WBA celebrates Pride Month by celebrating the LGBTQ+ members of our community.

Evelyn Jung (they/them) is a second-generation Korean American non-binary person working as a Recruiting Director at The Partners Group, a legal staffing firm. They completed their undergraduate degree at New York University and then received their J.D. from George Washington University Law School.”

Evelyn tells us: “The part of my job that I love the most is building and establishing strong and lasting relationships between candidates and prospective employers, to ensure that both parties have a solid foundation for success and compatibility. A bonus of my work is that I get to help people make career-advancing moves. I love connecting with people – networking is a personal passion of mine. As a fierce advocate for and member of the queer community, I love to attend community events where I can support queer businesses. I am an appreciator of all things artistic – I love seeing live music shows, visiting art museums, and exploring the DC art scene with my spouse and friends.”

Evelyn is  member of the DC LGBTQ+ Bar Association and a recent member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Additionally, Evelyn is a member of the Equality Chamber of Commerce (ECCDC) and was recently selected to be a featured member on the cover of their annual industry magazine. ECCDC is a nonprofit network of several hundred queer and allied businesses and business leaders in the DC metropolitan area. If you want to get involved, you can find more information here.

What inspired you to join the WBA?
I am a recent member of the WBA and wanted to join for the networking opportunities! Networking is quite important in my line of work, and it is a goal of mine to have a reputation as a notable QPOC legal recruiter in the DC market. I would like to be a friendly face and a safe space for folks to turn to when considering a career change. I was also extremely excited to participate in the WBA Golf Tournament, as I have recently taken up golf as a new passion!

How did your community growing up shape who you are now?
I moved around quite a bit so my community growing up was not constant. I lived amongst more conservative and homogeneous populations, which at times was quite difficult and played a role in delaying my understanding of my own identity. I would say the community with the most influence on who I am now is the one I built and surrounded myself with later in life from my undergraduate years on. Going to school in New York City and then Washington, DC, I’ve been extremely privileged to have folks in my life who are open-minded and open-hearted. My friends and loved ones have provided a safe space for me to explore different facets of my identity, and I’m incredibly proud of my relationships with myself and my community.

What motivated you to enroll in law school?
Admittedly, I am one of those kids whose parents gave me two choices after college: med school or law school. Ultimately my decision to go to law school was fueled by my desire to help my community. I am a second-generation Korean American person, and I have always wanted to serve as an advocate for my family. Throughout my life, I saw the struggle that came with cultural and language barriers and have witnessed others taking advantage of my parents, family members, and community members using those barriers. So much of the law is the language you speak, not just the English language but also the Legal jargon that can be inaccessible to many people. I wanted to use my skills as an advocate for those who don’t know the language.

What advice would you give to an LGBTQ+ law student who aspires to be where you are now?
Some advice I might give any law student is to consider taking some time between undergraduate school and law school. Taking time to re-focus your priorities and get a more solid understanding of what you’d like your future to look like can be valuable, as many who go to law school are extremely driven and know exactly what they want out of it.

Advice I would give to an LGBTQ+ law student would be to join groups and organizations at school that will connect you to other folks in the queer community. Having queer friends has been incredibly important to my mental/emotional well-being, and it’s so important to have fun while working hard in school!

What does Pride Month mean to you personally, and why is it important to celebrate it?
There are still moments in my life where I’m urged to hide who I am and make myself small to avoid conflict and scrutiny from others. Pride Month, to me, serves as a reminder that I have no reason to make myself small, and that my unique identity adds color and flavor to the world. Pride Month is so important to celebrate because it makes queer people visible to the world and known to each other. There is strength in unity, and we can make more change in this world when we come together and remind folks that we deserve to be here as much as anyone else. We deserve to be acknowledged, held, and supported for the beauty that queerness brings to life.

What progress or positive changes have you witnessed for the LGBTQ+ community in recent years?
This is honestly a difficult question to answer because the honest answer is that LGBTQIA2S+ folks are under attack right now. Just last year the Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans and issued a guidebook to ensure safety for queer travelers. Despite the current climate, I have seen our community band together in the face of adversity in a way that fills me with hope. Tools like social media give visibility to people in our community that we wouldn’t otherwise have witnessed. This visibility leads to community building – we are listening to each other, supporting each other, and understanding each other in new ways every day. We have persevered and strengthened community bonds through the power of language and communication, and I don’t see that slowing down or stopping.

What are your hopes or aspirations for the future of the LGBTQ+ community?
My aspiration is that queer people are given the same rights and respect as others.  I hope that we can build empathy, compassion, and understanding so that queer people can exist peacefully. A more immediate hope is for folks to start practicing using inclusive language. For example, one thing we can all do today is include our pronouns in our bios and signatures. This is a quick and easy way to signal to people that we are someone they can trust with their pronouns and identity.