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Bill Lann Lee

government official

Son of Chinese immigrants who ran a laundry in New York City, Lee graduated from Yale University and Columbia University Law School. He became a civil rights lawyer, serving as western director for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Lee became the highest-ranking Asian-American law enforcement official in the United States when President Clinton named him assistant attorney general for civil rights in 1997. After the Clinton administration, he joined a San Francisco law firm, and specialized in class action lawsuits concerning human rights and employment.


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