversity at Goodwin Procter, in his local community and nationally at the ABA and NAPABA.
Lee has been very active with NAPABA, serving on its Board for five years and as its President in 1995. In addition, his extraordinary depth of commitment to opening doors for racially and ethnically diverse lawyers is exemplified by his endowment of $100,000 to the NAPABA Partners' Community Law Fellowship with the NAPABA Law Foundation. The Community Law Fellowship was established at Lee's suggestion in 2004 to enable committed attorneys to pursue careers in service of Asian Pacific American populations by providing much needed entry-level positions for recent law school graduates interested in public service work. Moreover, Lee founded and was the first president of the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts in 1983.
"Paul Lee's leadership in the Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts and NAPABA helped these two groups develop a viable national voice on the important issues of diversity," said Regina M. Pisa, chairman and managing partner at Goodwin Procter. "His dedication in promoting diversity within the legal profession reflects Goodwin Procter's strong commitment in this area and we are extremely proud of him. Paul continues to be active in our firm's Diversity Committee and was instrumental in the development of the Goodwin Diversity Fellowships, which provide annual stipends to minority law students to help them defray the cost of their legal education."
Lee was born in Boston, growing up in the city's Chinatown, where his parents worked in restaurants and garment factories. His family later moved to Brookline, Mass. where he attended Brookline High School. In 1968, he enrolled in Columbia University and earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. After working briefly as a computer programmer, he decided to change careers and enrolled in Cornell University Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. He strongly believed that, among other benefits, pursuing a law degree would allow him the opportunity to contribute to the Asian community.
Lee concentrates his practice on corporate and securities law and represents high technology and financial services companies. He advises boards of directors and represents large and small public and privately held companies in connection with business, securities, governance and transactional matters. He also advises high technology ventures regarding their organization, seed and venture capital financings, IPOs and licensing issues.
Goodwin Procter congratulates the other "Spirit of Excellence Award" honorees, including Paulette Brown, Former President of the National Bar Association and Partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP; William Coleman Jr., Former United States Secretary of Transportation, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and Senior Counselor at O'Melveny & Myers; Hon. Joseph W. Hatchett, Former Chief Judge United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and Shareholder and Chair of the Appellate Practice Group at Akerman Senterfitt; Arturo L. Jaramillo, Former President State Bar of New Mexico and Secretary New Mexico General Services Department; Hon. William S. Richardson, Former Chief Justice Hawaii Supreme Court and in residence, William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii; and Thomas A. Mars (Corporate Award), Chairman, ABA Minority Counsel Program Steering Committee and Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
About Goodwin Procter LLP
Goodwin Procter LLP is one of the nation’s leading law firms with 700 attorneys. The firm's core areas of practice are corporate, litigation and real estate, with specialized areas of focus that include financial services, private equity, technology companies, REITs and real estate capital markets, intellectual property and products liability. Goodwin Procter is headquartered in Boston, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
About the American Bar Association
With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.
The ABA's Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession is a catalyst to change the legal profession to reflect the society it serves. It helps racially and ethnically diverse lawyers advance their careers and standing in the profession. Its leadership, programs and information help the profession understand and eliminate racism, bigotry and discrimination. The commission works to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession, and thus enrich it.