Vanessa Suh is a litigation associate at Busch White Norton in Atlanta. She represents property managers and lenders in commercial and residential real estate transactions and litigation matters, including the servicing and disposition of loans in Florida and Georgia. 

Published June 1, 2015

Before entering private practice, Ms. Suh served as a staff attorney in the State Court of Gwinnett County. During law school, Ms. Suh completed a judicial internship for the current Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court, Hugh P. Thompson. Ms. Suh is also fluent in Korean and previously worked as a law clerk at the largest law firm in South Korea.

Tell us about your background and what brings you to Atlanta.
My dad is a professor at Postech University in Pohang, Korea, and so on and off from 1st to 7th grade I lived in a little neighborhood called Pohang Gongdae, where the families of the professors lived. I love all the native things you can enjoy in Korea, like the mountains in your backyard or fresh tofu from the market. My dad moved us to Florida after that, and I moved to Atlanta after law school because I wanted to move to a bigger city but couldn't go any further north. I love warm weather and sun!

What attracts you to the practice of law?
I was a law clerk before this job and ended up in commercial litigation because it's what law firms thought I was fit to do. I used to think I was too, and that I liked to argue and be in court. But I realized there is a difference between doing that in school and doing that in real life, with higher stakes. I prefer not to fight, but to work together and make deals happen. So I'm hoping to transition into finance or transactional work. Or start a kale juice bar. That would be nice.

What do you enjoy about KABA-GA?
I like KABA-GA because it connects you to people who are pretty much in the same boat....Koreans just trying to make it.

If you could have one superpower, which would it be and why?
My superpower would be to change things that cannot be changed by one person. They say you can effect change in the world, but some things, like ending child sex trafficking, seem absolutely insurmountable. I mean, we've been fighting it for how long now? If I could have one power it would be to get rid of that forever.

Have you traveled anywhere outside of the US? What place was your favorite?
I have gone to Vietnam and Cambodia, and backpacked through Europe. My favorite was the South of France. It is very beautiful and serene, like a storybook.

Jared K. Hodges, an attorney at Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers’ Real Estate and Corporate Litigation teams, focuses his practice on eminent domain, title disputes, and business litigation. 

Published Oct. 15, 2014

Prior to joining Gregory Doyle, Mr. Hodges served as an associate at a federal employment litigation boutique and as a law clerk to Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle. During law school, Mr. Hodges clerked for Justice P. Harris Hines of the Supreme Court of Georgia and Fulton County Superior Court Judge John J. Goger, and summered with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor. Mr. Hodges graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University College of Law and served on Law Review as Articles Associate Editor. He also served as President of GSU's Asian American Law Students Association. Jared is a Southern California native who can't believe he's lived in Georgia for 5 years. He says the summers can be brutal here but the fall, spring, and winter make up for it. Go Bruins!

Describe your morning routine for success.
A tumbler full of the caffeinated nectar of the gods (i.e. black coffee), NPR/WABE for the ride to 25-minute drive to work, and a positive attitude for the challenges that inevitably lie ahead.

Which letter of the alphabet best describes you and why?
"M" for Metal Gear Solid 2, the best PS2 game ever made!

As a child, what did you think you would grow up to be?
An NBA analyst. It's not too late!

Recommend a dish at a restaurant in Atlanta that everyone should try.
The Beeter sandwich at Victory Sandwich bar. Beets and kimchee; what's not to like? Go. right. now. You won't be sorry.

What is your fondest childhood Halloween memory?
My fondest memory is the year my cousins emigrated from Korea and went trick-or-treating with me for the very first time. I can only imagine what they were thinking as we went door-to-door collecting candy as elementary school kids.

Ms. Sofia Jeong practices intellectual property at Troutman Sanders in Atlanta. She has been active in a number of Georgia organizations including KABA-GA.

Published Jan. 20, 2015

Tell us about your background and what brings you to Atlanta.
I was born in Seoul and lived in Latin America and Europe during middle school and high school. I graduated from a high school in Germany. I went to UVA for undergrad and law school (and the temptation of a scholarship) - Georgia State - brought me to Atlanta.

