Iwalani White graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a Bachelors Degree in Sociology in 1977 and from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1980. Shortly after being admitted to the Hawaii State Bar, Iwalani became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu where she handled a variety of cases beginning with traffic and misdemeanors and advancing to felony trials and career criminal cases. She also specialized in Juvenile offender and domestic violence cases. In 1992 , Chief Justice Herman Lum appointed Iwalani to be a District Family Court Judge. In November 1996, Iwalani became the First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for newly elected Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle. She later served as interim director for the Department of Public Safety under Governor Linda Lingle.