Janet Hong

WLALA Immediate Past President

Janet Hong has a wealth of experience in criminal defense, having conducted over 40 trials in New York and California, including several homicides.  Janet is a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist and has drafted questions for the California State Bar Criminal Specialist examination.  She is an adjunct lecturer for the Criminal Justice Clinic at UC Irvine Law School where she trains and advises law students representing clients in misdemeanor cases.   As a member of the federal bar panel, she represents indigent defendants under the Criminal Justice Act.  She has expanded her practice representing plaintiffs in civil rights cases and is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA).  Her unique background in criminal and civil matters, in government and private practice, and in the New York, California, and Federal courts, has made her into an advocate that not only commands a courtroom but can also win a case on paper.  

At Columbia University, Janet played Division I basketball for the Columbia Women’s Basketball Team.  Inspired by the Ethnic Studies movement at her school, she majored in African American Studies.  She graduated from Columbia magna cum laude.  At USC Law School, she served as the President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, competed in the Hale Moot Court Honors Program, and worked with inmates in the Post-Conviction Justice Clinic. 

Giving back to the community is a big priority for Janet.  She regularly volunteers as a judge for local high school and college mock trial competitions.   She is a founding board member of The K.W. Lee Center for Leadership, a youth leadership program in Koreatown that trains high school and college students in the art of community organizing. The Center is named after civil rights activist and journalist Kyung Won Lee, whose investigative articles on the 1973 murder conviction of immigrant Chol Soo Lee led to a new trial, acquittal, and release of Chol Soo from San Quentin’s Death Row.  

Janet has been recognized as a SuperLawyer in criminal defense for the past five consecutive years, a distinction given to the top 5% of attorneys in the state.  She has been named by The Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California.  Janet is a lifetime member of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and currently serves as its 103rd President. 

Janet is a three-time IronWoman Finisher.  She has traveled to all seven continents, most recently to Antarctica.