Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ‘87
The Hon. Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ‘87, retired Hawaii State District Court Judge.

The Hon. Margaret Kuroda Masunaga, ’87, served as a Hawaii State District Court Judge from 2014 to 2020 on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kona. 

Judge Masunaga grew up in Sacramento, California, and graduated from C. K. McClatchy High School in the Land Park Area near McGeorge School of Law. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and McGeorge School of Law. She served on the McGeorge Alumni Association Board since 2023. When she was a student at McGeorge, she was President of the Asian American Law Students Association, as well as Minority Representative on the admissions committee. After graduating from McGeorge in 1987, she passed the bar exam and was an Associate at the law firm of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel. 

Judge Masunaga had a lengthy career of public service in Hawaii in various capacities before serving on the bench for six years. She was a Deputy Corporation Counsel and Deputy Planning Director for the County of Hawaii, and Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii. 

Judge Masunaga has been active in the American Bar Association (ABA) since she was on the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Executive Council. She has served as Co-Chair of the Judges’ Journal Editorial Board and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Trial Judges, ABA Judicial Division, Chair of the Judges Advisory Committee of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics & Professional Responsibility, ABA State Delegate for Hawaii, member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, ABA Commission on Racial & Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, and Judicial Council member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). She is the former Hawaii State Trial Judges Association Vice President, Treasurer of the Hawaii State Bar Association, President of the West Hawaii Bar Association, NAPABA Board of Governor and Hawaii Community Foundation Board of Governor. 

Judge Masunaga is the recipient of U.S. President George W. Bush’s Gold Volunteer Service Award, ABA Nelson Award for outstanding contribution, Hawaii Women’s Legal Foundation Award, Soropitmist International of Kona Award, Hawaii Lawyers Care Award, and Hawaii State Bar Association YLD Justice Award. She has been an ABA contributor in two “Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters” publications. 

Judge Masunaga and her husband Gail both retired in December 2020, and own Masunaga Farms, Kona coffee.  

Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni. 

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.