Tell us about what attracts you to the area of law you practice (or alternatively how you ended up in your field).
I practice IP law - mainly trademarks and copyrights. I work on protection of trademark and tradedress that you see on everyday products and services, including food, cosmetics, shoes, golf clubs, apparel, computer software, and utility services. The ability to work with clients in many different industries is very interesting.  I also love the fact that I get a lot of client interaction and see the trademarks I worked on being advertised on TV and online.

Why did you get involved with KABA-GA and what do you enjoy about it?
I wanted to build stronger relationships with Korean-American lawyers and help out law school students.

What is your fondest childhood memory on New Years Day?
Fireworks in Latin America. The entire city is lit up with fireworks and we would watch from the balcony of our high-rise condo. It was beautiful. I don't see that in the U.S., especially not in Atlanta.

What is your favorite restaurant in Atlanta? Please recommend one dish.
I consider myself a semi-foodie so this is difficult. I love Barcelona and I think their Pulpo Gallego (grilled octopus) is really good. I also love their lavender sangrias, but you need to ask them to make it semi-sweet.

Hidden Talents:

"Other than being handsome, I do have couple hidden talents. I played competitive basketball in middle school, high school, and in college. I can't play like how I was in college, but if we ever have a Bar association basketball championship, we can put up a good fight! I also practiced kumdo (martial arts) for 15 years. I won 2nd place at the Korean American Junior Olympics in 2007."

- Anthony Ji, Emory 3L


Ms. Lilia Kim is an attorney at King & Spalding with an interest in real estate. She is a member of the KABA-GA Programming Committee. She has the special distinction of being KABA-GA's only Russian-speaking attorney.  [Since this interview was published, Ms. Kim now works at the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance].

Published June 19, 2014

Tell us about yourself
I am a recently-admitted Georgia attorney from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Having attended UGA and Kentucky, I am an avid SEC fan. Other than playing and watching sports, I like to spend my free time traveling and exploring different cultures and cuisine. Yes, I like to eat. Especially Korean BBQ.

How did you end up in Atlanta?
My family moved to Atlanta when I was in high school, and I fell in love with the city right away. Even its inability to deal with the occasional snow.

What is your favorite part about practicing law?
I tend to get competitive, so I enjoy the adversarial aspect of law and getting the most favorable outcome for clients. I also enjoy the analytical side of law and having to solve the puzzle with no "right" answer.

How did you get involved in KABA-GA and what do you like about it?
I came across an article about KABA when I moved back to Atlanta after law school, and thought it would be a great opportunity to immerse myself in the Korean culture. I have enjoyed being a member of the Programming Committee, as it has allowed me to put my hyper-organization skills to use. The best part about KABA though is the relationships and friendships it allows you to develop. For example, through KABA I have met Sara Hamilton and discovered our shared affection for Vlad Putin.

As a Russian-speaking Korean attorney, who are you going to cheer for at the Korea v. Russia World Cup event?!
I was born in Uzbekistan, which was part of Soviet Russia at the time. Once a connection to the Motherland is made, Mother Russia does not let you break it. Or cheer against Mother Russia.

Anthony Ji is an Emory rising 3L and incoming President of the Asian-American Law Students Association at Emory University School of Law. You can find him at most KABA-GA Events lightening up the crowd.  [Since this interview was published, Mr. Ji has now graduated from Emory Law].

Published June 9, 2014

Tell me about yourself.

I was born in Busan, South Korea; raised in Los Angeles, CA; and became a man in Atlanta, GA. I am a rising 3L at Emory University School of Law. I am easy going most of the times, but fiercely competitive at times.

Why did you get involved in KABA and what do you enjoy about it

When I moved to Atlanta, I knew I had to find new friends immediately. Luckily, I met Greg Shin through Emory and through him I became involved with KABA. I like KABA because it provides opportunities to meet new people. For example, at the last meeting, I met Michelle Choe and it was fun spending time with her.

Do you know what kind of law?

