REPORT FROM HAWAII STATE BAR ASSOCIATION – The Hawaii State Bar Association (HSBA) will be led this year by Craig P. Wagnild, who will serve as president for the organization throughout 2013. Wagnild is a real estate, corporate, and business attorney at Bays Lung Rose & Holma, a construction and real estate firm he has been with for the past 15 years.
Last year, Wagnild served as president-elect for the HSBA. He previously was treasurer for the HSBA for two consecutive years, simultaneously serving on various standing and ad hoc committees for the Bar. Wagnild is additionally a former treasurer and chairperson for the International Law Section and Business Law Section. During his time as HSBA treasurer, Wagnild played a key role in the formation of the HSBA’s Leadership Institute program, which provides leadership development to young attorneys interested in expanding their talents and services to the Bar and the community at large.
During his tenure as president, one of Wagnild’s main objectives is to reach out and better inform the Hawaii community about the important role that attorneys play in protecting the rights and interests of all people, preserving the freedoms we enjoy, ensuring access to justice for all members of our society, providing a fair and level playing field for our citizens to resolve their disputes, and promoting the rule of law.
“I want to change the way our community views our profession, and that is a process that will not be completed in one year,” Wagnild said. “Lawyers are our fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, aunties and uncles, friends and neighbors. They enter this profession with the values, enthusiasm and dedication that they would bring to any occupation they pursued, but they chose to work in the field of law to better our Hawaii and to help others.”
Wagnild said that lawyers often defend the defenseless through their work.
“Lawyers help those without a voice to have one. They prosecute and administer the laws that our society relies upon. Lawyers care about people and how the law regulates, protects and helps them. Lawyers work hard to help others, and that is at the heart of what we do. We help others solve problems. We do it even when a case or client is unpopular. We do it even when doing so makes us unpopular.”
Wagnild said a significant way Hawaii attorneys give back to the community is through pro bono work. “Very few are aware that annually Hawaii attorneys collectively donate around 200,000 hours of unpaid time to help others, and that is just the reported pro bono hours – the equivalent of 100 Hawaii attorneys working full-time all year doing nothing but free legal work for those who cannot afford a lawyer.”
“In addition to reportable pro bono work, Hawaii attorneys serve on the boards of non-profits, help community groups, lobby for important local environmental and social causes, volunteer for little league,
soccer and football teams, and help educate the public about the law. It is time people hear about this and appreciate that those of us who have chosen law as a profession have elected to serve Hawaii’s people and we are dedicated to making Hawaii a better place.”
The HSBA is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 7,000 attorneys. The organization’s mission is to unite and inspire Hawaii’s lawyers to promote justice for all. To learn more about the HSBA, go to www.hsba.org.