Duluth Man Named First Asian Pacific American Chief Public Defender in Minnesota History

Updated: 03/12/2014 10:49 PM
Created: 03/12/2014 10:43 PM

Minnesota's Board of Public Defenders announced a historic decision on Wednesday, making a Duluth man the first Asian Pacific American to be a chief public defender in Minnesota.

42-year-old Dan Lew says it is an incredible honor to be named the top defendant for the Sixth Judicial District.

Lew will oversee a team of 30 lawyers and 10 professional staff who provide public defense in six counties and six courthouses,  according to a press release from the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

"My hope is that there are many other young professionals and certainly young professionals of color who are ready to commit to a career and a life in public service," Lew said.

Lew is only the fourth Asian Pacific American chief public defender in the entire United States.

Lew is replacing the retiring Fred Friedman who held the job for nearly 40 years.

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