Julia has more than eight years of experience providing immigration solutions to multinational companies and individuals, having worked in Europe, Canada, and the United States. She has performed immigration audits for Fortune 500 companies and overseen the development of global programs for growing companies.
She provides advice on all aspects of immigration, including nonimmigrant and immigrant status. Julia has extensive experience working on extraordinary ability cases (from movie directors to regulatory affairs managers), outstanding researcher cases (from software engineers to molecular biologists), and complex requests for evidence. She has also worked on numerous successful appeals to the Administrative Appeals Office.
Julia is a member of the California State Bar and the Law Society of Upper Canada. She received her Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, where she majored in history, and obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Ottawa. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, including the Global Migration Section. She was also a member of the Global Migration Section’s 2017-2018 Steering Committee and she is currently Vice Chair of AILA’s Global Migration Section’s Audiovisual Committee
The Minami Tamaki LLP law firm has named Olivia Serene Lee as Partner, effective January 1, 2019. She has been an attorney in the firm’s Immigration and Nationality Law practice since January 2009.
“We are so thrilled to have Olivia join the partnership,” said Minette Kwok, the firm partner who leads the Immigration and Nationality Law practice. “She brings her dedication, smarts, rainmaking, vision, and heart to this next generation of leadership to the firm. The future of Minami Tamaki LLP is in good hands.”
Olivia’s expertise is in counseling companies on a variety of employment-based immigration matters. She regularly advises on immigration matter for companies in all phases, including pre-formation, funding, accelerator/incubator programs, acquisitions and mergers, spinoff, and public offering.
She has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2014-2018 and listed in the 2018 and 2019 Best Lawyers in America for Immigration Law. Olivia was instrumental in Minami Tamaki LLP being recognized with a top ranking on the U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list in the Immigration category.
Olivia this year also received a Unity Award from the Minority Bar Coalition in her role in championing diversity and inclusion for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Northern California Chapter and for AILA National. She is a leader and former chair of AILA NorCal and currently serves on AILA National’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Olivia served as 2016-2017 Chair for AILA NorCal and previously as a member of the AILA NorCal Executive Board. AILA is the national bar for immigration attorneys, and AILA NorCal is one of its larger chapters, with over 1000 members.
She has also met with Congressional offices in Washington, DC, and in the local San Francisco area to advocate for immigration reform. She served as faculty on local and national AILA CLE panels on topics such as O-1s, H-1Bs, and business immigration litigation in federal court.
Olivia received her Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2008. She was admitted to the California Bar in 2008 and is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
The Immigration and Nationality Law practice group of Minami Tamaki LLP offers expertise in a broad array of immigration services, routinely assisting employers and employees in obtaining temporary and permanent employment-based visas. The practice group also helps individual clients to secure family-based immigration status through marriage or other qualifying family relationships.
The Summer Clerk Program is a 10-week paid internship at Minami Tamaki’s San Francisco office. Our Clerks work primarily on employment litigation, catastrophic injury claims, consumer and antitrust class actions, and business immigration filings. Summer Clerks also receive substantive assignments from the firm’s business transactional group.
Summer Clerks perform extensive legal research and writing, and receive hands-on experience in case evaluation and management, discovery practice, and trial preparation. Summer Clerks also have the opportunity to contribute to the firm’s social justice work with numerous bar associations and community organizations.
The firm is seeking highly motivated and detail-oriented second year law students who are genuinely interested in plaintiff-side civil litigation and/or business immigration work. Applicants must have outstanding academic credentials, strong legal research and writing skills, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. We value Summer Clerks who have a demonstrated interest in civil rights and community service.
Interested 2Ls should email cover letter, resume, and academic transcript to firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is Noon Pacific Time on October 26, 2018.
Established in 1974, Minami Tamaki LLP takes pride in providing the highest quality legal representation with an emphasis on personalized service. Minami Tamaki has a strong and historical commitment to social justice and community outreach. The firm brings its deep background in civil rights work to its current practice in the areas of Consumer and Employment Rights, Personal Injury, Corporate and Nonprofit Counseling, Immigration and Nationality Law, and Entertainment. The firm’s culture is collegial and collaborative, but tenacious in its representation of its diverse clientele. The lawyers at Minami Tamaki combine outstanding lawyering skills with an ethical and progressive approach to solving the legal problems of its clients.
The Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA) celebrated its 42nd annual gala on March 22 at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco with more than 800 attorneys, judges, elected officials, and other distinguished guests.
Founded in 1976, AABA is the largest local Asian American bar association in the country, and one of the largest minority bar associations in California. Dale Minami, Partner in our Personal Injury Group, was a co-founder of AABA. Sean Tamura-Sato, a Partner in our Consumer and Employee Rights Group, and Lisa P. Mak, an Associate in the same group, serve on AABA’s board of directors.
