Susan Oki Mollway (born 1950) is the former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii and the first Asian woman ever appointed to the federal bench.
Early life and education
Born in Honolulu, Mollway earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Hawaii in 1971 and a master's degree in English literature from the University of Hawaii in 1973. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1981, where she was the Editor in Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Susan and Daniel J. Mollway have a son, Dylan.
Mollway taught English and worked at an English-language publisher in Tokyo from 1975 until 1977. After law school, she worked in private legal practice at Cades Schutte Fleming & Wright in Honolulu from 1981 until 1998, when she joined the federal bench. She became a partner at that law firm in 1986. Mollway also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law from 1988 until 1989.
Mollway has received a number of awards, including:
1987 Outstanding Woman Lawyer of the Year Award, Hawaii Women Lawyers Association;
1998 Trailblazer Award, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association;
1999 Edith House Lecturer, University of Georgia School of Law;
2000 Heroes 2000, Harvard Asian American Intercollegiate Conference;
2004 Outstanding Judicial Achievement Award, Hawaii Women Lawyers; and
2005 Distinguished Service Award, Asian American Justice Center.
Federal judicial service
Mollway was first nominated in December 1995 by President William J. Clinton to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii to fill the vacancy created by the 1995 death of Judge Harold Michael Fong. After her nomination lapsed without action by the United States Senate, she was renominated on January 7, 1997. The United States Senate confirmed Mollway's nomination on June 22, 1998.
Judge Mollway served on the 9th Circuit Pacific Islands Committee and the 9th Circuit Circuit Conference Executive Committee. Judge Mollway is currently the chairperson of the 9th Circuit Jury Instructions Committee.
Judge Mollway helped to oversee the $121-million renovation of the federal district court facilities in Honolulu and worked on creating a Re-Entry program in the United States District Court, District of Hawaii.
Mollway took Senior Status on November 6, 2015.