Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Attorney to discuss culture, legal system on Friday

Attorney Yer L. Vang will explore how the U.S legal system takes culture into account  in a talk Friday, October 15, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 206 Ingraham Hall.

Vang is the executive assistant in the Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations, the central human resources policy authority for Wisconsin state government, with responsibility for the state's civil service system, affirmative action programs, and collective bargaining and labor relations with 19 state employee labor unions.

Vang is the former lead immigration attorney with the Immigrant Project of Wisconsin, which provides free legal representation to immigrant and refugee survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and of the La Follette School's Wisconsin Women in Government Seminar.

Her talk, "Is It In Defense of Hmong Culture? The Use of Culture in Legal Cases," will examine case scenarios involving Hmong litigants. She will consider the challenge and necessity of adapting the U.S. legal system to meet needs of litigants who are not from the dominant Western culture.  These cases will highlight creative approaches to the administration of justice, specifically methods that consider the influence of Hmong culture and Hmong gender politics.