UVA Double Hoo Named Virginia’s First Asian American Federal Judge

March 20, 2024
Yoon in US Senate

Double Hoo Jasmine Yoon will become Virginia’s first Asian American federal judge in July. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate Collection)

History was made last week when the U.S. Senate confirmed Virginia’s first Asian American federal judge, Jasmine Yoon, who holds two degrees from the University of Virginia.

Yoon earned her undergraduate degree as a Jefferson Scholar in 2003. In 2006, she completed a degree at UVA’s School of Law after being awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation three-year scholarship.

Virginia U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine recommended Yoon to fill a vacancy at the U.S. District Court for Virginia’s Western District. At a confirmation hearing in February, Warner had this to say about her: “[Yoon] came to our country at age 14 from South Korea, speaking virtually no English. So, in eighth grade, she spent her time reading the dictionary and watching American TV, and by the time she got into high school, she spoke fluent English, thanks to that ethic of hard work.”

The full Senate confirmed her nomination March 12 in a 55-41 vote.

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‘Inside UVA’ A Podcast Hosted by Jim Ryan

Currently the vice president for corporate integrity, ethics and investigations at Capital One Financial Corporation, Yoon was UVA’s interim University counsel and associate counsel from 2019 to 2022. 

“I think she’ll make a wonderful judge,” said Barry Meek, who is UVA’s deputy University counsel and senior assistant attorney general. Yoon and Meek worked closely during her tenure in the Office of the University Counsel.

“She’s capable of learning anything. She can really dig in and understand complex issues and she has a tremendous work ethic,” he said.

“A good portion of the time she was acting as interim University counsel, we were in COVID and the aftermath of COVID,” Meek said. “There were a lot of new and novel issues that came to our office. Her capacity to dig into those issues help us chart a path that was really, really important.”

Leslie Kendrick, the School of Law’s incoming dean, graduated from the school alongside Yoon 18 years ago. She said she immediately recognized Yoon’s intellect and integrity. 

“The first time I met Jasmine, it was clear that she was a born lawyer,” Kendrick said. “She is a person of great character who approaches everything she does with full enthusiasm, thoroughness and care.

“Her commitment to public service has been something that has been clear to those who know her from the very beginning. Because she’ll be sitting in the Western District of Virginia, which is where Charlottesville is located, she’s going to be an asset not just to the federal justice system, but also to the local community and the local bar.”

Yoon will take the bench in July, when current judge Judge Michael F. Urbanski assumes senior status, thereby reducing his caseload.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications