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2017 JEF Scholarship Recipients

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Judicial Candidate Mentoring Program

If you are interested in becoming a judge or commissioner, or if you are a judicial officer interested in mentoring, please contact Judicial Appointments Committee Chair Mike Madokoro at (310) 380-6519. You must be a JABA member to participate.

Make a donation to JEF today!

To make an online donation, please click here:


In the alternative, donations may be sent by mail to:

Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation
Post Office Box 86063
Los Angeles, California 90086

Please make donations payable to: “Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation”

The foundation thanks you for your generous support. Proceeds will be used to further JEF’s mission of helping to provide financial support to students in pursuit of their legal education. The Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation is a California charitable non-profit corporation qualified as tax-exempt under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). Your donation is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law. Federal tax ID#55-0899277.

JABA Educational Foundation Scholarships

The Japanese American Bar Association Educational Foundation (JEF) was created in 2006 to facilitate the awarding of scholarships to deserving law students and/or recent law school graduates. The scholarships are open to current law students and recent law school graduates with a connection to the Japanese American and/or API community who have a demonstrated commitment to community service.  Additional factors may include financial need, adversity, academic achievement, leadership, service to the Japanese American and/or API community, and past/present/potential future involvement with JABA and/or JABA Educational Foundation.  Prior applicants are encouraged to re-apply if not previously selected.

Awards are given in honor of Justice John F. Aiso and Justice Stephen K. Tamura, highly distinguished and pioneering Asian American judges. Awards are also given in honor of Mr. Elmer Yamamoto, a trailblazing local Japanese American lawyer who fought for civil rights and social justice, and through the LimNexus Foundation.


Deadline: February 18, 2024

Questions?  Please e-mail JEF at

Justice John F. Aiso Scholarship. Justice Aiso served as the chief instructor of what became the Military Intelligence Service Language School. In 1953, he became the first Japanese American California state judge when Governor Earl Warren appointed him to the municipal court. He was later appointed to the Second Appellate District in 1968.

Justice Stephen K. Tamura Scholarship.  Justice Tamura was interned in Poston with his family and later served in the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In 1961, Governor Pat Brown appointed him to the Orange County Superior Court and later elevated him to the Fourth Appellate District. Justice Tamura was the first Asian American to sit on the California Court of Appeal. He also served as Justice Pro Tem on the California Supreme Court.

Elmer Yamamoto Civil Rights and Public Interest Scholarship.   Elmer Yamamoto, a true pillar of the Little Tokyo community, was the first Asian American graduate of Loyola Law School in the 1930s, a lawyer practicing in a segregated bar in Los Angeles for social justice organizations like the NAACP and the ACLU, and the plaintiff in a 1944 challenge to the forced removal of Japanese Americans.  When the incarceration began, Mr. Yamamoto was one of the few who spoke out about the injustices the Japanese Americans faced during this period. This scholarship is intended for those law students interested in practicing in the areas of civil rights, public interest law, and/or public policy.

LimNexus Foundation Scholarship.  The LimNexus Foundation Scholarship is funded by the law firm of LimNexus LLP. The LimNexus Foundation works through bar associations to grant scholarships to minority law students in the pursuit of a more just and equitable society.

Board Members 

  • Raymond W. Sakai: President and Director

  • Allyson Sakai: Vice-President and Director

  • Eirene Nakamura Salvi: Secretary and Director

  • Ayano Wolff: Treasurer and Director

  • Stephen C. Franz: Director

  • Katherine M. Hikida: Director

  • Karyn Ihara: Director

  • Bert Y. Kawahara: Director

  • Robert M. Kawahara: Director

  • Travis M. Kaya: Director

  • Arnold Lee: Director

  • Mike Madokoro: Director

  • Elyse Okada: Director

  • Yuriko Mary Shikai: Director

  • Diane M.L. Tan: Director

  • Kira T. Conlon: Director

  • Dennis T. Yokoyama: Director

  • Ex Officio Directors:

    • Harumi Hata is ex-officio Director as President of JABA

    • Candice Shikai is ex-officio Director as Treasurer of JABA

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