I am very interested in tax law. People called me crazy last semester because I signed up for 3 tax courses, but I really enjoyed it. Its just like solving an intricate puzzle. I am interning at the IRS this summer so hopefully I will be able to narrow down a bit more after this summer.

Hidden Talents

Other than being handsome, I do have a couple of hidden talents. I played competitive basketball in middle school, high school, and in college. I can't play like how I was in college, but if we ever have a Bar association basketball championship, we can put up a good fight! I also practiced kumdo (martial arts) for 15 years. I won 2nd place at the Korean American Junior Olympics in 2007.

How did you get to be so good looking?

I was 5 ft 8 in when I was in the 7th grade. From that point on, I just grew into my awesome self. Here's some helpful tips: exercise, drink plenty of water, sleep regularly, and always have happy thoughts.

As a Russian-speaking Korean attorney, who are you going to cheer for at the Korea v. Russia World Cup event?!
"I was born in Uzbekistan, which was part of Soviet Russia at the time. Once a connection to the Motherland is made, Mother Russia does not let you break it. Or cheer against Mother Russia."

- Lilia Kim, Georgia Department of Banking and Finance

Member Spotlight

Do you want to be featured in the member spotlight, or do you want to recommend someone else to shine under the bright lights of KABA-GA? Contact Membership Committee Chair Hans Choe!

Why did you get involved with KABA-GA and what do you enjoy about it?

"I really like attending KABA events whenever I can. From the good food to interesting seminars that the organization holds frequently (not to mention the fun people you'll meet), I really think I got far more than my 30 dollars worth of membership dues. Best bang for the buck I'd say, haha."

- Han Chung, KABA-GA Member & Fulton County Assistant Solicitor General

Ms. Yoon Ettinger is an attorney at Greenberg Traurig's Atlanta office. She practices litigation, serves on the KABA-GA Membership Committee, and is the mother to a nine-month year old.

Published July 7, 2014

How did you end up in Atlanta?
I followed my heart to Atlanta to be with my better half/partner in life/partner in crime/ baby daddy. My family moved quite a few times as a child so I never really felt connected to a particular city until I moved to Atlanta. It is now my home base. It’s where I’m putting down my roots and building my future. Moving to Atlanta is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

What kind of law do you practice?
My current practice focuses on business litigation ranging from breach of contract, business torts, fraud and everything in between. A small but very exciting part of my practice is white collar criminal defense. I enjoy the variety of cases because it keeps things fresh and I’m never bored.

Why did you get involved in KABA-GA and what do you enjoy about it?
I got involved in KABA-GA because I have wonderful memories of the Korean Student Association (KSA) outings my family used to attend when I was a child in Austin, Texas where my father was earning his PhD. I really missed the feeling of community and support that we had through KSA. After moving from Austin, we didn’t have that same community or support because there were simply not many Koreans or other Asians around. When I found out about KABA-GA, I immediately joined and it’s been great! What I enjoy the most is the camaraderie and the instant connection I feel with other KABA-GA members. It’s amazing how quickly strong bonds can be formed when people share a common food and culture.

As an associate in a big firm, recent mother, and active KABA-GA member, do you have any advice on how to balance it all?
I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy. It’s not. What works for me is prioritizing. Some days I wish I could spend more time with my family, other days I wish I could spend more time at work or on my KABA-GA duties. I also try not to sweat the small stuff. If there are dishes in the sink or laundry piling up, I try not to sweat it. That’s also why I never invite people over to my house! I also have an awesome husband who shoulders the majority of child care when work takes over. When things slow down, I reciprocate so he can take a break and pursue his dreams and goals. Everything in life is trade-off. I just try to make the best trades for my situation.

Late night Korean food craving?
When I was in Korea a few years ago, my cousins took me out for a long night of drinking and eating. One of the many stops we made were for bul-dak, literally, fire chicken. It was burn your mouth hot (temperature and spicy) chicken smothered in gooey cheese. It kind of sounds gross but it was amazingly delicious and a perfect accompaniment for cold HITE beer. I’ve yet to locate bul-dak in Atlanta so instead, I’ll settle for a big bowl of spicy daeji gogi jigae or haemul soon dubu jigae. In reality, though, I usually just have a bowl of rice with a fried egg and gochujang because I don’t cook and you don’t want to wake a sleeping baby to get satisfy a late night Korean craving. Trust me, the cost benefit analysis is not in your favor!


