The American Bar Association Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division’s annual awards program, designed to recognize the extraordinary achievements of public sector lawyers, recently announced its selection of Margaret Masunaga, deputy corporation counsel for the County of Hawaii, as the 2014 Nelson Award recipient. The Nelson Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the ABA by an individual government or public sector lawyer. The award will be presented at the ABA’s annual meeting on Aug. 8 in Boston.
Masunaga’s distinguished career as a government lawyer and active participation as a bar and community leader in Hawaii and the ABA exemplify her commitment to public service and the legal profession. The Nelson Award recognizes her outstanding work and service in the public sector and her leadership in the ABA where she has served above and beyond the call of duty for 23 years.
Masunaga is an ABA Delegate for Hawaii, a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and a member of the Hawaii Council for the Humanities. As an ABA leader, she is well-regarded and known as a hard worker, dedicated volunteer and consensus builder.
Despite her busy work schedule, Masunaga has been very active in her local community, volunteering for several civic groups and Hawaiian bar associations. She previously served on the Hawaii Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, the State Elections Commission, the White House Forum on Women &the Economy, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, the ABA Commission on Racial &Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Hawaii State Bar Association Board, the Board of Governors of the Hawaii Community Foundation, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She has also served as the President and Assistant Treasurer for the West Hawaii Bar Association.
Masunaga has focused her volunteer efforts by working on projects and activities which promote diversity and gender equity in the legal profession.
“Margaret exemplifies the very best in our profession,” said Calvin Young, HSBA president. “As a government lawyer she diligently serves the people of the Big Island every day. ”