Discover Nikkei

The JABA Legacy Project: Legal Legends in the Nikkei Community

July 29, 2013 - Aug. 5, 2013

The Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) Legacy Project compiles profiles of legal legends and leaders in the Japanese American community through written articles and oral histories. In particular, this project focuses on eminent attorneys’ distinguished careers, their work for the Nikkei community, and their service to society.

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.

Check out other JABA Legacy Project articles published by past NCI interns: 

- Series: Pioneering Jurists in the Nikkei Community by Lawrence Lan (2012)
- Series: Two Generations of Pioneering Judges in the Nikkei Community by Sakura Kato (2014)
- “Judge Holly J. Fujie—An Inspirational Woman Who Was Herself Inspired by Japanese American History and Community” by Kayla Tanaka (2019)
- “Mia Yamamoto—A Leader Who Defined the Nikkei Community” by Matthew Saito (2020)
- “Patricia Kinaga—Attorney, Activist, and Mother Who Has Given a Voice to Those Who Don’t Have One” by Laura Kato (2021)
- “Justice Sabrina McKenna—The First Openly LGBTQ Asian American to Serve on a State Court of Last Resort” by Lana Kobayashi (2022)

Stories from this series

Thumbnail for Janice Fukai: Justice for All
Janice Fukai: Justice for All

Aug. 5, 2013 • Sean Hamamoto

As her title suggests, Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender Janice Y. Fukai defends members of the public in court who have been accused of criminal acts. As the Alternate Public Defender, Ms. Fukai heads a county office comprised of 300 employees, including over 200 attorneys who represent criminal defendants that the county’s Public Defender is unable to defend due to conflicts of interest or other reasons. But what is truly respectable and remarkable about her position is that she and …

Thumbnail for Rose Ochi: On Selfless Service
Rose Ochi: On Selfless Service

July 29, 2013 • Sean Hamamoto

“You need to, as an organization or as an individual, find ways to support individuals in the community.” This was one of the final remarks made by Rose Ochi, a distinguished attorney and prominent civil rights activist, in this year’s first JABA Legacy Project interview. This profound message was marked with a sense of finality after all that was said before. But to fully understand the meaning of this advice, it is important to learn more about her personal history …

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Author in This Series

As the 2013 Nikkei Community Intern, I will be working for the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) this summer. My work at JANM consists primarily of contributing articles, events, and albums to the Discover Nikkei website; my work with JABA involves the JABA Legacy project which serves to preserve and promote the fabled legends of prominent Nikkei jurists.

Updated July 2013 

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