Contact: Rosanne M. Van Heertum
Director of Development, The New York Bar Foundation

May 11, 2009


University of  Washington Law Student Selected for Prestigious Honor

Hai-Ching Yang, a student at the University of Washington School of Law (Seattle, WA), has been chosen as the inaugural Hon. Charles L. Brieant, Jr. Fellow.  The fellowship is administered by The New York Bar Foundation.  A native of Flushing, Queens, Ms. Yang was selected by Hon. Kimba M. Wood, Chief United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, to serve as a judicial intern in the Court during the summer 2009.  More than 300 applications were submitted for the $5,000 fellowship, which will be applied to Yang's tuition or other appropriate law school-related expense during her second year of law school.

A summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University (Ithaca), Ms. Yang is pursuing a J.D. degree and expects to graduate from law school in 2011.  She is a recipient of the President's Scholarship from the Asian Bar Association of Washington and the Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Law Foundation.  Yang earned a B.A. degree in Sociology and Asian Studies while at Cornell where she was a member of the Quill and Dagger Senior Honor Society, the Golden Key International Honor Society and Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.  She was recognized with the Office of Minority Educational Affairs Award for Scholarship and Leadership and the Community Service Award for Ithaca Asian American Heritage Month while at Cornell.

Fluent in spoken and written Mandarin, Yang served a one-year Fulbright Research Fellowship at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China where she studied the role of threat perception in U.S.-China relations through the lens of urban underclass.  From 2006 through 2008, she was deputy secretary-general and consultant for Peking University Women's Law Studies and Legal Aid Center in Beijing, coordinating all activities within Women's Watch-China, an advocacy think tank program for the Center.  Additionally, she served as a summer intern at the Legal Aid Society and Urban Justice Center, both of New York, and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum in Washington, DC.

"We are delighted to name Ms. Yang the 2009 Hon. Charles L. Brieant, Jr. Fellow and I am pleased at the prospect of working with her this summer," said Judge Wood.  "This fellowship is a wonderful way to honor the memory of Judge Brieant and I am certain that Ms. Yang will pursue the fellowship with enthusiasm while learning to appreciate Judge Brieant's spirit of justice and deep sense of fairness, honesty and independence."

The fellowship has been established to commemorate the selfless dedication of Judge Charles L. Brieant, Jr. to public service and the federal courts.  Judge Brieant, who passed away last year, was appointed a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York in 1971.  He served on the Court for 37 years and as the Court's Chief Judge for seven of those years.  The creation of the fellowship was spearheaded by the law clerks and judicial interns who served in Judge Brieant's chambers during his years of judicial service.  Proudly known as members of Judge Brieant's Judicial Family, the law clerks and judicial interns all share the commitment of preserving the memory of Judge Brieant and passing on his wit and wisdom to those who will serve as the Judge Brieant Fellows in the years to come.

Founded in 1950, The New York Bar Foundation solicits charitable contributions and provides funding for the following purposes: increasing public understanding of the law; improving the justice system and the law; facilitating the delivery of legal services; and enhancing professional competence and ethics.  For more information about The New York Bar Foundation, go to, phone 518/487-5651 or email