Mission Statement

The Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law (OCCDL) is a collaborative effort of professionals from leading Orange County law firms and other community partners committed to achieving cultural diversity in recruiting and retaining law students and attorneys in Orange County.

How it Began

In 2004, the managing partners and office administrators of several major Orange County firms initiated an effort to address the increasing need for firms to:
  • Share best practices regarding recruiting and retention of diverse attorneys
  • Promote Orange County legal practice
  • Provide a forum for our diverse attorneys in Orange County to share their experiences
From these basic concepts, the Orange County Diversity Task Force was created. In 2014, the group's name was changed from Orange County Diversity Task Force to the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law, to more clearly reflect the long-standing commitment of the legal community to this effort. The group consists of Orange County law firms and other community partners dedicated to increasing diversity in the legal profession in Orange County.

OCCDL Events

OCCDL holds numerous programs throughout the year which explore all aspects of diversity within the legal profession.
  • Our annual UCI Panel on Legal Careers, an event co-sponsored by the University of California, Irvine, includes panelists from diverse backgrounds that currently practice law in the Orange County area. The program is designed to give both undergraduate and law students information on the wide variety of professional opportunities available to diverse lawyers in Orange County.
  • We host an annual mixer to give law students the opportunity to network with attorneys from member firms, as well as a program targeted at first-year associates providing information on how to succeed once they have started at their firms.
  • We partner annually with the Public Law Center to provide clinic training to 70-100 summer associates.
  • We support pipeline initiatives, including Project SELF (OC Bar Foundation), Saturday Academy of Law (UCI) and Pre-Law Outreach Program (UCI School of Law).
  • OCCDL partners with several affinity groups in Orange County to sponsor events throughout the year:
    • Asian American Bar Association
    • Black Leadership Advancement Coalition
    • Filipino-American Lawyers of Orange County
    • Hispanic Bar Association
    • Iranian American Bar Association
    • Korean American Bar Association
    • Lavender Bar Association (since inception)
    • South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
    • Thurgood Marshall Bar Association
    • Vietnamese American Bar Association of Southern California
    • Women's Lawyers' Association
Please review our events planned for this year and join us!

Board of Directors

PRESIDENT Jiaxiao Zhang is an associate in the Orange County office of McDermott Will & Emery. Her practice focuses on the protection, management, and enforcement of patents and other intellectual property, and strategic guidance in the areas of intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, corporate transactions, licensing, and competition. An experienced patent attorney and a former engineer at a biomedical device company, Jiaxiao has advocated for diversity and related mentorship in engineering, technology, and law since her student days. Jiaxiao is the Vice President of OCCDL, co-Chair of Programs for the Howard T. Markey American Inn of Court, a Public Law Center Advocate, and active in Racial & Ethnic and Gender Diversity efforts and committees at McDermott. Jiaxiao is also a proud member of OCAABA, SCCLA, APAWLA, and NAPABA.

VICE PRESIDENT Daniel Lopez is an associate in the Orange County office of Jones Day. His practice focuses on data privacy, cybersecurity, and commercial litigation. He advises clients on compliance with various U.S. consumer privacy laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), and the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC). He also assists clients in conducting data breach investigations, including advising clients on notification and other legal obligations arising from a data breach. Apart from Daniel’s involvement internally at Jones Day to promote diversity, he is a member of the Executive Board of the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law.

TREASURER Krystal Anderson is an associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s Orange County office. Krystal focuses her practice on complex business litigation and dispute resolution. Krystal has experience representing companies and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants throughout the litigation process, including pre-litigation counseling and investigations, in business tort and unfair competition-based disputes, as well as copyright, trademark, and trade secret disputes. Krystal also devotes time to pro bono work, representing multiple clients in immigration-related matters, is an active member of the Orange County Coalition for Diversity in the Law, the Iranian American Bar Association of Orange County, and the Federal Bar Association Orange County Young Lawyers Division, and regularly contributes to various publications, including Orrick’s Trade Secrets Watch blog. During law school, Krystal completed an externship for Honorable Judge Alex Kozinski at the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, served as President of the Cornell Law Students Association, was the Senior Cornell Law Library Research Assistant, and received academic awards including the CALI Award in Remedies.

SECRETARY Kainoa Asuega is a patent attorney in Crowell & Moring’s Orange County office. His practice focuses on strategic patent prosecution, litigation and counseling, through which he builds, manages and leverages patent portfolios involving market disruptive technologies for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500s. And at one point in his life, he had an opportunity to join Cirque du Soleil as a Samoan fire knife dancer for the O show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas – which he turned down in order to go to prom with his life partner and future mother of his three beautiful children.