Receiving support from Sonia Sotomayer to run for the bench

Neighbor took care of her mother after grandfather was taken by FBI Her grandfather was pressured to teach Japanese Camp stories impact on her career Japanese American identity Importance of overcoming Asian American stereotypes Challenges faced by female judges Becoming first AA State Bar President in California Receiving support from Sonia Sotomayer to run for the bench Advice to young lawyers

Transcripts available in the following languages:

We were at a meeting for women of color at the law school at Berkeley and she was- she started off by saying, you already know enough about me I don’t need to tell you about myself, I want to you know about you and your stories and she went down the line on all thirty of the women who had been hand-picked to attend and asked “Why did you want to be a lawyer?” “Why are you here?” And the stories were themselves incredible, just inspirational and I was the last person in line, and she said -- we'd talked before about having a picture taken, and she said come on down and have your picture taken. And I came down and we were standing there and someone was taking our picture and I said to her … you know, you’ve really inspired me and I’m finally going to apply to the bench. And she grabs my hand and thrusts it in the air and says “Holly is gonna apply to the bench.” and I thought, now I have to do it. And that was the real push. At that point when Sonia Sotomayor says you should apply, by gosh you have to apply and I applied, and I got appointed.

Date: July 11, 2019
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Kayla Tanaka
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

judge law Sonia Sotomayer women

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