We are pleased to announce that Soo Seok Yang, a lawyer in our Mass Torts Section, has been presented the Commendation Award by the Federation of Korean Associations of Southeast USA, in recognition of his service to the Korean community of Montgomery.
The Federation of Korean Associations of Southeast USA is an organization that represents about 200,000 Koreans and their communities in the six southeastern states (Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina). It consists of 35 regional Korean American Associations representing 35 major cities in those states.
Each year, the Federation selects a few Koreans (or Korean Americans) and awards this Commendation Award to recognize their consistent service, effort and commitment to make their communities better. Soo Seok was given the award this year and was honored at the Korean Association’s 2017 New Year’s Annual Meeting (the largest gathering of the year) for his service to the Korean community of Montgomery. Soo Seok serves as Executive Director of the Korean American Association of Greater Montgomery, covering Korean communities in Montgomery and other adjacent cities including Auburn, Opelika and Birmingham. Soo Seok had this to say:
I am so humbled and honored to receive this award. I think of it as an encouragement to better serve our communities. As the State of Alabama becomes more diverse and the Korean population increases, it is my hope that I can be a contribution to promoting unity among people.
Soo Seok was presented the award by Mr. Sang Yong Lee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation, and also the Chairman of the Special Committee on Reunification Affairs. He is from Atlanta and attended the meeting to present the award on behalf of Mr. Hwan Sohn, the President of the Federation of Korean Associations of Southeast USA.
Soo Seok was born in Seoul, South Korea, and first came to the U.S. as part of the U.S. Congress-Korea National Assembly Exchange Program with Congressional Internship in 2006. Graduating summa cum laude from high school, he went to Handong Global University, a pioneering Christian university, where he double majored in Political Science and English. He graduated with Meritorious Commendation, an award given to a graduating member recognized for his outstanding contribution to the school.
After graduation, Soo Seok applied for the Korean Air Force and finished the Officer Training School as sixth among about 400 candidates. He served in the Korean Combat Operations Intelligence Center (K-COIC) at the Osan Air Base and worked with the U.S. 7th Air Force to analyze North Korea’s military activities. He also served as the Co-President of the U.S.-Korea Company Grade Officers’ Council in the K-COIC.
In December 2007, Soo Seok graduated cum laude from Handong International Law School (HILS), a Christian law school that teaches U.S. common law in English, also located in South Korea. After graduation, Soo Seok came to Montgomery, Alabama, and interned for Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker. He and his wife both passed the Alabama Bar Examination in 2008 and became two of the first few Korean Alabama lawyers. Soo Seok pursued his LL.M. degree in intellectual property law at the George Washington University Law School with an emphasis on trademark and copyright.
Soo Seok is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Montgomery County Bar Association. Soo Seok was selected by the Alabama State Bar to be one of 30 lawyers in the State Bar’s 2017 Leadership Forum. The forum is a highly competitive program designed to bring together and train tomorrow’s leaders of the Bar from across the State.
Soo Seok and his wife, Doh Ah, have four children: Yookyum Abraham, Yoojin Johanna, Yooha Elijah and Yooeun Hannah Grace. Both their parents serve as missionaries in Taiwan. Soo Seok speaks Korean and conversational Chinese. We are most fortunate to have Soo Seok in our firm.
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