Bar Convention: ABA President, Linda Klein was the keynote speaker at this year’s Bar Convention. Not only is she a nice person, established attorney and active volunteer, she is also an excellent speaker. It’s also great for us that she loves Hawaii and took a detour out of her travels to visit.
Volunteerism: Recently, I had the privilege to read and participate as one of the judges of an essay contest sponsored by the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission and the Hawaii State Bar Association. This year, 140 high school students wrote about the assigned topic: “What you’ve done as a volunteer and how do you encourage others to volunteer?” It was wonderful to read how volunteering has impacted their young lives. They volunteered to help the indigent, homeless, disabled, youth, and elderly. They cleaned beaches, made items for others to use, and of course, spent time serving others directly. Many of them were candid in saying that they were initially ‘forced’ to volunteer, or did it as a requirement, or to better their college applications, but along the way, they were changed and inspired to continue because of the rewarding experiences they had serving others. It seems evident that they will continue to volunteer far into the future; for the benefit of all of us.
Voting: Now that the HSBA voting season has ended, hopefully everyone is “warmed up” for voting in the state and national elections on November 8. Election day provides time off from working for all eligible adults over the age of 18 to perform one of their civic duties as a citizen of a democratic republic. Our political system will fail unless we all make efforts to 1) educate ourselves about the issues and candidates 2) register to vote and 3) vote.
Voting is the chance for every American’s voice to be heard; if you don’t like how things are - vote! If you do like things as they are - vote! A 2012 study by the Pew Center on the States found that 25 percent of eligible voters are not on voter rolls. The legal community in particular should have a keen interest in elections since it is these political leaders who will be crafting the laws which we will all have to live with and, of course, work with. So, at minimum, be motivated by your own self-interest and make that effort to register and vote!
- Jodi Yi, HSBA President