Mark Son Featured In Korea Times- Next Generation Of Leaders In The Korean-American Community

Mark Son, a Staff Attorney in the Queens Office of the Criminal Practice was featured in an article in Korea Times about the "Next Generation of leaders in the Korean-American Community. Mark talked about his work as a public defender and how having a Korean public defender can help the Korean community.

Korea Times
Next Generation of Leaders in The Korean-American Community
June 9, 2014

There are people you want to meet, and there are people you don't want to meet. Mark Son has an outgoing personality and pleasant to talk to, but because of his job as a public defender, you are not always happy to see him.

"You would have to be arrested in order to meet me, so it's better that we don't see each other (laughs)."

Mr. Son currently represents roughly 70 clients. Many of his clients are charged with drug- or theft-related crimes. His clients cannot afford to hire a private attorney.

"Everyone is entitled to legal representation under our Constitution," Mr. Son said. "I represent people who cannot afford an attorney."

His work consists of finding witnesses and evidence to prove his clients' innocence and appearing in court with them. He tries to tell his clients' stories and protect their rights. Although some cases look like just another run-of-the-mill case to an attorney, Mr. Son tries to pay attention to every detail about the case because it can be life-changing for his clients.

"I once represented a client who was charged with a violation. We ended up going to trial because of the client's immigration status. I saw him sweating throughout the trial. Through that experience, I learned that every case, no matter how small it may look from the attorney's perspective, is important for the clients."

He worked in Manhattan for the past three years, but recently moved to the Queens office to help more Korean and Asian immigrants. He says he had more drug-related cases in Manhattan, but more DWIs and assaults in Queens.

Mr. Son graduated from University of Texas, at Austin, and Fordham University Law School. He initially wanted to become a DA. However, after an internship at Legal Aid, he decided to dedicate his work to the criminal defense.

"Sometimes, clients call me to say thank you. That makes this job very rewarding."