SWLAW Blog | Diversity

Image - Jonathan Jung & Elyse Okada JABA Scholarships

June 21, 2019

Southwestern Students Awarded Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation Scholarships

Southwestern students Elyse Okada and Jonathan Jung were recently honored with scholarships at the Japanese American Bar Association's 43rd annual installation and awards gala, courtesy of the Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation. 

The Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation (JEF) was founded in 2006 with the mission of providing financial support to students pursuing their legal education. JEF awards deserving law students and/or recent law school graduates with scholarships, given in honor of highly distinguished and pioneering Asian American judges.  

2L Elyse Okada was awarded the Justice Stephen K. Tamura Scholarship, named in honor of Justice Tamura, the first Asian American to sit on the California Court of Appeal. Elyse is the Professional Development Chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association at Southwestern and is an active Japanese American Bar Association (JABA) volunteer and member of the JABA Young Lawyers Group.   

Image - Elyse Okada

"The Japanese American Bar Association has been my legal support community for the past couple of years, and to receive the Justice Steven K. Tamura scholarship from them is an honor and privilege. I hope that when I become an attorney, I can reciprocate the amount of support they have given me."

- Elyse Okada

2L Jonathan Jung received the M. Dick Osumi Civil Rights and Public Interest Scholarship, named in honor of former JABA President and prominent civil rights and labor attorney, M. Dick Osumi. This scholarship is awarded to law students interested in practicing in the areas of civil rights, public interest law, and/or public policy. Jonathan is also an active JABA volunteer and member of the JABA Young Lawyers Group. This summer, Jonathan will serve as a Peggy Browning Fellow for the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) in Washington, D.C. 

Image - Jonathan Jung JABA

“I am sincerely grateful to the Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation for selecting me as the recipient of the 2019 M. Dick Osumi Civil Rights and Public Interest Scholarship. This recognition is humbling and will help me serve the labor movement and workers’ rights. I strive to give back to the community so others may enjoy the same opportunities that I have been fortunate to receive.”

- Jonathan Jung

Professor Yokoyama, who is currently on the Board of Governors for JABA and the former President of JABA of Greater Los Angeles, was in attendance to see both Elyse and Jonathan awarded.

He says, "I was thrilled to see Elyse and Jonathan take the JABA Gala stage to be awarded their well-deserved scholarships from the JABA Educational Foundation. They are wonderful ambassadors of Southwestern. They have dedicated themselves to help JABA develop meaningful programs and networking opportunities for both law students and young lawyers, as well as helping JABA and other community-minded organizations serve underrepresented communities. I am grateful for having been one of their first-year professors, as I have seen their dedication and service from the start of their law school careers, and I am confident that Elyse and Jonathan will be among the next generation of leaders in the legal profession."

Well said, Professor Yokoyama! We couldn't agree more. 

A huge congratulations to both Elyse and Jonathan on their achievements!

Photo credit: Mario Gershom Reyes, Rafu Shimpo