The Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship


 Application for the 2018 Marutani Fellowship is Open!


The deadline is March 9, 2018.

Please email Susan Lin ([email protected]) or John Yi ([email protected]) with any questions

About The Honorable William M. Marutani


The Honorable William M. Marutani, a distinguished member of the judiciary, served both the Asian American community and the community at large for many years.

Born in Washington State, Judge Marutani was a second-generation Japanese American who served six months in an American internment camp following the Pearl Harbor attack in 1942. Later during the war, he served in the U.S. Military Intelligence Service (MIS).


As an attorney, Judge Marutani participated in the civil rights drives in the South and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington for the Japanese American Citizens League ("JACL"). From 1960 to 1970, he also served as a volunteer civil rights lawyer in cases involving the desegregation of schools and the promotion of voter registration drives in Mississippi. In 1967, Judge Marutani appeared on argument in Loving v. Virginia, a seminal case which struck down anti-miscegenation laws in 17 states.

As a jurist, Judge Marutani was the first Asian American judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in 1975, Judge Marutani became the first Asian American outside of the Pacific Coast states to preside as a judge of a court of general jurisdiction. Judge Marutani was later elected to a full ten-year term in 1977. During which time, he issued the decision requiring the all-boys Central High School to admit female students in 1983.

Up until his death in 2004, Judge Marutani also served on numerous civic and charitable boards and commissions. Most notably, in 1981 he was appointed to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians by President Jimmy Carter. The Commission concluded that the internment of Japanese Americans was the unjust result of racism, wartime hysteria and a failure of political leadership.

Fellowship Information

The Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship (the “Fellowship”) was established by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA) in conjunction with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. The Fellowship serves to honor the legacy of Judge Marutani, the first Asian American judge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a distinguished member of the judiciary who has served both the Asian American community and the community at large for many years. Judge Marutani’s exemplary career is a model for current students who are committed to public service.


The Fellowship is offered to Asian American first and second year law students at all accredited Pennsylvania law schools, Rutgers-Camden University School of Law, and Widener University School of Law, . The Fellowship will provide a stipend for an Asian American law student to enable him/her to take a summer internship position with a non-profit/public interest organization or a federal, state or municipal government office/agency (including the judiciary) in the Greater Philadelphia area in the hopes of giving Asian American law students a greater opportunity to gain full-time employment in areas of the law in which Asian American attorneys are currently underrepresented.


Finalists will be selected based upon his or her law school transcripts, past and present work and community service experience, prior accomplishments and awards, character, and an essay. Each finalist will be interviewed by the Fellowship Selection Committee.

The Fellowship recipient(s) will receive a stipend, up to $5,000 (depending on sources of funding available to the student other than the Marutani Fellowship), for full-time summer employment (of at least ten weeks) at an organization as described above. Applicants are eligible for the Marutani Fellowship even if they seek or receive other sources of summer funding which must be reported to the Marutani Fellowship selection committee immediately. The recipient will be required to complete a two-page report summarizing his/her summer experience. This report shall be submitted in a finished form appropriate for publication in the APABA-PA’s newsletter. The Fellowship recipient will also be recognized at the APABA-PA’s annual banquet in the fall.


Donations to the Judge William M. Marutani Fellowship can be made payable to the "Philadelphia: Bar Foundation" (referencing the Marutani Fellowship) and mailed to:

Philadelphia Bar Foundation
1101 Market Street, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2911

 (Chose the Memorial/Tribute Gift option, and indicate the Marutani Fellowship as the Gift recipient)

For direct donations of marketable securities or any donation related questions, contact the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, at (215) 238-6334.

TAX-DEDUCTIBLE: The Philadelphia Bar Foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to the Philadelphia Bar Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.


Questions?  Please contact Susan Lin at [email protected] or John Yi at [email protected] 

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