The Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok & Lee (MTYKL) Foundation and the AABA Law Foundation have launched a new scholarship for law students in remembrance of Garrick S. Lew, who passed away March 19, 2016, after a distinguished career as one of the Bay Area’s top criminal defense attorneys.
The Garrick S. Lew Scholarship awards $10,000 to a third-year law student committed to a criminal defense practice after graduation. The scholarship is funded through a grant from the MTYKL Foundation’s Garrick S. Lew Legacy Fund to the AABA Law Foundation, which administers the scholarship and selects the recipients.
UPDATE: The AABA Law Foundation awarded the first Garrick S. Lew Scholarship to Christopher Gueco of U.C. Hastings College of the Law.
The MTYKL Foundation created the Garrick S. Lew Legacy Fund in conjunction with the Lew family to support efforts that continue Garrick’s legacy of advocating for our Asian American communities, AAPIs in the legal profession and criminal defense.
Hundreds of people attended the celebration of Garrick’s life and legacy held on March 29, 2016, in San Francisco. and numerous donors contributed to the Garrick S. Lew Legacy Fund through the MTYKL Foundation.
Our deepest thanks to the donors to the MTYKL Foundation and to Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus in honor of Garrick! See the list of donors here.
For more information on the Garrick S. Lew Scholarship, visit http://bit.ly/GSLscholarship. Applications are due on February 28 to the AABA Law Foundation. The Garrick S. Lew Scholarship recipient will be recognized at the Asian American Bar Association Annual Dinner in San Francisco on March 23, 2017.
The Garrick S. Lew Scholarship is administered entirely by the AABA Law Foundation, including the independent selection of the Scholarship recipients. The MTYKL Foundation provides funding to AABA Law Foundation to support the Scholarship, but the MTYKL Foundation does not determine or influence the selection of the Scholarship recipient.
About Garrick S. Lew
Download a high-resolution photo of Garrick.
Garrick will be remembered as a skillful and talented attorney, a tireless advocate in the fight for social justice and equality, an icon in the Asian American community, a devoted husband to his wife, Diane Hiura, a loving and engaged father to his two sons, Dillon and Brandon, and an indispensable friend to those who knew him.
Garrick, the first of three children, was born on July 25, 1950, in Oakland, Calif., to parents Share and Jennie Lew. A product of the Oakland public schools, Garrick received his B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, and his J.D. from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 1974. From his first years as a student at Cal, he fought for the establishment of an ethnic studies program, demonstrated in the Third World Strike, and helped establish youth organizations in Oakland’s Chinatown.
Throughout his legal career, Garrick was an ardent champion of civil rights and social justice, and a staunch defender of those unable to defend themselves. As a fearless young lawyer, he represented Wendy Yoshimura, the fugitive who was caught with Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army. He was also part of the legal team fighting the eviction of tenants from the International Hotel, and provided pro bono services to demonstrators arrested in anti-Vietnam war protests.
It was out of this sense of justice and pride in his heritage as an Asian American that he helped establish the Asian Law Caucus while still a law student. Garrick later co-founded Minami, Tomine and Lew, one of the first Asian American law firms in the country. The firm later became Minami Lew & Tamaki, and then Minami Tamaki LLP when Garrick started his own practice in 2006.
In his 42 years of practicing law, Garrick specialized in criminal defense trial work with a focus on complex white-collar cases, but also served on the federal court’s Criminal Justice Panel for 30 years, handling hundreds of cases for indigent clients. In a testament to his belief that every person charged with a crime deserved representation, he was the defense attorney for notorious serial killer, Charles Ng.
Garrick received numerous honors, awards, and recognitions for his professional accomplishments. He was also one of the funniest people alive, sometimes unintentionally. Throughout his life, Garrick stayed true to the principles that guided his life: advancing justice, fighting for the underdog, mentoring young attorneys, and being fiercely loyal to family and friends.