President's Message

January 2023

Rhonda Griswold

Hawaii State Bar Association President


I am so privileged and humbled to be serving as your HSBA President and look forward to a productive year with our fantastic Board. But, first and foremost, I want to thank 2022 HSBA President Shannon Sheldon, for her exemplary leadership. Among many other things, Shannon made it a point to strengthen our relationships with our Neighbor Island colleagues and helped our HSBA “Working Group” transform into a full-on “Strategic Planning Committee,” whose work will continue during my term and beyond.

I hope to continue our outreach to the Neighbor Islands, starting with an in-person CLE and social event with the Big Island bar associations in Kona in February.

As for the Strategic Planning Committee, that committee will be chaired by Vlad Devens and Mark K. Murakami (who also chaired the Working Group) and will be expanded to include the YLD President and YLD President-Elect (who represent the future of our profession), among others. For the past two years, the Working Group has been evaluating the services and benefits the HSBA provides to its members and finetuning its communications with its members. The Strategic Planning Committee will continue to review trends that affect our profession (fewer law students, aging and retiring lawyers, increased costs of practice, impact of technology and remote working) and make recommendations as to how the HSBA can best serve its members and help each one of us have fulfilling, sustainable careers.

But the HSBA Board and Strategic Planning Committee do not operate in a vacuum. We are here to serve you and to hear from you. We sincerely welcome your comments and insights as to how we can improve our services and address issues that you believe are critical to our profession.

It is important that we continue to be engaged with one another and work to create an environment where we can provide efficient, cost-effective services to our clients, promote professionalism and civility amongst ourselves, and maintain faith in the justice system. And the HSBA provides many opportunities to do just that. In future newsletters, I will be highlighting many of the HSBA standing committees (which are listed on our website) that you may consider joining in order to become more engaged with other lawyers on issues that are important to you.

And speaking of engagement, another initiative of Shannon’s that I intend to continue is the monthly survey!! Since there was no survey in December, I am going to include two questions, one for January and one for February. First, for January, have you ever made a new year’s resolution that you have not broken and, if so, what was it? Second, for February, what is your favorite romantic restaurant? Each winner will win a $10.00 Starbuck’s card and a moment of glory. Let’s have some fun with these two questions.

Your Bar January
Have you ever made a new year’s resolution that you have not broken? If so, what was it?
Click here to answer the question.

Your Bar February
What is your favorite romantic restaurant?
Click here to answer the question.

I look forward to hearing from you and working together in 2023 to make our legal practices, our judicial system, and our communities even better.