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Hon. Ronald S.W. Lew

Hon. Ronald S.W. Lew

United States District Court, Central District of California
District Judge
Los Angeles, CA, USA

United States District Judge

Judge Ronald S.W. Lew was born in Los Angeles, the third of nine children. His father was a Chinese launderer who immigrated from Guangdong Province and operated the Mandarin Laundry in downtown Los Angeles. Judge Lew worked his way through school in his father's laundry business.

Upon graduation from Loyola University, Judge Lew commenced his study at Southwestern University School of Law. His legal education was interrupted by the draft. After serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, he returned to Southwestern and was admitted to practice law in 1971. He worked as a deputy city attorney for two and a half years before going into the private practice of law.

While in the last year of law school, Judge Lew married Mamie (who was born in Guangdong, China) and started their family. Judge Lew enjoys sharing his free time with his four children, spouses and grandchildren.

Judge Lew was first appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1982, and then elevated to Superior Court in 1984. On May 7, 1987, President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Lew to the federal bench where he now serves in the Central District of California. He is the first Chinese-American appointed as a United States District Judge in the continental United States.

Always active in civic and community affairs, Judge Lew helped to establish the Chinatown Service Center, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association and the Chinese American Museum. He currently sits on the boards of the Southwestern School of Law, Friends of the Chinese American Museum, American Inns of Court and the Federal Bar Association. He is a past board member of the Chinese Heart Council, Federal Judges Association, Federal Circuit Bar Association Judges= Committee, Committee on International Judicial Relations of the United States Judicial Conference and both a past board member and member of the Committee of 100.

As a past board member of the Committee on International Judicial Relations, Judge Lew traveled abroad to assist foreign courts and international judicial organizations create programs and establish lasting relationships. Today, as a Senior U.S. District Court Judge, he continues his efforts to promote the establishment and expansion of the rule of law and administration of justice by his frequent participation in speaking engagements overseas. Furthermore, in his personal time, Judge Lew consistently gives back to the legal profession by participating in educational programs, both domestic and overseas, organized by various governmental agencies, bar associations, and law schools.

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