Judge Diane M.L. Tan
“CLEO provided me with the financial assistance and encouragement to complete law school and then pursue a legal career primarily in public service. I have continued to stay actively involved in efforts to eliminate bias in the legal profession; promote diversity and inclusion in this profession and on the bench; and assist with educating and providing a voice for individuals and groups in immigrant and low-income communities in the Los Angeles area.”
Judge Diane M. L. Tan is a retired Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). She was an ALJ in the State Hearings Division of the California Department of Social Services in Los Angeles. Previously, she was a Deputy Attorney General in the Health Quality Enforcement Section and the Licensing Section of the Attorney General’s Office of the California Department of Justice; a Deputy State Public Defender at the California State Public Defender’s Office; a Fair Employment and Housing Counsel at the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing; and in private practice in Los Angeles Chinatown.
In 1993, Judge Tan formed the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA) with other APA women attorneys. She has served as a Co-Chairperson of APAWLA and as the Affiliate Governor for APAWLA in California Women Lawyers for several years. In 2013, she was APAWLA’s Treasurer. Currently, she is one of the Vice-Presidents of APAWLA. She is a former President of the Japanese American Bar Association (JABA), a former board member and secretary of JABA, a board member of JABA’s Educational Foundation, an advisor and prior bar association representative to the Multicultural Bar Alliance (MCBA), and has served as a Co-Chairperson of the MCBA. She has served as a board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) and the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (SCCLA), and was a founding member of APABA. She also has served on the California State Bar Committees on Women in the Law, Ethnic Minority Relations, Human Rights, and Juvenile Justice. She is a Co-Creator and Co-Chairperson of the annual APA Community Holiday Toy Drive and Reception Committee since 2000, a board member of the Friends of the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, and a founding member of the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (CCED).
Judge Tan received her J.D. from the University of Southern California Law School, and a B.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from USC. She was a graduate student at USC in East Asian Languages and Cultures prior to attending law school.
In 2001, Ms. Tan received a distinguished alumni award from the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO). She also has received certificates of commendation or recognition for her service as a board member of the various aforementioned APA bar associations.