By Daria Kroupoderova
Northwest Asian Weekly
Washington State Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu is one of nine Asian Americans being honored at the Diversity at the Top event being held on Oct. 18 at China Harbor Restaurant.
The daughter of immigrants, Yu grew up in Chicago and attended St. Mary of Perpetual Help High School. She attended college at Dominican University for her undergraduate degree, received her master’s in religious studies at Mundelein College of Loyola University, and received her law degree from the University of Notre Dame.
“I decided to pursue a law degree while I was working for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1988 because I came to a fuller understanding of how social justice and social change might be achieved, and I was persuaded that the better path was the law,” Yu said.
Yu has been a judge for 14 years and was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to the Washington Supreme Court on May 1, 2014. She became the first Asian American, Latina American, and LGBTQ member of the court. Previously, she was deputy chief of staff for King County prosecuting attorney Norm Maleng and later a judge on the King County Superior Court up until her appointment by Inslee.
“I would encourage Asian American youth to consider the law,” Yu said. “Law school teaches one to think analytically and even if you never end up practicing law, the training and the skill set you end up with is invaluable for any other career you might pursue.”
Yu has received numerous awards, including the 2013 Municipal League Foundation “Public Official of the Year” award and the 2014 “Judge of the Year” award from the Washington Association for Justice.
When Yu isn’t working, she likes to read, bike, and run. (end)
Daria Kroupoderova can be reached at email@example.com.