The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) presented Harvard Corporation member William F. Lee A.B. ’72 with its Trailblazer Award during the organization’s 24th annual convention in Washington, D.C., last week.

Lee was one of nine recipients of the Trailblazer Award, NAPABA’s highest honor. The award is bestowed annually to individuals who “have demonstrated vision, courage, and tenacity, and who have made substantial and lasting contributions to the Asian Pacific American (APA) legal profession, as well as the broader APA community.”

A partner in the Litigation/Controversy and Intellectual Property Departments of Wilmer Hale, Lee is one of the country’s foremost intellectual property and commercial litigation attorneys. His numerous trials in the federal courts have focused on such diverse matters as laser optics,video compression, cellular communications, remote data storage, secure Internet communications, pharmaceutical products, high-speed chromatography, medical devices, and genetically engineered food.

Lee has also taught at Harvard Law School, where his courses have included intellectual property litigation and the innovative problem-solving workshop introduced in January 2010.  Active in public service, he has served on advisory committees to various United States courts, as well as the nominating committee for Massachusetts state judges.  He went to Washington in 1987-89 as associate counsel to the independent counsel for the Iran-Contra investigation, and also led an investigation of alleged incidents of racial bias in the state courts at the request of the Massachusetts Attorney General.

A former Harvard Overseer, Lee was appointed to the Corporation in 2010.