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Maile M. Hirota



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Ms. Hirota has been selected by her peers to be included in the The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice area of Immigration Law each year since 2008. She was named the Best Lawyers’ 2024, 2018 and 2015 Honolulu Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year.” Only a single lawyer in each practice area, in each community honored as a “Lawyer of the Year.” Inclusion in Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous peer-review survey comprising confidential evaluations by top attorneys. Because no fee or purchase is required, being listed in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

Maile Hirota represented An Na Peng in her successful Presidential Pardon. President Barack Obama granted seventeen pardons on March 1, 2013, one of them to Honolulu resident and Hirota & Associates client, An Na Peng. Ms. Peng legally immigrated from China and sought the pardon as a last resort while she fought deportation for 17 years. If she had not won her case at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Presidential pardon would have been her only hope. The presidential pardon granted to An Na Peng is the first immigration-related pardon in more than a decade.

Practice Areas: Immigration and Naturalization; Consular Law; Family Immigration Law; Business Immigration; Deportation; Administrative Law; Citizenship; Employment Authorizations; Employment Immigration; Employment Visas; Immigration Law; Investor Visas; Labor Certifications; Permanent Visas; Religious Visas; Removal Proceedings; Visas

Admitted: 1994, Hawaii and U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii; 1999, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Law School: Indiana University, Bloomington, J.D.

Member: Hawaii State Bar Association; American Immigration Lawyers Association (Hawaii Chapter Chair, 2012 – 2014; Vice Chair, 2011-2012; Hawaii Chapter Congressional Liaison; Executive Office for Immigration Review, National Liaison Committee, 2007-2008; California Service Center Liaison Committee, 2005-2007; Immigration Reform Committee, 2005-2006; Hawaii Chapter Chair, 2003-2005; Vice Chair, 2001-2003; Secretary, 2000-2001); American Immigration Council (Legal Action Center Advisory Committee, 2007-2010); Hawaii Women Lawyers; Japan-America Society of Hawaii (Lifetime Member); Hawaii Pacific University Career Services Advisory Council (2006-2008).

Biography: Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Immigration Law, 2008-present. Director of charitable foundation, Hirota Sandla Family Fund in Honor of Dr. Arthur & Bonnie Ennis. Executive Editor, Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 1993-1994.

Languages: Japanese

Ms. Hirota began her law practice in Ohio as an associate with Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, a large law firm in Cincinnati. After practicing immigration law in Ohio for two years, Ms. Hirota returned to her family in Hawaii and joined Lynch & Farmer in 1997. She was named a partner of Lynch Ichida Thompson Kim & Hirota in 2002 and left that firm to found Hirota & Associates in 2009. Ms. Hirota’s practice concentrates solely in U.S. Immigration and Nationality law.

Ms. Hirota is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, having served on the following committees: Hawaii Chapter Chair, 2012 – 2014; Vice Chair & Treasurer, 2011-2012; Hawaii Chapter Congressional Liaison; National EOIR Liaison Committee, 2007-2008; National Mentor, Honolulu District Office practice, 2003-present; USCIS California Service Center Liaison Committee, 2005-2007; National Immigration Reform Committee, 2005-2006; Hawaii Chapter Chair, 2003-2005; Hawaii Chapter Vice Chair, 2001-2003; Hawaii Chapter Secretary, 2000-2001.

Ms. Hirota served the American Immigration Council (formerly American Immigration Law Foundation) on its Legal Action Center Advisory Committee from 2007-2010. She is a lifetime member of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii; a director of the charitable foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, Hirota Sandla Family Fund in Honor of Dr. Arthur & Bonnie Ennis; Hawaii Pacific University, Career Services Advisory Council, 2006-2008; and is a member of Hawaii Women Lawyers.

Ms. Hirota has been chosen by her peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America each year since 2008 in the field of Immigration Law. She is a frequent public speaker on immigration matters, and has spoken to such groups as Hawaii Public Radio, Hawaii Pacific University, JAG Corps, and the Rotary Club. She was called as expert witness on the Violence Against Women Act by the State Prosecutor’s office. For over eight years, Ms. Hirota hosted a weekly call-in radio show on immigration and nationality issues on KPMW 105.5FM based on Maui.

Ms. Hirota enjoys practicing yoga. She maintains a worm bin at home and enjoys spending time with her family, including her jack russell terrier mix Rosie and two siamese cats, Fred and Ted. She is a sports fan, especially of UH basketball and the University of Michigan Wolverines. She enjoys a friendly rivalry in the office with Stella, who graduated from that other Michigan school.

Ms. Hirota was named the Best Lawyers’ Honolulu Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” for 2024, 2018 & 2015.

Call Hirota & Associates, LLLC at 808-587-9600 or contact us online.