Karen Nobumoto ’73

Karen Nobumoto

Outstanding Alum: Exceptional Professional Success

It is difficult to reflect on Karen Nobumoto without recognizing an impressive list of some of her distinguished accomplishments since graduating from the University of Hartford in 1973.

Prior to becoming an attorney in Los Angeles, California, Nobumoto worked for IBM as a marketing sales director, convincing large corporations of their need to purchase mid-sized computers to be used in their business. She was also a commodity broker sales person in Laguna Beach, California. In July 1986, Nobumoto moved back to Los Angeles, her hometown, to begin studying at Southwestern School of Law. She received her law degree in June 1989.

After passing the California State Bar Exam in December 1989, Nobumoto became the deputy district attorney of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

From the beginning of her legal career, Nobumoto was active in the law community, including her service to the Board of California Young Lawyers Association, the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation, The State Bar of California’s Board of Governors, and Governor Gray Davis’s Diversity Task Force. Additionally, she was one of the founders of a mentoring program for minority students studying law in Los Angeles.

From 2001 to 2002, Nobumoto was elected and served as president of the 175,000-member California State Bar and was the first minority—and only the second woman—to ever hold that position.

Nobumoto has been recognized with many honors and awards, including the Metropolitan News-Enterprise Person of the Year, Lawyer of the Year (California Lawyer magazine), and in 2010, was a Hall of Fame Inductee to the John Langston Association.

Nobumoto retired in September 2012 due to illness. Her mother, Lena Nobumoto, brought her to Las Vegas, Nevada, to love and care for her. Sadly, Karen Nobumoto passed away on May 10, 2022, at the age of 70.