President's Message

May 2022

Shannon Sheldon

Hawaii State Bar Association President

Law Day, celebrated since 1958 and held every year on May 1st, celebrates the role of law in society and helps educate the public about the law. This year’s theme is “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.”

In a divided country with elections around the corner, it was no accident that the American Bar Association, who adopted the theme, wants to remind people that “Justice is everybody’s business.” As Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained: “A constitution, as important as it is, will mean nothing unless the people are yearning for liberty and freedom. If the people don’t care, then the best constitution in the world won’t make any difference. The spirit of liberty has to be in the population and then the constitution…”

The Civil Education Committee is committed to promoting civil and legal literacy and educating the public about American democracy. Please contact Troy Andrade or Ruth Oh - the incredible leaders of this Committee - for ways to get involved.

In other news, the Leadership Institute kicked off its first meeting on May 13th. Congratulations to the new fellows: Jocelyn Cong, Michelle Correia, Jarrett Dempsey, Bradley Dixon, Shannon Hackett, Daylin-Rose Heather, Cecily Kaya, Lansen Leu, Ryan Little, Maegan Ruggles, Brandon Segal, Raven Sevilleja, Sherilyn Tavares, Nathan Wersal, and Jasmine Wong. The Institute program is facilitated by Bar members, and the fellows interact with prominent leaders of the legal profession and community. Former HSBA President Levi Hookano, future President Jesse Souki, and I are all proud graduates of the Institute.

The 48th Annual Law Day Golf Club Tournament takes place on May 16th at the Oahu Country Club. The benefits will go to the Hawaii State Bar Foundation, which provides funding for pro-bono legal services and community service projects.

On May 25th and 26th, HSBA and the Real Property and Financial Services Section is sponsoring the Hawaii Land Use Law Conference live in person, which is coordinated by David Callies and Benjamin Kudo.

I give my Aloha and great appreciation to the many Bar members who reached out to me the past couple months while I struggled with breast cancer. Every card, email, phone call, and bit of advice made all the difference to me. My results are very positive, which is why I am here writing this President’s Message today. I am grateful to be part of a legal community that is so caring and supportive.