The Hon. Donna M. Ryu is a magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. She was appointed to the bench on January 13, 2010 to fill a seat vacated by the Hon. Richard Seeborg.
Ryu earned a B.A. from Yale University in 1982. She then completed a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1986. While at the University of California, Berkeley, she founded the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice.
She began her legal career as an associate at McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. She practiced there as a commercial litigator until 1988, when she moved to Saperstein, Seligman, Mayeda & Larkin. During her four year tenure there, she specialized in class actions. Then, in 1994, Ryu founded the firm Ryu, Dickey & Larkin.
Ryu joined Golden Gate University School of Law as an associate professor and the associate director of the Women’s Employment Rights Clinic in 1998. She worked in that capacity until 2002, when she accepted a position as clinical professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Ryu has also taught at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law as well as Golden Gate University Law School.
Ryu is a recipient of the Jose Morozumi Award for Exceptional Legal Advocacy from the Asian American Bar Association and the Trailblazers Award for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
She was the first Asian-American woman, the first Korean-American, and the first open lesbian to serve on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.