September 12, 2018
12:10 pm - 1:00 pm, Eastern Time
Community Lawyering and Community Development
Kuong Ly is a practicing attorney with Northeast Legal Aid in Massachusetts. He is the only Khmer speaking legal aid attorney in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is home to the second and third largest Cambodian American communities. He represents low-income individuals and families facing foreclosures and housing discrimination, in addition to representing survivors of domestic violence. He also assists victims and survivors of human trafficking and refugees in ICE detention. Outside of his legal aid work, Kuong was appointed and is currently serving a three-year term as a Commissioner on the City of Cambridge’s Human Rights Commission.
Kuong earned his juris doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law, where he specialized in both Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy. In law school, he was awarded the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Kuong holds a master of philosophy in international relations from the University of Cambridge and a master of laws in international human rights law from the University of Essex School of Law, where he attended as a Marshall Scholar. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he was selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar and awarded the Edward H. Finnegan Memorial Prize, the university’s highest academic honor.
The son of genocide survivors, Kuong was born in a Vietnamese refugee camp to parents who had fled the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime in neighboring Cambodia. After languishing in refugee camps for several years, he and his family were granted asylum and resettled to Massachusetts. Given his experience of refugeehood, Kuong has dedicated his academic, professional, and personal life to fighting for human rights and ending inequality and injustice in America and around the world.