The Hawaii State Bar Association is a mandatory or integrated organization that requires admittance to and memberships of every lawyer who practices in the state of Hawaii. Prior to 1989, membership in the Hawaii State Bar Association was voluntary. However, in 1989 the Supreme Court of Hawaii changed the association to one that is integrated, making it mandatory that lawyers who practice or wish to practice in the state first be admitted to the state bar association.
The association itself was first founded in 1899. It functioned as a for-profit entity until 1985 when it became a 501 (c) (6) non-profit trade organization. It is headquartered in Honolulu and now has a membership of more than 7300 lawyers. Out of that number, around 2200 are lawyers who live and practice primarily out-of-state.
The Hawaii State Bar Association is governed by 21 members who sit on the Board of Governors. Out of the 21 members, five serve as officers. Another 15 serve as directors while one serves as the board’s president. Together, all 21 of them along with the 16 Young Lawyers Division Board, another governing entity, work on 15 different committees and 20 different sections of the association.
In exchange for their membership dues, members of the state bar are granted benefits that include the right to attend the yearly Board of Governors meeting as well as access to Continued Legal Education or CLE courses. The CLE courses are offered throughout the year often at a discount for members of the association. The dates of the courses as well as dates for testing are found on the association’s website.
Another benefit that comes with bar membership is free legal research that can be conducted on the association’s website. Lawyers can access case files and documents that they can then use to build cases and represent clients of their own. They save both time and money by using this membership-only benefit.
Along with serving association members, the organization also serves the public with its attorney client relations resource. This resource along with the free lawyer directory helps people participate in building their own cases to take to court.
The association’s address is Alakea Corporate Tower, 1100 Alakea Street, Suite 1000 in Honolulu, 96813. The association also has active social media presences on sites like Facebook and Twitter.