Lisa was also honored with this year’s Joe Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy for her advocacy on behalf of employees, including a $3.5 million verdict in 2016 on behalf of four female Sacramento Sheriff’s Department officers, and her commitment to serving the community.
Joe Morozumi was one of the first Asian American trial lawyers in the Bay Area and a role model of zealous advocacy for the poor and the powerless. In 1997, Dale Minami, Mike Lee, and AABA established the Morozumi Award to recognize Asian American attorneys who exemplify his spirit of uncompromising legal advocacy in matters of conscience.
“I am honored to be a part of and a product of this community that supports the advancement of minorities in the legal profession,” Lisa said in her acceptance remarks. “A community where courageous lawyers like Joe … paved the way for advocacy on behalf of those who need support, protection, and a voice.”
The late San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee, the city’s first Asian American mayor, posthumously received the AABA Trailblazer Award, which his wife Anita Lee accepted on his behalf. The gala included a moving tribute to Mayor Lee from Donald K. Tamaki, Partner in our Business & Nonprofit Counseling Group; U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen; and Esther Leong, Administrative Director of Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach.
“Ed devoted twelve formative years at the Asian Law Caucus working for almost nothing, representing Chinatown tenants and sweatshop workers, and organizing them to demand their rights,” said Don. “This defining experience shaped his values, served as his moral compass, and informed his decisions as Mayor.”
John So, a 3L student at UC Hastings College of the Law, received this year’s Garrick S. Lew Fellowship through the AABA Law Foundation. The Fellowship is funded through a grant from the Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok & Lee (MTYKL) Foundation’s Garrick S. Lew Legacy Fund, and awards $10,000 to a 3L law student committed to a criminal defense practice after graduation. The MTYKL Foundation created this Legacy Fund in conjunction with the Lew family to continue Garrick’s legacy of advocating for our Asian American communities. Garrick, who passed away in 2016, was a former Partner in our firm.
Minami Tamaki is proud to continue supporting AABA and its efforts to protect civil rights, engage our community, and increase diversity in the legal profession.
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Women’s Leadership Network profiled Minami Tamaki LLP attorney Lisa P. Mak in its “July Member Spotlight.” We reprint the NAPABA Women’s Leadership Network post here with their permission.
By Carolynn Beck
This month’s member spotlight is Lisa Mak, a San Francisco employment and consumer rights attorney with Minami Tamaki, LLP.
Name: Lisa P. Mak
Title: Associate Attorney
Practice Area: Employment and Consumer Rights
Contact Info: Minami Tamaki LLP, 415-788-9000, LMak@minamitamaki.com
City & State: San Francisco, CA
Short Bio: Lisa Mak is a plaintiff-side employment and consumer rights litigator at Minami Tamaki LLP. She has served as trial counsel in a wide variety of employment disputes in state and federal court. Lisa is actively involved in the Asian American bar and plaintiffs’ bar communities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and the non-profit Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach. She also co-chairs the Diversity Outreach Committee of the California Employment Lawyers Association. Additionally, she writes for CELA Voice, a plaintiffs’ advocates blog discussing workplace legal issues.
Recent Work Achievement/Highlight: In 2016, Ms. Mak was co-lead counsel on a five-week jury trial which resulted in a $3.5 million total verdict for four female officers with retaliation claims against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. Additionally, she has been recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star since 2015, and she recently received the Legal Advocate Award from the Center for Workers’ Rights in Sacramento.
Fun Fact: One of her life goals is to visit all of the Disney theme parks in the world… she’s 50% of the way there!
SUPER LAWYERS 2017 (Photo by Gary Wagner) – BACK ROW (L-R): Seema Bhatt (Rising Stars); Donald K. Tamaki (10-plus years); La Verne A. Ramsay; Suhi Koizumi (Rising Stars); Sean Tamura-Sato (Rising Stars); Olivia Serene Lee (Rising Stars); Heather Osuna; B. Mark Fong (Super Lawyers); FRONT ROW: Jack W. Lee* (10-plus years); Lisa P. Mak (Rising Stars); Minette A. Kwok (10-plus years); Dale Minami (Top 10, Top 100, 10-plus years)
We’re proud to announce that all of Minami Tamaki LLP’s Partners and more than 70 percent of our Associates were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers for 2017. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Three of our Partners have been named Northern California Super Lawyers for the last 14 consecutive years. Dale Minami was named to the Top 10 and Top 100 lists.
