Beasley Allen has recognized Soo Seok Yang as the recipient of the 2019 Chad Stewart Award. This honor was created in memory of Beasley Allen lawyer Chad Stewart, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014 at the very young age of 41. The award was created to recognize the lawyer who best exemplifies Chad’s spirit of service to God, his family and the practice of law in the task of “helping those who need it most.”
“Soo Seok embodies the spirit of the Chad Stewart award through his own dedication to clients and his involvement and leadership in the community,” said Tom Methvin, Beasley Allen’s Managing Attorney. “We are thankful for Soo Seok’s compassion, which is equally matched with his leadership and knowledge.”
An attorney in the firm’s Mass Torts Section, Soo Seok has handled cases involving defective drug and medical device multidistrict litigations (MDLs) for Fosamax, metal-on-metal hip implant and transvaginal mesh cases. For the past few years, he has been focusing on a national MDL involving injuries related to blood thinners. He has served as a member of the trial team for multiple bellwether trials in both state and federal court in Louisiana, Mississippi and Philadelphia. Soo Seok has been instrumental in helping the head of Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section and Co-Lead Plaintiff Counsel for the Xarelto MDL, Andy Birchfield, oversee the massive and complex settlement process on behalf of hundreds of the plaintiff firms so that thousands of consumers who have valid substantial claims can receive a fair and just resolution.
“I feel utterly inadequate, knowing the life that Chad lived and the stellar example that he set, and the giant footsteps of the Beasley Allen attorneys who have received this award and their unmatchable love and excellence for the Lord, family and work,” said Soo Seok. “So I interpret this award as a chastisement rather than a compliment on anything that I’ve done – a loving encouragement for me to do better in serving the Lord, family and work.”
Soo Seok and his wife, Doh Ah Kim, were selected by the Consul General and the Office of Consul General of South Korea in Atlanta, Georgia, to be part of the Next Generation Korean-American Leaders, which includes professionals in communities across the southeastern U.S. Doh Ah Kim is also a lawyer and Senior Community Liaison Specialist of Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs for the State of Alabama. Soo Seok also serves as the executive director at the Korean American Association of Greater Montgomery. He has been given three commendation awards by the Federation of Korean Associations of Southeast USA for serving the Korean community of Montgomery. Also, Soo Seok serves as a founding member of the Advisory Board for the James W. Wilson Jr. YMCA in Montgomery, Alabama.
Additionally, Soo Seok is a member of the Alabama State Bar and the Montgomery County Bar Association. He was selected to the Alabama State Bar’s Leadership Forum (Class 13) and was appointed in 2017 by the President of the Alabama State Bar to the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. Recently, the Bar Commissioners for Montgomery County have voted to appoint Soo Seok along with two other attorneys to serve on the Indigent Defense Advisory Board for the Alabama Department of Finance.
Soo Seok was born in Seoul, South Korea, and first came to the U.S. as part of the U.S. Congress-Korea National Assembly Exchange Program with Congressional Internship in 2006. After graduating summa cum laude from high school, he attended Handong Global University, a pioneering Christian university, and later the Korean Air Force Officer Training School, finishing sixth among approximately 400 officer candidates. Soo Seok served in the Korean Combat Operations Intelligence Center (K-COIC) at the Osan Air Base and worked with the U.S. 7th Air Force to analyze North Korea’s military activities. In 2007, he graduated cum laude from Handong International Law School (HILS), a Christian law school that teaches U.S. common law in English, also located in South Korea. After graduation, Soo Seok came to Montgomery, Alabama, and interned for the Honorable Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court. He received his LL.M. degree in intellectual property law at the George Washington University Law School with an emphasis on trademark and copyright.
Pursuing his passion for human rights, Soo Seok was involved in a project commissioned by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). He served as the interview team leader. He and his team successfully located and interviewed a number of North Korean defectors and contributed to a report regarding the status of religious freedom and political prison camps in North Korea, which was later published as A Prison Without Bars by the USCIRF in 2008.
Soo Seok and Doh Ah were among the first Korean Alabama attorneys. They live in Montgomery, Alabama, with their five children. They are members of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, where Soo Seok serves as a deacon and a praise and worship leader for the international department.