Happy New Year!
wishing everyone good health, continuing success and prosperity in
2019. I am truly honored and humbled by the privilege of serving as
President of the Board of Directors during the 120th year of the Hawai‘i
State Bar Association.
Looking back, I wholeheartedly
appreciate the diligent and capable leadership of Past President Howard
Luke. I thank Howard for his stewardship, guidance and professionalism.
He has indeed set a high bar for me to aspire to meet. I also thank
Executive Director Pat Mau-Shimizu, Assistant Executive Director Iris
Ito, and the HSBA staff for their quality and dedicated service to the
Board and our membership.
Looking forward, I am excited,
optimistic and admittedly anxious as we embark on another year of
opportunities and challenges for the HSBA. In addition to Pat, Iris and
the HSBA staff, I am buoyed by the service of my fellow officers and
directors whose diversity is truly reflective of the composition of our
membership; including attorneys from across Hawai‘i in government
service, practicing in civil litigation, criminal law, real estate law,
corporate law and family law. I am inspired by these committed attorneys
as we work on fulfilling the HSBA’s mission “to unite and inspire
Hawaii's lawyers to promote justice, serve the public and improve the
One priority will be sustaining existing
opportunities and developing initiatives for our members to serve the
public, through the delivery of pro bono legal services and
toward increasing access to justice. For example, since 2011 and as of
June 2018, 574 volunteer attorneys served over 16,100 customers at the
access to justice rooms and self-help centers.
On Oahu at the
Access to Justice Room in Honolulu District Court, volunteer attorneys
provide discrete legal advice to self represented litigants in District
Court civil cases and at the Family Court in Kapolei, family law
attorneys provide discrete legal advice to self represented litigants in
a civil case in Family Court. On Maui, Kauai and the Big Island in Hilo
and Kona, volunteer attorneys provide legal information at
courthouse-based self-help centers. In exit survey responses, customers
consistently praise the services they have received from our members.
Please take a hold of this opportunity and click on the following link
to volunteer. Each additional volunteer will enhance capacity to
continue delivering services, especially on the Neighbor Islands.
opportunities to serve are through the programs of the Young Lawyers
Division such as Law Week, Mock Trial, Legal Line Hotline and Junior
Judges. Please click on the link to learn more about these programs and to volunteer.
priority is to meet the challenge of ensuring that the HSBA remains
relevant and that our attorneys find their membership to be meaningful
and vital. Later this month, I’ll be attending seminars at the National
Conference of Bar Presidents and the ABA Midyear Conference. I am eager
to learn from other bar leaders about their initiatives in this area,
towards working with the Board on such initiatives for the HSBA.
- Derek R. Kobayashi, HSBA President