On May 22, the University of San Francisco School of of Law bestowed an honorary degree upon Dale Minami, a partner at Minami Tamaki LLP.
Minami has tried numerous civil rights cases involving Asian Pacific Americans and other minorities on a pro bono basis, including Korematsu v. United States. Working with three USF law graduates and other experts, Minami served as lead counsel in this case that overturned Fred Korematsu’s 40-year-old conviction for his refusal to obey exclusion orders that sent Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II.
Minami said that the willingness of his Korematsu team to change course “brought us to this monumental case.”
“Life rarely unfolds in a straight-forward manner and as you change your dreams will change too in ways you never planned for,” Minami said. “The ability to deviate from a linear path will help you live those dreams. Each of us never quite knew where we were going when we started our law careers.”
Law school dean Jeffery Brand said that if Minami and his colleagues are powerful examples of what the law can do, the Class of 2010 is a reminder that a new generation of courageous, ethical lawyers are ready to take up the fight.
“Our honorees have demonstrated the simple truth that ordinary souls are capable of doing extraordinary things, and that an injustice, no matter how long it may fester, is worth fighting,” Brand said. “Our graduates have demonstrated the energy, passion, and drive to follow precisely the same path.”