We are looking for a few good men and women - to be nominated for HSBA awards. Please take a few minutes to consider your friends, co-workers, and even your own - contributions to the law and our community. Then, let the HSBA’s Awards Committee know. Each year, there are many different awards given out to non-attorneys and attorneys, alike. The descriptions are available on the HSBA’s website (click on the “About Us” tab and the drop-down option which says “Awards”).
Perhaps you were inspired during the recent grand celebration - Yes, the biggest celebration of the year just occurred. Of course I’m talking about Law Week! Okay, so I’m sort of kidding; it isn’t a celebration like the end of the year holiday season, which kids young and old everywhere look forward to for months’ on end . . . Nonetheless, the first week of May is always Law Week, when the ABA, YLD, and County Bar Associations get lawyers up and out of our offices and to go forth into the community to serve.
If you haven’t yet experienced it, you should - the first Saturday in May 2017 will be the next walk-in clinics, or if you can’t wait a whole year, there’s weekly Legal Line telephone call-in services, also. The Senior Counsel Division does a fantastic job putting on an in-person legal clinic of their own that targets a neighbor island community. This year, the SCD will be traveling to the Big Island in September to conduct this annual community service project.
This year’s Law Week customers seemed to have more than the usual questions on Living Wills and Wills and Trusts. I am not an estate planning specialist, but I was able to assist them by listening to what their needs were, answering their questions, and referring them to other resources (in such cases, typically estate planning attorneys or Legal Aid). For one person, all I had to do was to explain the difference between a living will and a traditional will; which cleared things up for him immediately! Another woman, who told me that she just made 80 years old, said that she had already filled out her living will form, but her son, who had brought her to me for assistance, had no knowledge of it. I suggested that she tell him, anyone else who lived with her, and her doctors about her living will and her intentions so that her decisions would be understood. Small things like this don’t require a J.D. degree, and don’t necessarily need a specialist lawyer, yet for the customer, it provides a much needed service. She now has more information to complete the task which she had started. I also told her son that he should consider making his own living will, since our end of life decisions may spring up on us suddenly if there’s an accident, or etc. His reaction indicated that he hadn’t thought about his own mortality. He had come just for his mother’s sake, but he got more than he had ‘bargained’ for! It was an afternoon of time well-spent for me. I can’t wait until next year!
- Jodi Yi, HSBA President