Michael P. Chu ’92 Receives William & Mary's Inaugural Asian Centennial Award

  • Honored
    Honored  The Asian Centennial Awards recognize graduates whose work for diversity, equity and justice has had a lasting impact. William & Mary Provost Peggy Agouris presented the award to Chu at an April 30 event at William & Mary.  
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Michael P. Chu, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery and advocate for the Asian American community, was among five graduates honored on April 30 with inaugural William & Mary Asian Centennial Awards. Asian Centennial The awards, which were created to recognize graduates whose work for diversity, equity and justice has had a lasting impact, were presented as part of a final month of programs celebrating William & Mary’s Asian Centennial. The centennial marked the 100th anniversary of the admission of the university’s first undergraduate student from Asia, Chen Pu-Kao (Class of 1923), as well as all students of Asian, Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern/Southwest Asian descent who followed.

Introducing Chu at the April 30 event, Associate Dean Rob Kaplan said:  “Thomas Jefferson wanted to educate lawyers who would exercise public virtue, meaning preferring the greater good over one’s individual interests. Writing about the law school at William & Mary, Jefferson observed:  ‘This single school, by training new hands well principled, will be of infinite value.’  True to Jefferson’s belief in William & Mary-trained lawyers, Mike Chu personifies public virtue and hands well principled. He brings exemplary skill to helping clients. And Mike brings enormous heart to advocating for and serving many people in the community.”

About Michael P. Chu

A partner with McDermott Will & Emery, Chu heads the firm’s the Intellectual Property Litigation Group in Chicago. He has over 30 years of experience litigating complex patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret disputes at the trial and appellate levels before the International Trade Commission. Chu also practices before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, handling patent and trademark applications, appeals and post-grant proceedings. He has extensive experience working with clients on litigation, licensing, regulation, outsourcing and import/export issues in Asia and Europe. He is an active member of the American Bar Association, having sat on presidential Standing Committees for Continuing Legal Education, and Technology and Information Services.

Chu has spent most of his career working as an advocate for the Asian Pacific Islander American community and for diversity in the legal profession. In 2004-2005, he served as the president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Afterward, he served for several years as the president of the NAPABA Law Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting scholarship for law students, fellowships for public interest and community service, and education for the Asian American community. He recently stepped down after more than seven years as board chair of Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Chicago. Among other roles, he has served as board chair of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms, chair of the Illini Leadership Council and trustee of the Latin School of Chicago.

Aside from his legal practice, Chu is a photographer and filmmaker who has produced dozens of projects for nonprofit organizations including High Jump, the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, the House of Ruth Maryland, the Latin School of Chicago and various corporations. He is also a photographer for Flashes of Hope, an organization dedicated to creating powerful and uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other blood-borne illnesses. Chu was nominated for a W&M Asian Centennial Award by Liz Foster, former director of alumni relations at W&M Law School, where, as a student, Chu was the articles editor for the William & Mary Law Review.