Mr. Yamashita is the principal of the Law Office of Bruce I. Yamashita, PLLC, focusing on immigration and nationality law. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, he came to Washington D.C. to complete a joint degree program: master’s in international affairs from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
Before that, during college at the University of Hawai‘i, he spent a year abroad at International Christian University (ICU) in Japan. After graduating from college, he returned to Tokyo for four years where he had a variety of experiences: teaching English, working at an import/export company; serving as the chief editor for a community newspaper; and working as a disc jockey for a national radio station.
During law school, he was a summer associate for two years at the Law Firm of Yanagida & Nomura in Tokyo. In the ensuring years, he has been in private practice. He has also served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and in 2009, was honorably discharged.
An experienced trial lawyer, for 20 years Mr. Yamashita represented indigent criminal defendants at D.C. Superior Court. Every four years, a committee of judges re-selected him to be a member of the U.S. Panel, an association of attorneys certified to represent indigent defendants. From misdemeanors to felonies, he was dedicated to protecting the constitution: the right of all to a fair and speedy trial. Moreover, as some of his clients were non-citizens, he worked diligently to avoid or reduce any potential immigration consequences due to their contact with the criminal justice system. Through these clients, he has gone on to successfully handle countless cases related to family and business immigration. His priority: competent and compassionate representation.
Mr. Yamashita is licensed in Hawai‘i and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the D.C. Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association, National Institute of Trial Advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
He is the recipient of the Japanese American Citizens League Civil Rights Award, and the Georgetown University Law Center Asian Pacific American Students Association Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2014, he received the Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. He has been the subject of a PBS Hawaii documentary, A Most Unlikely Hero.
His book, Fighting Tradition: A Marine’s Journey to Justice, is published by the University of Hawaii Press ( FightingTradition.Com ).
In his free time,he enjoys weightlifting, power walking, travel, and mindfulness meditation.