Hillary Nakano has been named Boxer & Gerson’s newest associate, taking her place alongside her colleagues as a workers’ compensation attorney after being sworn into the California State Bar.
Nakano is a lifelong Bay Area resident who was educated in Oakland elementary and secondary schools, went south for her undergraduate degree from UC Santa Barbara, then returned to earn her law degree at the University of San Francisco. That decidedly local orientation will be well complemented by her familiarity with Boxer & Gerson, where she has been working as a legal assistant since her law school graduation while studying for and then awaiting the results of her bar exam.
The event was marked in two locations. The first was at the Oakland Convention Center on June 7 to officially register Nakano’s addition to the State Bar membership roster. The second was a week later in the Boxer & Gerson offices, where she was joined by her parents, Gerry Nakano and Dianne Fukami, her fiancé Stuart Gwynn, and fellow staff attorneys who know full well the arduous road that must be traversed from law school to passage of the bar exam. The ceremony was officiated by Judge Gene Lam, the Oakland Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Presiding Judge. Lam is shown in the photo above with Nakano and her father.
Nakano is a fourth generation Japanese-American whose sights on a legal career were profoundly shaped by the fact that all four of her American citizen grandparents were sent to the infamous Japanese internment camps in the California desert during World War II. Growing up with full knowledge of that grave injustice, Nakano knew from an early age she wanted to pursue some justice-oriented helping profession. The legal field was a natural draw.
“I always wanted to be an attorney,” she says. “I first thought I might want to go into employment law, but when I came to Boxer & Gerson for an informational interview during law school, I discovered the appeal of workers’ compensation. (Boxer & Gerson Partner) Gary Lee made a strong case for it, and later offered me a job as soon as I passed the bar. It seemed like a great fit for me, and I am overjoyed to be here.”