Discover Nikkei

https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1231/

JABA: On Engaging Students and Community

Well, it (JABA-Japanese American Bar Association) certainly has gotten a lot bigger. And so many young people (lawyers) are—the involvement with law students, which is wonderful. I think there were fewer JA law students in those days to have…so that we didn’t really do that kind of outreach. I think that the things that are being done in terms of community involvement and community education are absolutely wonderful, especially because access to legal services is so…so difficult and expensive. I would certainly encourage more of that kind of endeavor from members of the bar. I know that JABA does a lot of that, and I think that’s really wonderful.


communities law

Date: July 10, 2012

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Lawrence Lan

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

Interviewee Bio

Justice Kathryn Doi Todd was born on January 14, 1942, one month before President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, after which she and her family were interned at the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming and the Tule Lake concentration camp in northern California.

After World War II, her family returned to Los Angeles, where she grew up. Todd graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959, and she went on to Stanford University, where she received a degree in history in 1963. She eventually went on to Loyola Law School, where she received her law degree in 1970.

Todd's legal career began when she opened up her own civil practice in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo, at a time when there were only three Japanese American women lawyers working in Los Angeles. In the mid-1970s, Todd and several other Japanese American jurists came together to found the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA), whose primary objective at its inception was to increase Japanese American representation on the bench.

In 1978, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Todd to the Los Angeles County Municipal Court bench, giving her the distinction of being the first Asian American woman judge. Three years later, in 1981, Brown elevated her to the Los Angeles County Superior Court bench. In 2000, Governor Gray Davis appointed Todd to the California Second District Court of Appeal, Division Two, where she currently serves as an Associate Justice. (July 2012)

*This is one of the main projects completed by The Nikkei Community Internship (NCI) Program intern each summer, which the Japanese American Bar Association and the Japanese American National Museum have co-hosted.

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Ariyoshi,George

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