A woman poses for a photo in judge's robes.
The Hon. Michelle Tong, ’01, was elected to the San Francisco Superior Court in March 2020.

The Hon. Michelle Tong, ‘01, was born in Toronto, Canada to immigrant parents from Hong Kong. She was raised in Sacramento and resides in San Francisco. She received her bachelor’s degree in Politics with a minor in East Asian Studies from UC Santa Cruz in 1996 and studied abroad in Tianjin, China during her time in undergrad.  

After working with the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco serving low-income Asian immigrants for several years, Judge Tong returned to Sacramento to be with her family while attending McGeorge School of Law, graduating in 2001. Judge Tong was active in McGeorge’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Black Law Students Association, and Minority Students Bar Association.  

Following law school, Judge Tong’s dedication to social justice continued. She returned to San Francisco and assisted self-represented tenants at the Eviction Defense Collaborative, helping low-income tenants respond to eviction lawsuits. Subsequently, she spent 17 years at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, where she tried over 50 jury trials to verdict, ranging from misdemeanors to serious and violent life cases.  

Judge Tong was elected to the San Francisco Superior Court in March 2020 and began her judicial service in January 2021. Her judicial assignments have included family and civil law.  

Judge Tong is committed to ensuring the legal profession expands in its diversity of gender, race, socioeconomic background, and cultural competence. She remains active in the community by mentoring aspiring law students and attorneys and enjoys speaking in classrooms with students ranging from elementary school to law school. 

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.