Lorraine K. Bannai

Lorraine Bannai

Professor Emerita
Director Emerita, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality

 Sullivan Hall 430


Email Lorraine


Legal Writing


  • B.A., University of California/Santa Barbara
  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1979


Lorraine K. Bannai is Professor Emerita at Seattle University School of Law and Director Emerita of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. After earning her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law, Professor Bannai joined what is now the San Francisco firm of Minami Tamaki. While there, she served on the legal team that successfully challenged Fred Korematsu’s World War II conviction for refusing to comply with orders that resulted in the mass removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

Prior to her 25-year career at Seattle University School of Law, Professor Bannai directed the Academic Support Program at the University of California Berkeley Law School; taught at the University of San Francisco, John F. Kennedy, and New College of California Schools of Law; and was an inaugural faculty member in the Law and Diversity Program at Western Washington University.

Professor Bannai has written and spoken widely on the wartime Japanese American incarceration and its present-day relevance. She has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and served as a commentator on the podcast More Perfect. She has co-authored amicus briefs on behalf of the children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui on the continuing lessons of the incarceration and the book Race, Rights, and National Security: Law and the Japanese American Incarceration (3d ed.). She has also written an award-winning biography of Fred Korematsu, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice.


  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Reflections on the Korematsu, Yasui, and Hirabayashi Coram Nobis Cases on Their 40th Anniversary, Berkeley Asian American Law Journal (forthcoming October 2023).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Using Korematsu To Teach Across the Law School Curriculum, including using Korematsu to teach Law School Orientation and Introduction to Law Courses; Professional Responsibility; Civil Procedure (with Margaret Chon and Eric K. Yamamoto); Constitutional Law (with Eric K. Yamamoto); and Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis (with Stephanie Wilson) (2022).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, 80 Years After EO 9066, The Supreme Court Still Shuts Its Eye to Reality, Just Security (Feb. 8, 2022).
  • Eric K. Yamamoto, Lorraine K. Bannai & Margaret Chon, Race, Rights and National Security: Law and the Japanese American Internment (3d ed. Aspen 2021).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Korematsu Overruled? Far From It: The Supreme Court Reloads the Loaded Weapon, 16 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 897 (2018).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga: The Activist Who Discovered the Truth About WWII Internment, Politico (Dec. 30, 2018).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Enduring Conviction: Fred Korematsu and His Quest for Justice (2015).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, "Challenged X 3: The Stories of Women of Color Who Teach Legal Writing," 29 Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law and Justice 275 (Summer 2014).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Gordon Hirabayashi: "What the College Student, Client, and Professor Taught Us about Seeking Justice," Washington State Bar Association's Bar News (March 2012).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai, Taking the Stand: The Lessons of Three Men Who Took the Japanese American Internment to Court, 4 Seattle J. Soc. Just. 1 (2005).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai & Anne Enquist, "(Un)Examined Assumptions and (Un)Intended Messages: Teaching Students to Recognize Bias in Legal Analysis and Language," 27 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1 (2003).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai , Anne Enquist, Judith Maier & Susan McClellan, "Sailing Through Designing Memo Assignments," 5 Leg. Writing 193 (1999).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai & Marie Eaton, Fostering Diversity in the Legal Profession: A Model for Preparing Minority and Other Non-Traditional Students for Law School, 31 U.S.F. L. Rev. 821 (1997).
  • Lorraine K. Bannai & Dale Minami, Internment during World War II and Litigations, in Asian Americans and the Supreme Court: A Documentary History 755-88 (H. Kim, ed. Greenwood Press 1992).