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Non-Judicial Endorsements

Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (PALSD) may consider requests for endorsements for non-partisan San Diego City and County positions related to the legal community, such as city attorney and district attorney, as well as candidates for the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Bar Association.


The purpose of providing endorsements is to ensure that the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community and its interests are represented in our community in a variety of positions. PALSD’s endorsement of an individual indicates that the individual is suitable for the office/position sought and supports PALSD’s mission and values.


A candidate seeking PALSD’s endorsement must contact PALSD at least 60 days prior to the deadline for the candidate’s application deadline with all of the required materials outlined below. However, PALSD is willing to work with candidates in the event that the position’s application process is shorter than a 60-day window on a case-by-case basis. PALSD reserves the right to decline endorsement requests based on insufficient time for full evaluation and consideration by the Committee and the right to decline to review an endorsement request at its discretion.


PALSD does not contact candidates and will not endorse a candidate who has not initiated the endorsement request to PALSD. The endorsement process is initiated by candidates only. Further, the names and application materials of all candidates seeking endorsement shall be kept confidential.


Committee Responsibilities

Upon the receipt of a written request for endorsement, PALSD will appoint an ad hoc endorsement committee (the “Committee”) to vet and interview candidate(s) seeking endorsement. At a minimum, the Committee shall consist of three (3) members of PALSD, two (2) of whom must be members of PALSD’s board.


The Committee will interview the candidate(s) and will make a written recommendation to PALSD’s board. The board will consider the recommendation of the Committee and may accept or reject the Committee’s recommendation. The final decision to endorse a candidate is made by PALSD’s board upon a simple majority vote.

Factors Considered In evaluating a candidate, the Committee gives significant weight to past and present participation and involvement in community activities, including the Asian American community and organizations, as well as demonstration of a strong commitment to diversity. Other factors that are considered (in no particular order) are:

1. Professional work experience

2. Demonstration of fairness

3. Commitment to equal opportunity

4. Active involvement in community activities and local bar associations

5. Integrity and character

6. Communication skills

7. Temperament

8. Participation and ties to communities of color.

Non-Judicial Endorsement Committee Members - 2022: 

  • Esther Bylsma, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP

  • Melissa Ocampo, San Diego County District Attorney's Office

  • Kris Mukherji, The Law Office of Kris Mukherji


Application process

PALSD encourages all interested individuals seeking PALSD’s endorsement to contact PALSD via email at with the following information at least 60 days prior to the deadline:


1. A cover letter containing the following items:

a. Title of the position sought

b. Any relevant deadlines associated with the endorsement request

c. Description of the candidate’s qualifications for the position sought

d. Candidate’s reason(s) for seeking PALSD’s endorsement

e. Description of the candidate’s involvement with the API community and local bar associations.


2. A copy of the candidate’s resume.


3. A copy of the candidate’s application for the position sought and any supporting application materials. In the event that the application has not yet been submitted, a completed draft will be accepted.


The following items are optional items to include:


1. A list of professional references


2. Any other relevant materials supporting the candidate’s endorsement request.


Upon receipt of a candidate’s request and required materials, the Committee will schedule a telephone or in-person interview with the candidate. An interview is a mandatory requirement of the endorsement process.

PALSD's Endorsement

Once PALSD’s board has decided to endorse a candidate, the Board will contact the candidate via email. At the candidate’s request, PALSD will consider posting the candidate’s promotional materials on PALSD’s website, Facebook page, and weekly newsletter. This decision is at PALSD’s sole discretion.


Please direct questions regarding the endorsement process or the Committee to

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