Mr. Hans Choe is a 3L at Emory Law School who will graduate next month.  [Since this interview was published, Mr. Choe now works for Delta Air Lines].

Published April 23, 2014

How did you get your name?
I was named after the author Hans Christian Anderson. My mother enjoyed reading his books and often liked the boy characters in his stories.

Tell me about yourself.
I was born and raised in New York and moved to North Carolina in my teens. I loved the South so much I decided to move further down and now I call Atlanta home.  I am in my last year at Emory Law School with a focus in transactional law and skills. Before law school, I managed distribution and retail businesses dealing with international and domestic transactions.  During college, I worked as a habilitation technician for autistic children and served as the head coach for a youth ice hockey program.

What kind of law are you interested in?
I am very interested in corporate transactions and working deals with emerging corporations. I enjoy negotiating deals and helping companies expand their business.

How did you first get involved in KABA-GA?
I found out about KABA-GA last year at the first Inter-Bar Mixer. I met a lot of great people from various organizations that I wouldn't have otherwise.

What have you enjoyed about KABA-GA from a student perspective?
I enjoy seeing and being with all the members. It's like a family dinner. We all have crazy work and personal schedules but when we have an event, its truly great to see everyone make time to be a part of it.

You survived a rigorous 3 years at Emory Law. What are most looking forward to after graduating?
I am looking forward to starting a family and getting off my frozen dinner meal plan.

Late Night Food Cravings:

"... I usually just have a bowl of rice with a fried egg and gochujang because I don’t cook and you don’t want to wake a sleeping baby to get satisfy a late night Korean craving. Trust me, the cost benefit analysis is not in your favor!"

- Yoon Ettinger, Greenberg Traurig


Jung Wook Lee, KABA-GA Boardmember, practices family and general law in Duluth, Georgia.  On Sat., Nov. 8, 2014, Ms. Lee committed to volunteering for Korean American Community Service Day in the Atlanta area.

Published Nov. 6, 2014

Why have you committed to participating in the first Korean American Community Service Day?
I have committed to participate in the first Korean American Community Service Day to stay connected with my community and experience giving back with fellow Korean Americans.

What are you most looking forward to on November 8th?
I am excited about meeting... people at the volunteer event and learning about my community.

What organization did you choose to volunteer with?
I will be volunteering with the Gwinnett Community Alliance at their 5th Annual Gateway Festival where Gwinnett County celebrates its rich diversity and spotlight small local businesses. The event will be held with partnership with the City of Norcross specifically at Lillian Webb Park. I will be there to provide logistical support so that the event can run smoothly.

What do you hope KA Community Service Day will become one day?
I hope the KA Community Service Day becomes a national movement where we can step out of our daily grind to connect with others.


Steve Park became Managing Partner of Paul Hastings in Atlanta in 2014.  [Since this interview was published, Mr. Park has now transitioned into being a Partner in PH's Litigation Department.  He has been nationally recognized as a leading trial lawyer by noted publications.  The IAM Patent 1000 report recognizes him as “a brilliant lawyer with a dynamic global portfolio ... [whose] knowledge of the Asian market is unbeatable"].

Published March 28, 2014

What kind of law do you practice?
I focus mainly on intellectual property matters, including patent, trade secret, and unfair competition litigation as well as licensing negotiations.

You recently became managing partner for the Atlanta office, a role very few APA attorneys hold. Why were you interested in this and how did you manage to achieve it?
I have always been interested in the business side of the legal practice. And coming from an IP boutique, I wanted to learn more about Paul Hastings’ other practice areas. My role affords me the opportunity to do both. At the risk of sounding like a pro athlete, I attribute my career achievements to God’s providence.

What advice would you have for young Korean attorneys and law students?
Always treat others how you want to be treated. Don’t kiss up to people above you or talk down to people below you. Help people however you can without expecting anything in return. Understand your clients’ business and always put their interest before yours. Don’t just learn the law, understand the purpose behind it.

