OUR TEAM

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Deborah Yim
Founder & Managing Attorney


 
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Every individual deserves the right to work and live their lives free of discrimination, harassment, and unlawful treatment. They have the right to be paid a fair wage and to work in a safe place. When this does not happen, they have the right to speak up and to not fear retaliation for doing so. I'm proud that our firm can help tell their story and advocate for change. 

Deborah has over 20 years of experience in civil litigation.  She has previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney, a federal government agency counsel, and a corporate litigator.  In that capacity, she has litigated hundreds of matters and tried multiple cases to verdict before state and federal courts, as well as administrative tribunals throughout the United States.   

As an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California for over nine years, Deborah represented the United States and its employees (from law enforcement officers and agents to medical providers and managers) in civil cases implicating employment, tort, immigration and constitutional law.  

She also took on administrative appeals and affirmative civil cases involving disability access and accommodation.  Deborah also led complex investigations and litigated False Claims Act (FCA) cases, including qui tam complaints, the majority of which involved claims of health care, defense contractor, and postal fraud.  As lead counsel on these FCA cases, she negotiated settlements recovering millions of dollars on behalf of the United States.  In recognition of her work, Deborah was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Attorney's Office.  

Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Deborah was in private practice at Reed Smith, LLP, where she litigated numerous individual cases and class actions calling into play wide-ranging, and often novel, issues involving truth in lending, consumer finance, fair credit reporting and fair debt collection. 

After moving to Denver, Deborah joined the U.S. Department of the Interior as an attorney-advisor.  In that capacity, she litigated before multiple employment tribunals including the Merit Systems Protection Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Office of Special Counsel.  She has provided legal advice and training to the Interior’s bureaus and served as counsel to the Bureau of Land Management’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security, which oversees the bureau’s law enforcement officers, and the Office of Professional Responsibility, which investigates serious administrative and criminal misconduct.

As an immigrant, person of color, woman, and first generation college graduate, Deborah understands first hand the struggles and challenges of succeeding in the workplace and society in general with few resources and little support. She founded Primera Law Group specifically to work with marginalized communities and individuals who have been abused and treated unfairly at the workplace and beyond.  Deborah is deeply committed to giving back and encouraging others to do so, as shown by her community involvement below.

 

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Community Service & Professional Affiliations:

  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado (President-Elect & Chair of Community Outreach)

  • Colorado Women's Bar Association (Chair of Legal Services Committee & Boardmember)

  • Colorado Bar Association (Executive Council Member)

  • Denver Immigrant & Refugee Commission (Commissioner)

  • Federal Pro Se Panel (Member)

  • Faculty of Federal Advocates (Diversity & Equity Committee)

  • Nathan Yip Foundation (Boardmember)

  • Colorado Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section (DEI representative)

  • Legal Entrepreneurs for Justice program graduate

  • Asian Real Estate Association of Greater Denver (Legal Counsel, 2020-2022)

  • Community College of Denver, Paralegal Studies Program (Adjunct Professor)

  • Kids Reading to Succeed Program, Los Angeles (Founder)

Recorded Speaking Engagements/Presentations (click to view):

Areas of Practice:

  • Employment Law ​​

  • Civil Rights Litigation

Admitted to Practice in:

  • California​​

  • Colorado

Education:

  • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, J.D.

    • American Jurisprudence Award for Legal Research & Writing

    • Editor-in-Chief, Asian Pacific American Law Journal

    • Chair, Asian Law Student Association

    • Research Assistant, Revisions to Restatement on Torts

    • Extern, Honorable Arthur Alarcon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A.,

    • Major in Mass Communications, with highest honors

    • Phi Beta Kappa

Awards & Distinctions:

  • 5280 Magazine Denver's Top Lawyers, 2022 (Category of Employment Litigation: Plaintiff)

  • 2022 Colorado Asian American Community Hero (Colorado Asian Culture & Education Network)

  • 2022 Denver Bar Association Pro Bono Star Award

  • 100 Asians to Know in Denver, Asian Avenue Magazine, 2021

  • Finalist, Inclusiveness at Work Award (Individuals category), Center for Legal Inclusiveness, 2021

  • Outstanding Service Award from United States Attorney's Office, 2017

  • Community Service Award from Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles, 2018

  • Pasadena Weekly Citizen of the Year 2014

  • PBS SoCal Community Champion, 2013

  • Commendation for Community Service from Los Angeles City Attorney, 2008

  • Certificate of Commendation for Community Service from Los Angeles Mayor, 2006

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