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Free Webinar: Becoming an Administrative Law Judge

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March 6 @ 5:00 pm 6:00 pm

Free event! Self-study credit available. Co-sponsored by the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area; Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County; the California Asian Pacific American Bar Association; California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment (CASE); and Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego

The California Asian Pacific American Judges Association (CAPAJA) in partnership with California Lawyers Association is pleased to invite you to a FREE online program on March 6, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. This is the fourth in our series of informational panel discussions on the work of the Administrative Judiciary. Our fourth panel will feature Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who have worked for more than one agency.

The program will cover the role of ALJs in the legal system, the wide variety of ALJ work in different agencies, the importance of diversifying the Administrative Judiciary, and the hiring process. We will be discussing the skills and attributes needed to be a successful ALJ by sharing the experiences of diverse judges from different state agencies, with varied backgrounds and levels of experience.

Our current confirmed panelists are:

  1. Hon. Isabel Lallana, California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
  2. Hon. John Larsen, California Public Utilities Commission
  3. Hon. Élan Lambert, Alameda County Assessment Appeals Board
  4. Hon. W. Kearse McGill, California State Bar Court

Moderated by: Hon. Kimberly Kim, California Public Utilities Commission

Note: The panelists and moderator are acting in their personal capacity. The views expressed are their own and do not represent the views of the Alameda County Assessment Appeals Board, California Public Utilities Commission, California State Bar Court, and California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

This program offers 1.0 hours of self- study MCLE


Hon. Isabel Lallana

Judge Isabel Lallana was an administrative law judge at the Workers Compensation Appeals Board Prior to joining the CUIAB Bay Area Office of Appeals. She practiced insurance litigation and employment law for over twenty years at the State Compensation Insurance Fund before becoming an ALJ.

Hon. Isabel Lallana
Hon. John H. Larsen

Judge John H. Larsen is an Administrative Law Judge for the California Public Utilities Commission, where he has served since 2020. Before working for the Commission, Judge Larsen served nine years for the Department of Insurance and six years for the Board of Parole Hearings. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley, a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law, and a Master’s in Judicial Studies from the Judicial Studies Program of the National Judicial College where he has taught Decision Making.

Judge John H. Larsen

Hon. Élan Lambert

Judge Lambert was appointed Administrative Law Judge in September 2010 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and assigned to the Division of Workers’ Compensation in Marina del Rey. Governor Jerry Brown later appointed Ms. Lambert to the Department of Social Services, Affordable Care Act Bureau, and the Office of Administrative Hearings. Ms. Lambert is also a Hearing Officer for the Alameda County Assessment Appeals Board and conducts independent administrative hearings for local municipalities, including Skelly Hearings.

Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Lambert was a California State Bar, Certified Legal Specialist in Workers’ Compensation, and certified as an arbitrator by the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

A firm believer in volunteer work, Judge Lambert has done extensive volunteer work with the Alameda County Bar Association’s Legal Access Alameda, providing pro bono services for Alameda County, where she currently serves as a director.

In 1998, Judge Lambert graduated from Willamette University College of Law. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley after studying Sociology, emphasizing Race, Gender, and Class in American Society.

Hon. Elan Lambert

Hon. W. Kearse McGill

Judge W. Kearse McGill is a judge in the Review Department of the California State Bar Court, the nation’s only full-time trial and appellate court system that exclusively handles attorney discipline cases. He was first appointed as a Review Department judge by the California Supreme Court on November 1, 2016, and re-appointed on August 18, 2022.  He also served as a Hearing Department judge in the court for 18 months.

Prior to his appointment to the State Bar Court, Judge McGill was a workers’ compensation judge for ten years in Stockton, the last two as the presiding judge.  Prior to his position as a workers’ compensation judge, he was legal counsel to a California state senator and then was in private practice for ten years.

From 2008 to 2015, Judge McGill was an adjunct professor of law at Humphreys University, Laurence Drivon School of Law.  Additionally, he has presented numerous seminars to local, state, and national attorney and judicial organizations, primarily in the subject area of professional responsibility and legal ethics.

In 1991, Judge McGill graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.  He graduated magna cum laude with senior departmental honors from Clemson University in 1988 with a double major in Political Science and German.

Hon. Kimberly Kim

Judge Kimberly Kim began her legal career at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office then moved through several state departments, practicing administrative and civil litigation focused on environmental and civil rights cases. She joined the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) in 2008 as an administrative law judge and then became Assistant Chief Administrative Law Judge in March 2020. At the Commission, she currently performs training for the administrative law judges and supervises 50+ administrative law judges statewide as well as overseeing the Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program and Records Management Unit. Her current subject areas of oversight includes California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Electric PTC/CPCN, Gas, Decarbonization, Building Electrification, Biomethane, Greenhouse Gas, Undergrounding, and S-MAP/Safety Culture proceedings. She deeply believes in the benefits of ADR in conflict and dispute resolutions before and outside the Commission, maintains a full docket of complex mediation assignments and volunteers her mediation services whenever possible. She also stays very active in legal pipeline and mentoring programs in various Bay Area communities as well as serving on ABA’s Judicial Division’s Technology Committee, Executive Committee of the ABA’s National Conference of Administrative Law Judiciary and co-chairing the California Asian Pacific-American Judges Association’s ALJ Committee. She spends any remaining free time enjoying cooking, reading, traveling and playing way too much tennis.

Hon. Kimberly Kim

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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