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Judge Shanlyn Park (middle) at a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month.

The first Native Hawaiian woman federal district court judge, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law graduate Shanlyn Park, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 30.

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Park also served as an adjunct professor at the UH law school, and as president, vice president and secretary of the school’s alumni association board.

Camille Nelson, dean of the UH law school, lauded Park and her exemplary professionalism and service.

“We are incredibly proud of Judge Park and are excited to see her serve on this level of court as a federal judge. We know she will continue her stellar service on the federal bench,” Nelson said. “She is a true reflection of the activation of our mission at the law school—to cultivate a strong ethical, professional community among our faculty, students and alumni that serves a greater purpose.”

Park was recommended by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono and Brian Schatz, as well as a merit-based federal Judicial Selection Commission. She has served as a First Circuit Court judge on Oʻahu since 2021. Prior to that, Park worked in private practice and as an assistant federal public defender.

“With decades of experience practicing law in Hawaiʻi, Judge Park has led a distinguished career dedicated to public service. She has exhibited a commitment to justice, fairness, and impartiality throughout her career and is highly qualified to serve on the U.S. District Court,” said Hirono and Schatz in a statement. “As the first Native Hawaiian woman to serve as a federal district court judge, Judge Park’s confirmation reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to building a federal judiciary that reflects the diversity of our communities. We were proud to support her nomination and know that she will serve Hawaiʻi and our country with honor.”

She joins a host of other Richardson alumni who have been recently tapped to serve as judges.

Lisa Ginoza, a 1989 graduate, was confirmed by the state Senate to serve as an associate justice on the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court on November 21. Her confirmation means that three of the five justices on the state’s high court are Richardson alumni. The other two are Sabrina McKenna and Todd Eddins.
Alumni David Hayakawa, Erika Ireland and Robert Brown were also sworn in on October 23 to serve as judges on the District Court of the First Circuit (Oʻahu).

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