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Hawai‘i Supreme Court Associate Justice Earns International Recognition

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Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna was recently honored for her major contributions to the legal profession, excelling as a leader, and for being instrumental in helping other women advance into leadership roles.

Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna was an honoree at the Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation’s annual Global Women in Law & Leadership Reception and Honors Dinner in New York City on June 20, 2017.

Justice McKenna, along with Kim Rivera, chief legal officer and general counsel, HP Inc., and Nadja Bellan-White, executive vice president, Global Brand Management, Ogilvy and Mather EMEA, were recognized at the second annual Association of Corporate Counsel Foundation Global Women in Law & Leadership Reception and Honors Dinner at the United Nations Delegates Dining Room in New York City on June 20.

“Our honorees have a storied list of accomplishments on their own, but what makes them truly worthy of this year’s ACC Foundation honors is that they have used their success to champion for further progress,” said ACC Foundation Director Jennifer Chen. “They haven’t been satisfied with individual success – they are constantly working to break barriers for other women and diverse groups.”

Justice McKenna spoke to the 250 attendees about the importance of speaking out when necessary, diversity on the bench, and of women mentoring and sponsoring other qualified women.

The ACC was impressed by Justice McKenna’s noteworthy career, stating “After attending college on a basketball scholarship as an early beneficiary of Title IX, she has long championed breaking barriers for the development of fellow women leaders. She frequently speaks on civil rights topics in the U.S. and internationally, and co-chaired the Hawaii Supreme Court’s Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts and the Committee on Court Interpreters and Language Access, looking to provide opportunities for groups frequently underrepresented in the justice system.”


“Justice McKenna richly deserves this honor,” said Hawaii Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “She has been a passionate advocate for access to justice for everyone, and an outstanding mentor and role model for so many people in our community. On behalf of the Judiciary, I extend heartfelt congratulations to Justice McKenna.”


Justice McKenna became an Associate Justice of the Hawaii State Supreme Court in March 2011. Prior to that, she served as senior judge of the Family Court of the First Circuit and as a trial court judge in the District and Circuit Courts. She also has experience as a civil litigator, corporate counsel, and law professor.

Justice McKenna graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review.

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