The Hawaii State Bar Association is a nongovernmental organization whose membership includes all licensed attorneys practicing law in Hawaii. Since 1993, the association has weighed in on the qualifications of judicial nominees, who must be confirmed by the Hawaii Senate. Because the group speaks for roughly 5,000 attorneys statewide, lawmakers give a lot of credence to the bar’s recommendations.
The bar association tries to help the courts in regulating, maintaining and improving the administration of justice. There are currently 5,035 members of the Hawaii bar. Membership is also allowed to foreign law consultants and military attorneys on a temporary basis for state-approved cases. Membership can be given to law students and licensed lawyers of other states.
Annual fees for members vary based on their location, type of law, and jurisdiction.
The bar association has a board of directors with 20 voting members: four officers, 15 directors and a Young Lawyers Division president.
The association meets annually as directed by the board. Special meetings may be held by the board president at any time with majority approval of the board and notification given in advance to all members. The board of directors is elected to two-year terms. The president, the president-elect, the vice president, the treasurer, and the secretary, are all elected to one-year terms.
The association was founded on June 24, 1899. In 1985, it became a non-profit trade organization. HSBA says it was “formerly thought of as an elitist group” until the Supreme Court created a unified bar. Supreme Court Rule 17 required all practicing lawyers in Hawaii to be members of HSBA.
Half of the members in HSBA are 50 or older. In 2009, in an effort to better serve HSBA and its senior members, HSBA created a senior counsel division in which all members 50 or older are automatically members, in part to mentor less experienced attorneys.
The president of the association is Louise K.Y. Ing of the firm Alston Floyd Hunt & Ing.
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Honolulu, HI 96813
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