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King County Superior Court Judge Mary I. Yu Receives ABA Honor for Making a Difference and Breaking Barriers for Minority Groups

King County Superior Court Judge Mary I. Yu Receives ABA Honor for Making a Difference and Breaking Barriers for Minority Groups

By Matthew (Matt) Stegen

The American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division has honored King County Superior court Judge Mary Yu with its Making a Difference by Breaking Barriers award. The award, which recognizes a lawyer who broke barriers for gender, color, disabilities or sexual orientation, was presented to Yu at a luncheon during the division’s National Solo & Small Firm Conference on Oct. 12 in Seattle.

Active in her community, Yu has served on the board of directors of FareStart, an organization devoted to assisting homeless individuals develop job skills in the food industry.

Yu, a dedicated legal professional, has also served as co-chair of the board of advisers of the Washington State Bar Association’s University of Washington Leadership Institute; the State of Washington Minority and Justice Commission; the Advisory Council, Q-Law; the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Washington; and the William H. Gates Public Service Law Advisory Board.

A Distinguished Jurist in Residence at Seattle University School of Law, Yu previously served as dean of the 2009 Washington State Judicial College and as the Superior Court Judges Association representative to the American Bar Association Judicial Division. She is past-president of the board of trustees of the King County Law Library.

Among her other accomplishments and recognitions, Yu received the 2011 Judge of the Year award from the Washington State Bar Association; the 2011 Seattle Girls’ School Grace Hopper Award; the 2009 Norm Maleng Award from the Washington State Bar Association; the 2008 Judge of the Year award from the Asian Bar Association; the 2008 President’s Award from Washington Women Lawyers; the 2006 Model of Excellence Award from the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington; the 2005 Judge of the Year award from the American Board of Trial Advocates, Washington Chapter; and the 2005 Reah Whitehead Public Leadership Award from Seattle University School of Law.

Yu received her undergraduate degree from Dominican University in River Forest, Ill.; a graduate degree from Mundelein of Loyola University in Chicago; and her law degree from the University of Notre Dame.

The ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division is the only ABA entity exclusively devoted to solo practitioners and small firm lawyers. The division, with over 27,000 members, serves as the voice of the “Main Street lawyer.” Solo and small firm practitioners represent half of the nation’s lawyers, and the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division provides a community for them within the ABA.

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