Hastings Women’s Law Journal


George Kawamoto


Even into the 1970s, Asian American attorneys faced significant discrimination and difficulty finding work in law firms. Because of these injustices and a desire to right them, social justice lawyering became a hallmark of that generation of Asian American lawyers. Litigating civil rights violations in cases such as Korematsu v. United States allowed senior Asian American attorneys to mentor a younger generation of lawyers. Although more minority attorneys now are offered work in firms and the appearance of racism has diminished, social justice mentoring remains vital to today's Asian American legal community. Teaming minority law students and young attorneys with experienced lawyers in new or preexisting legal clinics offers a solution to the shortcomings of current mentoring programs. Such programs would offer dialogue, growth, real world experience, and a sense of pride to all of its participants, while fulfilling the great and continued need for legal aid in underserved communities.