7 Qs with Lisa Miller, Esq.
Featuring Hon. Holly Fujie
WLALA recently asked Judge Holly Fujie seven questions. Here are Judge Fujie's responses:
What is your favorite technology device? Why?
My favorite device is my desktop, both at home and in chambers. I love the big screens and the full size keyboard. But my Nook e-reader is growing on me, because I can download books when I travel (so I can avoid “book paranoia” – the fear that I will run out of having something good to read on the road!)
What is your dream vacation? Why is it the best ever?
My dream vacation is always the next one I am planning – I love to plan trips (and I buy travel books obsessively).
One of the best vacations ever was my family’s trip to Japan. It was a celebration of Lee’s and my 30th wedding anniversary and our daughter Sabrina’s graduation from high school. We went to unusual places on this tip: one of them was a pearl divers’ shack, where we ate shellfish barbecued over open coals. This combined my two favorite things – seeing new places and eating amazing food! And I got to use my abysmal tourist-level Japanese language skills.
Name the person you admire the most, and the quality that impresses you the most.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor – I met her at a Women of Color Coalition meeting. She listened to every person there, and offered wise advice and generous assistance to all.
She is my idea of the best of what a person can be – outstanding in her field, a mentor and role model to people from underrepresented groups, and a leader in her community and the world at large. Justice Sotomayor inspired me to apply for the bench. When I told her that she had done so, she announced the fact that I was applying to be a judge loudly to the entire group so I couldn’t chicken out!
What is your most significant accomplishment, and what impact did it have?
My most significant professional accomplishment so far has been my service as the first Asian Pacific American president of the State Bar of California. I was proud to speak throughout the country to encourage women and minorities to seek leadership roles in the profession and in the community, and to encourage mentorship of newer lawyers. Many people have been kind enough to say that I inspired them to accomplish things they hadn’t realized were possible.
If you could “fix” one global challenge, what would it be? How would you fix it?
I would end women’s belief that they are unable to have fulfilling family lives while conducting high-level professional careers. I find it appalling that forty years after I started law school – when female law students saw no barriers to success on a personal and professional level (other than the passage of time) – women law students still agonize over this issue.
If I knew how to fix it, I would put all my effort into doing so. Instead, I engage in guerilla warfare against this mindset – speaking to individual women and groups in an effort to change this erroneous and extremely harmful belief.
If you could have a career different from the one you are now pursuing, what would it be? Why is this your alternate choice?
The only career that has any appeal for me other than what I do now would be as an antique jewelry dealer because (as anyone who has ever attended WLALAPalooza can attest) I LOVE antique jewelry!
But since I would undoubtedly find myself either keeping or giving away my best pieces to friends and for causes, I know I could not make a living at it – so I had better stick to judging!
What do you hope to accomplish after you retire? Why is this meaningful to you?
I really have no plans to retire – I enjoy what I do too much, and I feel I can accomplish more as an active judge – both on the bench and in the community, as well as through active mentoring – than as a retiree. But if I did cut back, I would probably travel more – I love to explore new places, eat new foods and learn new languages (badly!).
Judge Holly J. Fujie serves on the Los Angeles Superior Court. Before her appointment, Judge Fujie was a shareholder in Los Angeles-based Buchalter Nemer, handling complex civil litigation. She received A.B. and J.D. degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she was an editor of the California Law Review. In 2008-2009 she became the third woman and the first Asian-American to serve as president of the State Bar of California. She has received national, state and local awards, including the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award and the National Association of Women Lawyers’ M. Ashley Dickerson Diversity Award.
Lisa Miller is Of Counsel with the California and Nevada-based law firm Marcin Lambirth, LLP, focused on business litigation (including digital, hacking, and electronic espionage matters), civil rights/excessive force complaints, and high-end personal injury. For more information about Ms. Miller or this column, please email Editor@ LMillerconsulting.com