Mr. Kawata has practiced in the State of Hawaii for 30 years. He graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, California in December, 1979, and was admitted to the Hawaii Bar in May, 1980.
He immediately went to work as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office, prosecuting first misdemeanor cases, then felony jury trials, the last two years assigned to the Career Criminal Unit.
He joined the law firm that became Tanaka & Kawata in 1983, and practiced with the firm until 1992, when he opened his own office. He has been in solo and later, small firm practice with the office he heads since then.
Mr. Kawata attended Canada College in Redwood City, California and California State University at Hayward (now known as Cal State East Bay), while working full-time as an auto mechanic licensed by the State of California.
While at Canada College he was the part-time (but only) minority recruiter for a year for the southern San Mateo County Community College District. He moved to Los Angeles for law school. While in law school he worked for two law firms as a clerk, and held a half-time position with the law school running the school’s minority tutorial program for two years.
He is believed to be the last person to have been admitted to Loyola Law School without a Bachelor’s Degree. He was known for having been able to finish undergraduate and law school in five and a half years (three in college and two and a half in law school) while working full time (one 60 hour a week job in college and two half-time jobs in law school).
In thirty years of practice, Mr. Kawata has been known as one of the Bar’s hardest working lawyers. He maintains an inordinately busy practice, which suits his work ethic. He demands the most of himself and expects it of his staff.