On January 21, 2023, Hawai‘i Women’s Legal Foundation (HWLF) awarded Cynthia M. Johiro with the 2023 Rhoda Lewis Award in recognition of her extraordinary contribution and commitment to public service. Each year, HWLF presents the Rhoda Lewis Award, named after the first female member of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, to a woman attorney who has devoted her career to public service.
“Ms. Johiro’s commitment to public service, educating the bar, and volunteering with nonprofits is an inspiration to all,” said Jacquie Esser, HWLF Board President. “We are honored to award her with this year’s Rhoda Lewis Award.”
Ms. Johiro has served with the Hawai‘i Attorney General’s office for over 22 years and is a Deputy Attorney General in the Tax & Charities Division. She represents the Department of Taxation in various matters, including extensively in bankruptcy proceedings. She has been a government employee for almost all of her career and has devoted additional time to nonprofit organizations such as the Hawai‘i Bankruptcy Bar Association and the Hawai‘i Bar Journal.
She served on the board of the Hawai‘i Bankruptcy Bar Association and is a frequent volunteer speaker on taxation and bankruptcy case law developments. Ms. Johiro works tirelessly to educate the bar and the public with respect to tax law compliance and its ramifications in bankruptcy. She is viewed as a go-to resource for all parties and is known to seek fair and just results for all involved.
Additionally, Ms. Johiro has served on the Board of Editors of the Hawai‘i Bar Journal for many years. Before joining the Attorney General’s office, she was an attorney at the Cades Schutte law firm, after graduating from the UCLA School of Law.
ABOUT THE RHODA LEWIS AWARD:
Criteria: Rhoda Lewis Award, which is named after the first female member of the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, to a woman attorney who has devoted her career to public service. Consistent with the spirit of the award, the recipient should be one who has toiled in the trenches; one of the “unsung heroes.”