Do you ever get confused with the Steve Park at Nelson Mullins?
It is a common name, but I can’t say that I’ve ever been confused for that particular Steve Park. I have, however, been confused for Jackie Chan, “the guy from Lost,” Jet Li, Short Round, Mr. Miyagi, and the NASCAR driver. It’s fun living in the South. :)

What’s your secret late night Korean food craving?
Grilled BBQ pork, crispy on the edges.

Ms. Claire Lim is an attorney who practices in field of real estate law, bankruptcy, and general litigation in Duluth. She started her law practice at Morris Manning & Martin as a real estate attorney in 2005. She currently practices with her law school sweetheart and husband Joseph Zdrilich. They have two children, Madeleine and Andy.

Published Oct. 29, 2014

What is your Thanksgiving tradition?
My sister-in-law is a good cook so I normally pig-out at her house. When I come home, however, I need to eat a bowl of kimchi to help me digest my massive food intake.

If you planned a perfect day in Atlanta, what would you do?
I would sit at the bench somewhere in Inman Park and read a book (no electronic devices) that has nothing to do with law.

Name an ice cream flavor that best describes your personality? Salty Caramel

If you could be part of the main cast of any movie, what movie would it be and why?
Daisy in "The Great Gatsby" because who wouldn't want to be pursued by Leonardo while wearing cool classic clothes?!

As a child, what did you think you would grow up to be?

"An NBA analyst. It's not too late!"

- Jared Hodges, Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers


Han Chung is an Assistant Solicitor General at the Fulton County Solicitor General's Office (Atlanta Judicial Circuit). Mr. Chung prosecutes misdemeanor crimes within the jurisdiction.

Published Feb. 17, 2015

Tell us about your background and what brings you to Atlanta.
Like many families, my parents decided Atlanta would be a good destination to immigrate to in the mid 90's. I grew up in John's Creek, then I lived in Athens for four years to attend college. After college, I lived in Korea for two years and came back to Georgia to attend law school at Mercer University.

Tell us what attracts you to the area of law you practice?
Many Korean kids growing up in Seoul have at one point dreamed of becoming a prosecutor. I was no exception. They make the job look really cool on TV shows. Furthermore, my father's dream was to become a prosecutor. Needless to say that his positive views on prosecution influenced me to look at it in a really favorable light. While it is much easier to become a prosecutor here in the United States compared to Korea, my hopes of becoming one here in the United States never waned.

I wanted to become a prosecutor because I've always felt that Korean-Americans are underrepresented in the public sector. Whether it be in the legislature or other public offices such as the DA's office, I was always unhappy with the fact that we received "virtual representation" rather than having a direct impact on our State. In hopes of perhaps contributing to changing such trend, I chose a career in public service.

Why did you get involved with KABA-GA and what do you enjoy about it?
I really like attending KABA events whenever I can. From the good food to interesting seminars that the organization holds frequently (not to mention the fun people you'll meet), I really think I got far more than my 30 dollars worth of membership dues. Best bang for the buck I'd say, haha.

What is your fondest childhood memory from the Winter holidays.
On Christmas 1988, I was a four year old at a preschool Christmas party. A friend was telling all the kids that Santa Clause was fake and that it was our parents who slid the gifts under the tree overnight. I was furious. I vehemently defended his existence and argued that he was real. At the end of the Christmas party, I felt the ultimate vindication when Santa Clause showed up at the end of the party. I yelled "see he does exist!" and his jaws dropped and said "wow he does exist." This was one of my first few memories of Christmas.

What is your go to beverage to warm you up in a cold winter day?
While hot cocoa is always nice, nothing like vodka will give you the warmth you need during the winter!

KABA-GA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

Registered address: KABA-GA, c/o June Lee, Nelson Mullins, 201 17th Street NW, #1700, Atlanta, GA 30349

Membership Dues: For the address where to mail checks only, please email our Treasurer: treasurer@kabaga.org

All other Email communications: communications@kabaga.org

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