Judge Lillian Y. Lim is a retired Judge of the San Diego Superior Court. She has been a Judge since January 1986 and following her retirement in 2007 continued to serve until March of 2012 as a visiting Judge in Courts throughout California. She was a member of a task force sent to California’s inland empire to resolve or try civil cases in an effort to reduce the civil trial backlog. She was also selected to serve on the Chief Justice’s criminal “Strike Force” and again sent to Riverside County to resolve or try cases in an effort to reduce the criminal trial backlog. She also writes a column for Asian Media, Inc. Prior to her appointment as a Judge, she was a California Justice Department State Prosecutor specializing in fraud cases. Most recently, Judge Lim has joined ADR Services, Inc. as a Mediator and Arbitrator and serves as a panel attorney as well for Appellate Defenders, Inc. of San Diego.
Judge Lim’s mother, Socorro Toribio, is from Baliwag, Bulacan in the Philippines. Judge Lim’s father, Alfredo Lim, is from Iloilo in the Philippines. She is believed to be the first Filipina American Judge appointed to the bench in the United States. Judge Lim is a founding officer and member of the Asian Pacific Bar of California, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego and Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego. She is also a past President of the California Asian American Judges Association.
Judge Lim was the first of her family born in the United States, graduated from Berkeley High School (’69) Brown University with Honors (’73) and Western State University College of Law (Now Thomas Jefferson) cum laude (1st in the full-time class) (’77).
Judge Lim received the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s (NAPABA) 1995 Trailblazer Award presented at the Kennedy Center in Boston. She was selected as a Woman of the Year in 2004, 78th Assembly District, by the California State Legislature and selected as her law school’s alum of the year in 2006. She was a faculty advisor for the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and was an adjunct professor of law teaching Trial Practice as well as a course on “Race and the Law”. She has been or is a volunteer with numerous organizations including San Diego City College Foundation, San Diego Charter Review Commission, United Way, Bell Junior High School (working with female students), and Women of Color in the Law. She has chaired both the Judicial Council’s Subcommittee on Women of Color and the Subcommittee on Racial and Ethnic Fairness. She co-chaired the Judicial Council’s First Statewide Conference for Women of Color in the Courts as well as the first statewide conference on Indian Land bringing together State and Indian leaders within the parallel Court systems. Judge Lim has been a speaker at colleges throughout the United States, including Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Government, University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Brown University and most of the local colleges and law schools in San Diego. She has also participated in panels for the National Women Judges Association and San Diego Lawyers Club. She is proud to be an “auntie” to many law students and young lawyers many of whom attended law school in Northern and Southern California as well as the East Coast.
She was selected as the Outstanding Jurist of 2007 by the San Diego County Bar Association and served as the 2007 Commencement Speaker for Thomas Jefferson School of Law where she received an honorary Doctorate.