Tidbits and Thoughts . . .  Legal Aid's Online  News
April 28, 2017

Thank you for supporting Legal Aid throughout the years. 
Legal Aid throwback 2005
In 2005: Hurricane Katrina floods nearly 80% of New Orleans, Mariah Carey topped the charts, and the popular video sharing website "YouTube" was created. Please enjoy the Legal Aid video below on YouTube. 
For other Legal Aid and legal information videos, check out our YouTube channel .

"Building a Just Society"
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Celebrating Fair Housing Month
The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii's Fair Housing Enforcement Program is commemorating Fair Housing month with numerous training and presentations across the state. 

April 11, 2017 - Kauai Fair Housing Workshop 
April 12, 2017 - Moloka'i Fair Housing Workshop 
April 19, 2017 - City & County of Honolulu Fair Housing Workshop 
April 21, 2017 - Kailua-Kona Fair Housing Workshop
April 24, 2017 - Hilo Fair Housing Workshop 
April 28, 2017 - Maui Fair Housing Workshop 

Staff members from Legal Aid's Fair Housing Enforcement Program join Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell in the city's proclamation recognizing April as Fair Housing month. L-R: Shea Henson, Fair Housing Civil Rights Advocate; Reyna Ramolete Hayashi, staff attorney; Dan O'Meara, managing attorney-Asset Protection Unit.

County of Kauai Proclamation of Fair Housing Month with County Managing Director Wallace Rezentes, Jr., Bricen Moritsugu, HCV Program Manager and Karen Ono, Director of the Kauai Board of Realtors.  Included in the Proclamation is the county's commitment to conducting a landlord/tenant summit on Kauai later in June.

April 11, 2017 - Kauai Fair Housing Workshop 

April 19, 2017 - City & County of Honolulu Fair Housing Workshop  
The Legal Services Corporation Announces Pilot States for Innovative Program to Increase Access to Justice 
LSC, Microsoft, and Pro Bono Net to Partner with Alaska and Hawaii to Create Statewide Legal Access Portals
April 24, 2017
WASHINGTON - The Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Microsoft Corporation, and Pro Bono Net have named Alaska and Hawaii as state partners in a pilot program to develop online, statewide legal portals to direct individuals with civil legal needs to the most appropriate forms of assistance.

These portals will use cutting-edge, user-centered technology to help ensure that all people with civil legal needs can navigate their options and more easily access solutions and services available from legal aid, the courts, the private bar, and community partners.

LSC President James J. Sandman, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, and Pro Bono Net Executive Director Mark O'Brien will make the formal announcement and discuss the project April 25 at an LSC forum on increasing access to justice at Georgetown University Law Center.

"Many people find it difficult to access legal services," said LSC President James J. Sandman. "The goal of the portals is to simplify that process by providing a single, statewide point of access to effective help for people needing civil legal assistance. Each user will be guided to available resources based on the nature of the matter and the user's personal circumstances."     

Alaska's proposal was submitted by the Alaska Access to Justice Commission and Hawaii's proposal was submitted by Legal Aid Society of Hawaii with support from the Hawaii state judiciary and other justice community partners. 
Alaska and Hawaii were selected because of their demonstrated track records in establishing new and collaborative resources for meeting civil legal needs; their embrace of technology's potential to expand access to legal assistance; and their vision of partnering with allied non-legal networks such as social services, public libraries, and health care institutions to help people identify and resolve their legal issues and related social needs.

This broad-based view of how and where the law intersects with people's lives is central to the portal project's vision. Alaska and Hawaii, like many other states, also face geographic challenges that can present barriers to accessing and delivering legal services through traditional methods. This creates a rich environment for fostering new, technology-enabled solutions that can be adapted to other states in the future. 

"We are delighted to have found legal aid, court, and community partners in Alaska and Hawaii who are committed to innovation designed to help individuals find the appropriate level of assistance to meet their legal needs, and that will allow state justice communities to deliver services more efficiently and effectively," said Pro Bono Net Executive Director Mark O'Brien.

Christine Johnson, Administrative Director of the Alaska Court System, said they "are excited to work with Microsoft, the Legal Services Corporation, Pro Bono Net and our statewide partners to build an electronic gateway for Alaskans to access the range of critical information and services necessary to creating just, healthy and safe communities. Being able to use a portal to access legal and non-legal resources, regardless of your location, is a great solution to meet Alaska's diverse needs." 

"For an island state, the statewide justice portal will play an important role in helping people navigate the court system and find solutions to their legal problems despite distances over the ocean," said M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. "We are very excited for this opportunity to work closely with Microsoft, LSC, and Pro Bono Net and our local partners--the Hawaii State Judiciary, the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission, the Hawaii State Bar Association, and legal service organizations--to create a modern, efficient and innovative approach towards expanding meaningful access to justice for all."

In the Community
31st Annual SPIN Conference
Legal Aid was part of the 31st Annual SPIN (Special Parent Information Network) Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. SPIN is a parent to parent organization in Hawaii that provides information, support and referral to parents of children and young adults with disabilities and the professionals who serve them. This year's theme was centered on the "Superheroes of Spin" and participants were encouraged dress as their favorite superheroes. Thank you to AmeriCorps members  Jane Lee Michelle Horton Angela Hwang , and  Destiny Brown for participating!

12th Annual Waianae Coast Keiki Spring Fest
Legal Aid Leeward's Office was part of the 12th Annual Waianae Coast Keiki Spring Fest at Waianae District Park to help children and their families learn more about the services and programs in the community. 

AmeriCorps Advocate Robert Topenio and Leeward office staff attorney Susan Gim Takenaka provide legal information at the  12th Annual Waianae Coast Keiki Spring Fest.

Celebrate Micronesia Festival
The Celebrate Micronesia Festival at the Honolulu Museum of Art is now on its fourth year and continues to grow in size and popularity. The activity-filled family day celebrates the many island cultures of Micronesia and showcases traditional music, dance, crafts, and fashions. Legal Aid staff from the Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center, the Fair Housing Enforcement Program, and Health Care Kokua provided legal information and access to other legal resources to the many that came and stopped by the Legal Aid table. 

Cinder Sonis (Outreach Specialist-Health Care Kokua), Joanne Loeak (Outreach Specialist-HIJC), Aloma Nelson (Outreach Specialist-Health Care Kokua) and Reyna Ramolete Hayashi (Staff Attorney) at the Legal Aid table. 
Welcome New Staff

The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii welcomes Michelle Moorhead as its newest staff attorney in the firm's Honolulu Family Unit.  Michelle is a graduate of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law and served as a law clerk at Legal Aid's Windward Office while in law school.  Michelle completed externships with the Honorable R. Mark Browning, Senior Family Court Judge and the State of Hawaii, Department of the Attorney General: Family Law Division prior to entering private practice. 
Thank you for your support!

Thank you to the following individuals, law firms, and organizations for their generous support of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii and its vision of "Building a Just Society."

Perkin & Faria, LLLC
Bickerton Dang, LLLP
Island Insurance Foundation
Hawaii Community Foundation
King, Nakamura & Chun-Hoon
American Immigration Lawyers Association, Hawaii Chapter
Visitacion Salinas
Nicole Franklin
David Sagan
Frances Sato
Legal Aid employment opportunities

For employment opportunities, please visit  www.legalaidhawaii.org  for more information. 
Legal Aid is currently hiring for the following positions:
Paralegal-Immigrant Victims