About » The Rhoda Lewis Award

Recognizing Outstanding Public Service

Each year, HWLF presents the Rhoda Lewis Award, named after the first female member of the Hawaii 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”. Recent awardees include:

  • 2023: Cynthia M. Johiro, Deputy Attorney General, State of Hawaiʻi
  • 2022: Valerie J. Grab, Executive Director, Children’s Law Project of Hawaiʻi and Madeline M. Tomasino-Reed, Managing Attorney, Children’s Law Project of Hawaiʻi
  • 2021: Cathy Betts, Director, Hawai’i Department of Human Services
  • 2020: Angela J. Lovitt, Deputy Director/AmeriCorps Program Director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
  • 2019: Loretta A. Sheehan,  Attorney, Davis Levin Livingston Attorneys
  • 2018: Jill Baldemor, Executive Director of Teach for America (Hawaiʻi)
  • 2017: Michelle Acosta, Executive Director, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaiʻi
  • 2016: Riki May Amano, Lifetime public and volunteer services
  • 2015: Caleen Ching, Managing Director, Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center at Legal Aid Society
  • 2014: Ronnie Kawakami, Lifetime public and volunteer services. Associate Dean at the WSRSL
  • 2013: Jan M. Tamura, Lifetime volunteer services. Since March 2011, Legal Services Director, Volunteer Legal Services Hawaiʻi
  • 2012: Dina Shek, Co-Founder, Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawaiʻi
  • 2011: M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Executive Director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
  • 2010: Charlene D. Anaya, Director, Kids’ First Divorce and Paternity Education Programs. Founder, the Child and Parents Advocates Section (renamed Child Law Section) of the Hawaiʻi State Bar Association
  • 2009: Joanne Lo Grimes, Member, City and County of Honolulu Ethics Board of Appeals; Daughters of Hawaiʻi; Secretary & Director, Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation; Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism; Guam Bar Association; Financial Planning Association; President, Director, Hawaiʻi Women Lawyers; Vice President, Director, Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi; Board Member, PBS Hawaiʻi
  • 2008: n/a
  • 2007: Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, Government attorney since 1992; Deputy Director, County of Hawaiʻi Kona Planning Department; Department of the Attorney General; Office of the Corporation Counsel; chair, Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women; Member, Hawaiʻi County Committee on the Status of Women
  • 2006: Jennifer Rose, Director, Domestic Violence Action Center in Hawaiʻi; Adjunct Professor, Family Law Clinic, William S. Richardson School of Law
  • 2005: Lorenn Walker, Extraordinary volunteer community service
  • 2004: Shawna Sodersten, Legislative Advocacy, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline
  • 2003: Tracey Wiltgen, Executive Director, Mediation Center of the Pacific
  • 2002: Elizabeth Croom, Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi
  • 2001: Annabel Murray, Na Keiki Law Center’s first attorney/project coordinator
  • 2000: Elizabeth Kent, Director of the Hawaiʻi State Judiciary’s Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 1999: Patricia McManaman, CEO of Na Loio No Kanaka (Immigrant rights and public interest legal center)
  • 1998: Laurie Tochiki, Kids First Program
  • 1997: Elizabeth Pa Martin, Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council