Judge Lucy H. Koh was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 20, 2010 to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The Senate confirmed Koh in a 90–0 vote on June 7, 2010. She is the first Asian American United States district court judge in the Northern District of California, the first district court judge of Korean descent in the United States, the first female Korean American Article III judge, and the second Korean American federal judge, after Herbert Choy of the Ninth Circuit.
Born in Washington, D.C., she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in Social Studies in 1990 and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in 1993
From 1993 until 1994, Koh worked for the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary as a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow. From 1994 until 1997, Koh worked for the United States Department of Justice, first as a Special Counsel in the Office of Legislative Affairs (1994–1996) and then as a Special Assistant to the United States Deputy Attorney General (1996–1997). From 1997 until 2000, Koh served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. From 2000 until 2002, she worked as a Senior Associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a Palo Alto, California law firm. From 2002 until 2008, Koh worked as a litigation partner at the Silicon Valley office of the law firm McDermott Will & Emery representing technology companies in patent, trade secret and commercial civil matters. In January 2008, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Koh a judge on the Superior Court of California for Santa Clara County, a position she held until becoming a U.S. district judge in 2010.