Lorraine K. Bannai

Lorraine Bannai

Professor Emerita

 Sullivan Hall 430


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Legal Writing


  • B.A., University of California/Santa Barbara
  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1979


Lorraine K. Bannai is Professor Emerita and Director Emerita of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law. After earning her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Professor Bannai joined what is now the San Francisco firm of Minami Tamaki. While there, she served on the legal team that successfully challenged Fred Korematsu’s World War II conviction for refusing to comply with orders that resulted in the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

Prior to her 25-year career at Seattle University School of Law, Professor Bannai directed the Academic Support Program at the University of California Berkeley Law School; and taught at the University of San Francisco, John F. Kennedy, and New College of California Schools of Law; and was an inaugural faculty member in the Law and Diversity Program at Western Washington University.

Professor Bannai has written and spoken widely on the wartime Japanese American incarceration and its present-day relevance. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and co-authored amicus briefs on behalf of the children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui on the continuing lessons of the incarceration. She has co-authored the book Race, Rights, and National Security: Law and the Japanese American Incarceration, and authored a biography of Fred Korematsu, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice.


  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (2015).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, "Challenged X 3: The Stories of Women of Color Who Teach Legal Writing," 29 Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice 275 (Summer 2014).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Gordon Hirabayashi: "What the College Student, Client, and Professor Taught Us about Seeking Justice," Washington State Bar Association's Bar News (March 2012).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, "Taking the Stand: The Lessons of Three Men Who Took the Japanese American Internment to Court," 4 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 1 (2005).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai & Anne Enquist, "(Un)Examined Assumptions and (Un)Intended Messages: Teaching Students to Recognize Bias in Legal Analysis and Language," 27 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1 (2003).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Anne Enquist, Judith Maier & Susan McClellan, "Sailing Through Designing Memo Assignments," 5 Leg. Writing 193 (1999).