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Yangkyoung Lee - Senior Counsel - Strongin Law.jpeg

Yangkyoung Lee

Senior Counsel

Languages Spoken: English and Korean

Ms. Lee Is a Former Investigative Reporter, and Persistence is Her Nickname

One important quality of a good lawyer is persistence. Persistence will get the clients the best result that they deserve. 

 

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Lee had her own private practice, representing clients in personal injury cases, business litigation matters and employment litigation.

No Backing Down When She Believes A Wrong Has Been Made, Even When a Governor Is Involved

Before she became an attorney, Ms. Lee used to be an investigative reporter. One good example of Ms. Lee’s persistence is her Devil’s Lake story that she wrote while working for a newspaper in North Dakota. The investigation took months, and the story that brought the incompetence and lies of the state government officials to light was not easy to get published to say the least.

The story involved a water issue that had plagued the local farmers at least a couple of decades. As a young reporter and an outsider from South Korea, Ms. Lee faced many challenges to get the story published. Not only did she face strong resistance from the governor who tried to cut her off  during the interview when faced with tough questions, but she also had to deal with resistance from her newsroom. After three months of investigation, and interviewing various players in the project, Ms. Lee finally got her story published. Ms. Lee persisted because she believed that a wrong has occurred, and the truth should come out. Her story revealed that the government wasted $23 million of the taxpayers’ money on a project that they knew from the beginning would be of no benefit to the community.

Persuading the Most Unpersuadable is One of Her Skills

After her editor’s attempt to water down the story, Ms. Lee did not give up. She requested a face-to-face meeting with the publisher. After grilling her for half an hour, the publisher, who was a friend of the governor, approved her story. Not only that, the publisher wrote an editorial in support of her story, praising Ms. Lee’s accomplishment of something that other had failed to do for decades. By the time the story was headlined on a Sunday edition in 2007, Ms. Lee, a total stranger to engineering, became an expert on engineering numbers related to the project because the story revolved around engineering numbers.

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Awards

  • James A D’Angelo Outstanding Child Advocate Award 2014

  • Pro Bono Legal Service 100+ hours Recognition, University of San Diego School of Law

  • Best Petitioner Brief 1st Place, 2013 Paul A. McLennon, Sr. Honors Moot Court Tournament 

  • CALI Award In Death Penalty Seminar, University of San Diego School of Law, 2012

  • First Place Award for Government Reporting by North Dakota Newspaper Association: “Exaggerated Effectiveness,” May 2008

Education

  • Konkuk University, Seoul, South Korea*, B.A. in Business Administration and English (2004)

  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln M.A. in Journalism (2006)

  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D. (2014)

Admitted Jurisdictions

  • All state courts of California

  • U.S. District Court Southern District Court of California

  • U.S. District Court Central District Court of California

Languages

  • English

  • Korean

Organizations

  • Orange County Bar Association

  • Orange County Korean American Bar Association

  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association

Personal Facts About Ms. Lee

Ms. Lee is an open-water swimmer. She is slow but can last long in the ocean. She is a lover of the ocean who enjoys swimming with dolphins. She volunteers at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

*Konkuk University is one of the top universities in South Korea, founded in 1946 and based on three virtues: sincerity, fidelity, and righteousness.

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