HSBA Background Information

The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) was founded on June 24, 1899. It was formally incorporated in 1985 as a non-profit trade organization under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Effective November 1, 1989, the Supreme Court of the State of Hawaii, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 17, created a unified bar. Henceforth, all persons admitted to the practice of law in Hawaii were required to be members of the Hawaii State Bar Association, and the HSBA was designated as the administrative entity of the unified bar.

In so doing, the Supreme Court democratized the governance of the legal profession by conferring upon the HSBA the power and responsibility to aid the Court in regulating, maintaining, and improving the legal profession. Whereas prior to unification the HSBA was viewed by some lawyers as a "social" or "elitist" group, the HSBA is now represented by diverse groups such as government and neighbor island lawyers and sole practitioners. Imbued with a new sense of direction and purpose, the newly constituted HSBA leadership created HSBA's very first mission statement: "to unite and inspire Hawaii's lawyers to promote justice, serve the public, and improve the legal profession." Lawyers all across the state are now working in unity to fulfill this mission and HSBA’s 7 goals.

The HSBA Board consists of 20 voting members (4 officers, 15 directors, and the YLD President). Invited guests include the standing committee chairs, ABA delegate, neighbor island bar presidents, the Hawaii State Trial Judges Association President. There are 16 Committees, 19 Sections, and an elected Young Lawyers Division Board comprised of 16 members.

The HSBA has 13 staff members, including an Executive Director who is in charge of the overall operation and administration of the HSBA and is responsible for making sure that Board’s policies and HSBA programs and activities are carried out.

The HSBA staff, together with hundreds of attorney volunteers, conducts a variety of projects to benefit HSBA members and the public.

HSBA Timeline and Past Presidents


 

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