Hila Asanuma, current Assistant Attorney under the Office of the Attorney General, was sworn in yesterday as a full-fledged attorney after passing her Palau Bar Exam.
A courtroom full of family, friends, and colleagues witnessed the joyous occasion, congratulating Asanuma on achieving such a significant milestone in her career.
“She is now an Esquire,” stated Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil, referring to the courtesy title given to an attorney. She can now make court appearances.
Ms. Hila Asanuma graduated from Thomas A. Cooley Law School in Michigan with her Juris Doctor degree (cum laude). She arrived in Palau in 2020 but could not take her Palau Bar Exam. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palau Bar Exam was canceled and rescheduled for 2021.
The Office of the Attorney General hired her as an assistant attorney handling misdemeanor cases under the supervision of the Attorney General, the work allowed under the Rules of Admission of the Supreme Court.
Having passed the Palau Bar Exam and sworn in to practice law in Palau by Judge Honora Rudimch, Ms. Asanuma becomes the 10th Palauan woman licensed to practice law in Palau. Of the ten women (J. Uduch Sengebau-Senior, Rose Skebong, Ernestine Rengiil, Katherine Salii, Honora Rudimch, Lourdes Materne, Mith Bells, Vameline Singeo and Lalii Chin-Sakuma and Hila Asanuma) licensed to practice law, five are now judges.