Minette A. Kwok

Partner (Retired), Immigration and Nationality Law


Minette A. Kwok was a Partner with Minami Tamaki LLP and a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, as designated by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. Ms. Kwok retired on December 31, 2020.

Her practice focused primarily on business immigration, where she represents startups and emerging high-tech companies, as well as global Fortune 500 companies in the IT, engineering, clean energy, and manufacturing industries. She worked closely with corporate executives and human resources personnel to meet their strategic immigration needs, and advises companies in times of both growth and contraction.

Ms. Kwok was a noted leader in the immigration bar. She served on the national Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council (AIC), which focuses on immigration policy, litigation and advocacy. She has served on AILA’s National Board of Governors; as Chair of AILA, Northern California; as a Commissioner with the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization, Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission; and as a liaison to the Department of Labor, Region IX and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

For three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, Ms. Kwok was chosen as one of the Top 50 Women Northern California Super Lawyers. From 2004 through 2020, she has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer, an industry-wide poll which identifies by peer review the top 5% of attorneys in their field. She has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the 21st through 24th Editions of Best Lawyers in America in the area of immigration law, and has been recognized by Law Business Research Ltd. as one of America’s leading immigration practitioners in its Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration 2018 publication. She was frequently invited to speak at regional and national conferences and panels.

Ms. Kwok has participated widely in community affairs. She served on the Advisory Board for the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at the University of California at Hastings School of Law, as well as on the Board of Directors of Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO), which provides services to those facing domestic violence and human trafficking, landlord/tenant, and elder law abuse. She successfully represented the State Bar of California before the California Supreme Court in the matter of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant who applied for, and was ultimately admitted to, the California State Bar.

Ms. Kwok is a member of the California Bar, the United States District Court, Northern District of California, and the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating with a B.A. in History with High Honors; and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Francisco in 1990.

Ms. Kwok has been awarded an AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating for competence and ethics issued by that publication and reserved for attorneys designated as outstanding in their field.

* American Immigration Lawyers Association Business Immigration Committee Since 2013
* American Immigration Council, Board of Trustees Since 2013
* American Immigration Lawyers Association, Member Since 2003, NorCal Chapter Chair and CIS Liaison
* Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Member Since 2003, Board Member
* AILA NorCal Liaison to the Department of Labor, Region IX, Member Since 1999
* State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization Immigration and Nationality Law, Member Since 1995-1997, Commissioner
* Barrister Club, Immigration Committee, Member Since 1994-1995, Chair & Vice Chair
* Asian Legal Services Outreach, Member Since 1980-1983, Executive Director
* Bar Association of San Francisco
* Asian American Bar Association

* Certified Specialist, State Bar of California
* Board of Legal Specialization, Immigration and Nationality Law
* AV Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

J.D., University of San Francisco, School of Law, 1990
B. A., University of California, Berkeley, 1976, High Honors
M. A., California State University, Sacramento, 1982

California, 1991
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit