Q: I also assume it was difficult because
you grew up in Taiwan where almost
everyone is Chinese, and you come here
and … it’s all races.
A: It’s everybody. Plus you’re no longer
the majority, you’re a minority, and you’re
treated differently because you’re a
minority. That was a shock to us. Some
children can be cruel. They openly made
fun of us. It was the first time we’d
experienced anything like that.
Q: What brought your parents here?
A: My father [first] moved from China to
Taiwan. After World War II, there was the
civil war in China between the Communists
and the Nationalists, and my father’s family
was very prominent in China politically. So
when it appeared that the Communists
were going to take control, my father’s
family moved to Taiwan. He was a teenager
when that happened. That really marked his
life. Those of us who haven’t gone through
a real war, when your life is at stake, I don’t
think we can understand that experience
completely. But my father went through it.
When he started his own family, during the
’70s, there was the tension between Taiwan
and China—which is ongoing. There was
always this threat that China was going to
invade Taiwan and take it over. So my father
decided that he didn’t want his children to go
through what he had gone through, and he
decided to move to the United States.
We had a very good life [in Taiwan]. He
was a lawyer there. He had to give up his
practice when he moved here. And having
six children, he couldn’t really go back to
law school and start all over. So my parents
made a lot of sacrifices.
Q: What did he end up doing?
A: We started out with a local grocery
store. Then they sold that business and
started a Chinese bakery business. That’s
what he did until he retired.
Q: Did any of your siblings become
A: Yes. I have a younger brother who is also
a lawyer. Three of my siblings are doctors
and the other is a CFO.
Q: What did your father think of you
becoming a lawyer—his profession?
A: When I first told him, after college,
that I wanted to go back to school and
become a lawyer, he discouraged me.
He said that the law profession is a very
tough profession, it’s a very challenging
profession—especially for women—and
he didn’t think I necessarily wanted to go
through that. He didn’t think that was
necessarily the best thing for me. I didn’t
take that advice, obviously, and he’s glad
I didn’t take that advice. He’s very proud I
am a lawyer.
Nicholas & Butler, LLP
San Diego, CA 92101
*Chosen to 2011 Super Lawyers®
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