get to know the commissionIn this section of the eNewsletter, we introduce you to a member of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence to increase an understanding of the Commission, its members, and its work.
Charles Song has been a member of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence for three years, serving on the Pro Bono Committee and the Trafficking Advisory Group, as well as assisting with the Trafficking Resolution and the Trafficking Training Institute. He has had a long career as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. Charles joined the law firm of Howrey LLP in 2007 as the West Coast Pro Bono Manager. He currently leads Howrey’s pro bono efforts in the Irvine, Los Angeles, East Palo Alto, San Francisco and Salt Lake City offices. Charles came to Howrey from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), where he was the Founding Director of the Legal Advocacy Program. While with CAST, he worked collaboratively with clients, community based organizations, public interest attorneys, and numerous government agencies to ensure survivors of trafficking are provided linguistically-appropriate, culturally-sensitive, and victim-centered legal services. In addition to representing survivors, Charles has served as a national resource attorney on trafficking, published on trafficking, and provided technical assistance and training to non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and pro bono attorneys. Charles has testified before the United States Senate and House of Representatives and regularly consults with state and federal legislators, government officials, and law enforcement officers to improve implementation of existing anti-trafficking laws and develop new legislation to address trafficking. He has been named one of the top lawyers under 40 in Southern California for the past four years and an Attorney of the Year in California. As an advocate for victims of human trafficking, Charles brings a unique perspective to the Commission. Many victims of trafficking were previously in situations of domestic violence or were initially identified by advocates as domestic violence victims. Charles has been pleased to contribute to the raising of awareness and understanding of domestic violence through his work with the Commission. He’s particularly proud of the Commission’s efforts to expand services to under-serviced populations such as LGBT clients, disabled clients and Native American communities, as well as the Commission’s development of cutting-edge trainings. Charles notes that though the Commission works assiduously on a dangerous societal problem, the members always bring enthusiasm and humor to their work, making meetings a genuine pleasure. His service with the Commission has also had a positive impact on his own practice. He now brings a deeper understanding of the incidence, prevalence and patterns of domestic violence to his work with trafficking victims, which helps him to better serve his clients. Charles would like to thank the ABA, his colleagues on the Commission, and the staff for the honor of serving on the Commission. He’s extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing people.