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NAPABA Presents Bill Lee with Trailblazer Award at 24th Annual Convention

November 26, 2012

On November 16, during the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) annual reception and awards ceremony, Partner Bill Lee was presented a 2012 NAPABA Trailblazer Award. Lee is one of nine individuals to receive the 2012 Trailblazer Award, NAPABA's highest honor, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity, and those who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal profession, as well as the broader APA community.

Among the many milestones in his career, under his leadership as managing partner of Hale and Dorr from 2000–2004, Lee was responsible for the successful merger of this firm with Wilmer Cutler Pickering LLP. Lee continued to serve as co-managing partner of WilmerHale from 2004–2011 and, with this, holds the honor of having served as the first Asian-American managing partner of an AmLaw 100 law firm.

Lee’s trial and appellate experience is extensive. He has tried more than 100 patent cases, both jury and jury waived, to judgment and argued more than 50 appeals before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and other Courts of Appeals. Among many, his victories in the record-breaking patent ruling reversal for Abbott Laboratories and litigation battles for Broadcom are well known, as is his role in the Apple v. Samsung patent trial.

While Lee has gained unmatched respect and prestige as a trial lawyer, his impact outside the office has been significant as well. He is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2010, Lee was appointed a fellow of the Harvard Corporation. Throughout his career—and while accomplishing all of this—Lee has championed the development and progress of the diversity within the firm and the legal industry.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students, which continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.