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Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2012

T he road from academia ryu launched her legal Donna Ryu Judge donna M. ryu says francisco. She later formedoyledutchencnersen in Sanecareer at McBrown &to the bench may be lesstraveled, but U.S. Magistrate froM acadeMia territory in her current post her own firm, ryu dickey &arkin. She was an associatelshe covers some of the same To THe BencH Uc Hastings. joining the Uc Hastingsaw School beforelprofessor at Golden GateUniversityas she did in her previousjob as a clinical professor at “There are definite con- faculty in 2002. at the Uc nections between being a Hastings civil Justice clinic former uc hastings professor good teacher and being a (cJc), she worked with stu- donna m. ryu made a rare good judge. Both require dents to score a california transition from classroom to strong analytical skills and Supreme court victory in the ability to communicate the landmark employee courtroom with fairness, well,” says ryu, who was compensation case Murphy candor, and grace. appointed in 2010 to the v. Kenneth Cole Productions, U.S. district court, northern which led to a $1 million district of california. “in award of attorneys’ fees to both instances, an impor- cJc. tant aspect of the job is to among ryu’s many facilitate proceedings. in honors are the california the classroom, my objec- lawyer attorney of the Year tive was to engage students award for employment law, in a full discussion of the the asian american Bar learning goals. My job in the association’s Joe Morozumi courtroom is to ensure that award for exceptional legal people have a fair opportu- advocacy, and Uc Hastings’ nity to be heard and that i rutter award for excellence get the information i need to in Teaching. Her appoint- make a just decision.” ment marked many firsts ryu’s professorial expe- for the northern district of riences also have influenced california: She is the first aspects of her courtroom asian american woman, first demeanor. “Transparency korean american, and first in decision making is a key lesbian to become a mem- aspect of justice. i try to ber of that bench. explain things so that even Yet even with her suc- if people get an adverse rul- cessful transition to the ing, at least they know how judiciary, ryu admits that i got there,” she says. “as a teaching is still in her blood. judge, i work with lawyers “i absolutely miss it,” she and litigants from all walks says with a smile. “i pretty of life. i try to put myself in routinely warn Uc Hastings their shoes, just as i did with academic dean Shauna my law students. i’ve found Marshall that i will be knock- that doing this is a very ing on her door soon to let important tool.” me teach a class or two.” advice corner what advice would you give to law school professors who have their sights on Becoming a trial court judge? make sure you have well-rounded experience in managing and litigating cases: all the nuts and bolts of trials, all the work of the motions and discovery, and the pace of cases. these are things you really can’t learn from a book. 34 fall 2012


Hastings Alumni Mag-Fall 2012
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