My name is Chris Kim and I am a Plaintiff’s personal injury and employment attorney. What does this mean? I help people physically, emotionally, or financially harmed by someone else’s intentional or negligent acts. While I’m an attorney by trade, I’m really a problem solver and storyteller. I strive to resolve my clients’ problems in the courtroom by telling their stories in the most compelling way possible to the defense counsel, judge, and jury. And my mission is straightforward: protect my clients’ dignity as human beings and obtain justice on their behalf.
This hasn’t always been my mission though. It’s taken nearly 10 years of working at different law firms and in varying areas of law to discover this purpose. But it makes sense now in hindsight. Let me explain.
I attended the University of California, San Diego for my undergraduate studies in Communication. I went to college wanting to become a reporter. I grew up watching the late Peter Jennings and was inspired by his calm and reassuring presence during times of tragedy. His ability to report a big event while weaving a human story in a compelling way was powerful. And his way of sharing human stories stuck with me. But for reasons I don’t know, I ditched journalism and pursued law. Unlike some lawyers, I didn’t dream of becoming a lawyer or spend years in debate club preparing for a career in law. I chose law because I thought it would be useful in any future career. Inspiring, I know.
After college, I attended Loyola Law School, Los Angeles where I focused on trial and litigation courses. From day 1, I wanted to be in the courtroom and try cases as a prosecutor. I dreamed of standing before 12 members of my community and delivering justice on behalf of victims and their families. While in law school, I trained at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, handling misdemeanor and felony cases. I also had the privilege to work under the Honorable Gail A. Andler (Ret.) in the Orange County Superior Court, where I gained insight on how attorneys and judicial officers resolve civil disputes.
When I graduated law school, there was a statewide hiring freeze for prosecutors, so I had to find another job. This led me to a law firm defending the County of Los Angeles and other major public entities in civil rights cases. Many were high-profile involving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. From officer-involved shootings, wrongful death, use of force, and search-and-seizure claims, I represented law enforcement officers in highly sensitive constitutional matters. This work had me travel all over California to depose witnesses, argue dispositive motions before state and federal judges, and go toe-to-toe against premier civil rights attorneys. Through these cases, I cut my teeth litigating and defending multi-million dollar disputes in both state, federal, and appellate courts.
After several years of civil rights litigation, I shifted my practice to business, employment, and legal malpractice. I wanted to expand my abilities to serve my community – many of whom faced daunting legal problems with their small businesses, employers, and employees – so I sought opportunities in different areas of law. I worked on a variety of business and employment matters representing entrepreneurs, founders, financial institutions, private equity firms, government agencies, healthcare businesses, real estate franchisors, and high-net worth individuals in complex matters in federal and state courts across the country.
Despite working on significant cases and securing results for impressive clients, something was missing. I had an amazing career, worked with talented attorneys and law firms, but I was left wanting more. I thought what I needed more of were larger victories and bigger clients. I was wrong. I needed to focus on the human story and serving my fellow brothers and sisters.
I struggled to figure out what to do next. As I reflected on my life and the life I wanted to live, the familiar Parable of the Talents stood out. In that story, a landowner goes away on a trip and entrusts his money to three of his servants. To one he gives five talents, to another two talents, and to the last, one talent, each according to their ability. While the master is gone, the first two went to work doubling their master’s money, but the third servant safeguarded his money and did nothing with it. Upon the master’s return, he praised the first two servants, but was outraged with the third servant who did nothing with the money.
This parable got me thinking about all the gifts I have received from God. The gift of life itself, health, rich relationships with my family and friends, faith, the ability to learn, and the opportunity to step up for people who cannot stand up for themselves. I saw myself in the third servant – fixated on maintaining what I had out of fear and ego, and not boldly growing and using what God has given me to serve others. I know the question that will be asked of me when my time is up is how have I loved and cared for others?
Although I’m not the reporter I imagined to be in college, I now have the privilege to be the voice for the voiceless and stand up for the little guy. I have the honor to craft and tell inspiring stories of my clients who are hard-working and honest people simply wanting justice – to be compensated for what was unlawfully taken from them and to have their dignity as a human person acknowledged and restored. This is the foundation of Lee & Kim LLP. We built this firm to serve the client, promote the common good, and safeguard the dignity of the human being.
In every case we take on and each client we represent, Lee & Kim seeks righteousness. We advocate and represent everyday people against insurance companies, corporations, and individuals who have violated their rights as a human being and refuse to accept accountability. While we cannot guarantee a specific result, we promise one thing: our commitment to fight for you and champion your cause. We will do our best to seek justice and uphold the truth so you can receive the compensation and peace you deserve.