Dale Minami – Personal Injury
Super Lawyer Top 10, 2017 (5 years)
Super Lawyer Top 100, 2017 (10 years)
Super Lawyer, 2017 (10+ Years)
Minette A. Kwok – Immigration
Super Lawyer, 2017 (10+ Years)
Super Lawyer, Past Top 50 Women, Northern California (3 years)
Jack W. Lee – Consumer and Employee Rights (*Retired)
Super Lawyer, 2017 (10+ Years)
Super Lawyer, Past Top 100 (1 year)
Donald K. Tamaki – Corporate and Nonprofit Counseling
Super Lawyer, 2017 (10+ Years)
B. Mark Fong – Personal Injury
Super Lawyer, 2017 (8 Years)
Super Lawyer, Past Top 100 (2 Years)
Sean Tamura-Sato – Consumer and Employee Rights
Rising Stars, 2017 (5 years)
PHOTO: AILA NorCal Chair Olivia Lee (second of left) with other chapter leaders accepting the Platinum Chapter Award.
The Northern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) received the Platinum Chapter Award, the organization’s highest honor for chapters, at AILA Annual Conference last week in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Olivia Serene Lee, an associate in our Immigration Practice Group, has served as 2016-2017 Chair for AILA NorCal. She has served on the AILA NorCal Executive Board for the past four years.
Under Olivia’s leadership, AILA NorCal has been at the forefront in proactively responding to the institutional assault against immigrants. When the Trump administration attempted to enact a travel ban on Muslims, AILA NorCal was one of the first groups to respond, providing services at aiports, and offering assistance to those impacted.
She has been actively involved in AILA NorCal since 2009, leading and organizing more than 30 Continuing Legal Education programs in all aspects of immigration law, including prosecutorial discretion, export control, PERM, waivers, asylum, and events with immigration judges, USCIS, CBP, DOL and asylum officers. She also served as faculty on local and national AILA CLE panels on topics such as O-1s and H-1Bs.
AILA is the national bar for immigration attorneys, and AILA NorCal is one of its larger chapters, with over 850 members.
The Minami Tamaki LLP law firm has named Sean Tamura-Sato as Partner, effective January 1, 2017. He has been an attorney in the firm’s Consumer and Employee Rights Group since August 2007.
“Sean has helped lead or been an integral part of every major case in our consumer and employee rights practice in the past decade,” said Partner Jack W. Lee. “He has played a critical role in our success representing tens of thousands of individuals in class action and individual cases. We look forward to Sean’s continued leadership in our firm.”
Minami Tamaki’s Consumer & Employee Rights Group litigates class actions and individual cases on behalf of consumers, investors, and employees who have been harmed by illegal or unfair business or employment practices. The group has recovered tens of millions of dollars for its clients.
Sean represents clients in complex business disputes, with an emphasis on employment law, business torts, breach of contract, and class actions. He has successfully tried employment discrimination and wrongful termination cases in federal court and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
He has been involved in some of the largest class action cases on behalf of consumers in the history of antitrust law, including the In re TFT-LCD (flat panel) Antitrust Litigation. Sean also has substantial experience representing low-wage and immigrant workers in actions combating wage theft and worker exploitation.
Sean also advises entrepreneurs, executives, startup founders, and investors in matters involving employment contracts, executive compensation, shareholder & partnership disputes, trade secrets, media and technology, severance agreements, and strategic business decisions.
Sean has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer Rising Star from 2013 through 2016. He is a member of the California and Hawai’i bars. Sean received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University and his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.Congratulations, Sean!
It was 27 years ago last month that a widely watched, three-year multi-racial struggle involving thousands of supporters came to a successful conclusion with the granting of tenure to Don Nakanishi at UCLA.
Minami Tamaki partner Dale Minami led the legal fight, Dale Shimasaki coordinated the legislative advocacy, and Glenn Omatsu and many others organized student and grassroots support.
Don went on to achieve acclaim as a national scholar and pioneer who established Asian American studies as a viable and relevant field of scholarship, teaching, community service, and public discourse.
Sadly, Don passed away on March 21 in Los Angeles at the age of 66.
“Don’s courage and commitment to a diverse academia inspired him to challenge the irrational and biased decision to deny him tenure,” said Dale Minami.
“Although it required winning two grievances for irregular and biased review and sit-down strikes, demonstrations, boycotts of donations, critical editorials, and legislative hearings over two years, he finally achieved tenure, and, in so doing, became a symbol and inspiration for all those academics of color who had been shut out of the Ivory Tower because of their ethnicity.”
The fight for Nakanishi’s tenure is widely regarded as a landmark moment in academia, and has been taught nationally as an important case study for student-community mobilization. A year after gaining tenure, Nakanishi was appointed Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, which he helped develop into the largest and most prominent program of its kind.
Nakanishi retired in 2009 after 20 years as the Center’s Director and 35 years as a professor at UCLA.
In this video taken May 20, 2010, Nakanishi speaks about his writings and Asian American politics at a gathering celebrating the UCLA Asian American Studies Center’s 40th anniversary.