Karin Wang is Executive Director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, a unique specialization that trains and mentors the next generation of public interest lawyers.
Prior to joining UCLA, Wang advocated for civil rights and immigrant rights for more than 20 years. She was the long-time Vice President of Programs and Communications at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, where she oversaw its litigation, legal services, policy advocacy, pro bono, and communications strategies. Prior to that role, Wang directed Advancing Justice-LA’s immigrant rights project, helping secure public benefits for low-income and limited English speaking immigrants. She was also the Deputy Regional Manager for the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, launching its Los Angeles field office and enforcing federal civil rights laws across the southwestern U.S. and the Pacific region. Immediately after law school, Wang was a litigation associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco, where she worked on hate crimes and public benefits pro bono cases.
Wang has served on or chaired the boards of numerous legal community organizations, including the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (APABA), OneJustice, State Bar's Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and State Bar's Council on Access & Fairness. She also co-chaired the Pro Bono & Community Service Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Currently, she serves in an advisory capacity to Advancing Justice-LA, the Alhambra Source (a nonprofit community news organization), and API Equality-LA (a LGBTQ equality coalition that she helped to found).
For her activism and leadership, Wang was honored with the "Asian American Alumni of the Year" award from the University of Illinois and the Dale Minami Alumni Award (Berkeley Law), and has been recognized by community organizations and elected officials, including API Equality-LA, Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA), KCET, Lambda Legal, and Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL). NAPABA also named her as one of its "Best Lawyers Under 40”.
She has written and interviewed with media such as New York Times and Los Angeles Times on issues affecting Asian American, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities, with articles published in Berkeley Law’s Asian American Law Journal, UCLA Law’s Asian Pacific American Law Journal, and New York University Law’s N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change. Her essay on organizing Asian American communities in defense of marriage equality was included in the book Love Unites Us.
Wang earned her B.S. in finance summa cum laude from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and her J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law. At Berkeley Law, she was Editor-in-Chief of the Asian American Law Journal and a student member of the admissions committee.