Debra Wong Yang

Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

A partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s L.A. office, Debra Wong Yang specializes in corporate crime and compliance. She has a strong background in resolving problems across the white-collar litigation spectrum. She chairs the firm’s Crisis Management Practice and has served several other practice groups, including white-collar defense and investigations; privacy, cybersecurity, and consumer protection; media, entertainment and technology; and intellectual property. Yang was appointed U.S. Attorney in May 2002 by President George W. Bush, becoming the first Asian-American woman to serve in that capacity. Prior to this service, she was a California state judge.

Enjoy most: Each matter brings unique and often cutting-edge challenges. The problems I confront are multi-headed and multi-faceted.

Proudest moment: Most of my proudest moments I cannot disclose because the problems went away before they ever surfaced for my clients.

Best advice: Look at the hard facts early on, contemplate the worst alternatives and outcomes, understand the legal challenges, and then start to plan a strategy.

Fun fact: I turned down an offer to be the criminal “Judge Judy.”

Bucket list: Skiing in Switzerland.

Hobby/passion: Opening doors for others.