Michael Lee, senior associate in Alston & Bird’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group, has been honored by the State Bar of Texas with its 2019 “Pro Bono Award.”
The award, made by the bar’s Asian Pacific Interest Section, honored Lee for his successful advocacy on behalf of an Ethiopian national seeking U.S. asylum. Referred to Lee by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, the client was unjustly detained and tortured in his home country for his political beliefs. Initially filed in 2012, the asylum claim was finally heard in January 2018. With the support of an Alston & Bird team, Lee dedicated hundreds of hours to the case, including gathering evidence, briefing the court, and retaining expert witnesses. Following a four-hour hearing, the court decisively granted asylum for his client, who is now on the path to citizenship.
Formed in 1995, the Texas Bar Asian Pacific Interest Section is a statewide umbrella organization for promoting the common professional interests of lawyers of and interested in Asian-Pacific American heritage, community, and culture in Texas.