Presidents' Messages

April 2016

Did you become a lawyer because you desired to help others?  Did you want to give back to the community somehow?  I know that a lot of us entered the profession for that purpose (at least in part) - but many of us have become too busy to work that into our “routine.” 

If you’re looking for an easy, painless, low-commitment way to volunteer in our community, the HSBA’s Young Lawyers’ Division has the answer for you.  On May 7 (always the first Saturday in May), throughout the islands, there will be Law Week legal clinics in various locations for the general public to “walk up” and receive free legal information and service.  For the lawyer volunteers, all it takes is two short hours of your time and caring.  There is no training required and you will likely be pleasantly surprised by the fact that training isn’t needed to assist in this capacity.  We aren’t forming an attorney-client relationship, here, but merely assisting folk who have a problem, but often cannot even determine whether it is a legal issue and if so, then what can be done about it.

When I did my first clinic, I was an insurance defense litigator and felt certain that I would not be able to assist anyone since my usual clients certainly would not be cruising a shopping mall seeking free information.  Yet, I was able to assist folk merely by listening attentively, asking questions which they hadn’t considered, issue spotting, and pointing them in the direction that they needed to go.  It is amazing that even those attorneys with very little experience or knowledge of collections, landlord tenant or family law, for example, can still be very helpful to the general public who typically cannot afford - or thinks that they cannot afford - legal counsel.

This may not be the most highly touted of HSBA’s benefits for members, but it is a very worth-while one.  Let’s try to contribute to the greater good; you’ll feel better for it.

If you are interested in helping on May 7, the Law Week clinic shifts run from 10:00 a.m.-noon or noon-2:00 p.m.  Contact Summer Kaiawe at to sign up.  If this doesn’t fit your schedule, or you prefer to not meet face-to-face, try the legal line clinics.  For more information click here.

Did you know that April 7 was “say something nice about a lawyer day”?  Well, at least it was so designated by a certain radio station’s fund drive.  It encourages people to call in and compliment an attorney.  I have been a past beneficiary of this program and I appreciate the time and energy of the attorneys who volunteer and make the rest of us look good.  Thank you, Carole Richelieu of DCCA (President of the Senior Counsel Division), Rosemary Fazio of Ashford and Wriston, Carroll Taylor of Taylor Leong & Chee, and the 22 law firms who donated monies for matching contributions.  Your efforts benefit all of us immensely.


- Jodi Yi, HSBA President

The Hawaii State Bar Foundation’s grant-making cycle is underway. The HSBF is excited to announce that it is accepting grant applications through June 30, 2016. The grant application form can be obtained through the link located on HSBF’s webpage (please go to the Hawaii State Bar Association’s website and go to the HSBF webpage). In addition, the HSBF’s grant policy is accessible through a link on the same webpage. The HSBF encourages all eligible and qualified parties to consider applying for a grant. Please refer to the grant policy for eligibility requirements and other terms and conditions of grants.


- Jeff Sia, HSBF President

Aloha Everyone,

It was a busy March and we have a big volunteer coming up in May, but let’s start with a recap for last month.

First, I’d like to congratulate Moanalua High School’s Mock Trial Team Blue for winning the state’s championships. They will represent Hawaii at the National Mock Trial competition in Boise, Idaho. So a job well done by their students and coaches and much appreciation to all our volunteer attorneys and judges for their time spent on this great project.

Our Socials Committee provided a great social networking opportunity to the Division by having more than sixty people attend the mixer at The Manifest Bar. Please be on the lookout for these events to meet fellow attorneys and professionals. Additionally, the CLE Committee provided 1 free CLE hour via their Introduction to Dispute Resolution seminar, which was a full house. If you have ideas for a mixer or CLE please contact us at

Turning to our large project for May, we have Law Week: Justice in Our Communities (May 1 – 7). Like the prior years, the YLD once again needs many of you to volunteer to make this great community out reach project happen. There are two opportunities for you to give some of your time to provide free legal information to the public: either through our KHON2 Actionline Law Week program or via the Law Day legal clinics. We have partnered with KHON2 to answer phone calls by the public on a variety of topics from Monday, May 2nd to Friday, May 6th. In chronological order, they are as follows: (1) Bankruptcy/Consumer Protection; (2) Family Law; (3) Eldercare/Estate Planning; (4) Immigration; and (5) Landlord-Tenant. We need three (3) attorneys for each day to go down to the KHON2 studios from the hours of 11am – 1pm.

If you are not able to make it on a weekday, there is always the ability to volunteer for a 2-hour shift at our Saturday, May 7th legal clinics (on Kauai, your legal clinic is scheduled for Friday, May 6th). These are set-up throughout the entire state and volunteers are asked to provide free legal information to the public. We provide pamphlet and contact information to our volunteers, as this notable event provides people the direction that they desperately seek in trying to navigate our legal system. So we ask you to consider doing your part in providing pro bono hours via this project.

If you need further information or want to signup to volunteer please click on this link: YLD Hawaii and look for the Law Week portion on the page. If you have further questions please contact me ( or Summer Kaiawe (


- Ryan K. Hew, HSBA YLD President