Tidbits and Thoughts . . .  Legal Aid's Online  News
June 10, 2015
  In Honor of King Kamehameha Day


Haw. Const. art. IX, § 10.

 The law of the splintered paddle, mamala-hoe kanawai, decreed by Kamehameha I--Let every elderly person, woman and child lie by the roadside in safety--shall be a unique and living symbol of the State's concern for public safety. 

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Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center partners with Punahou's American studies class


The Legal Aid Society's Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center (HIJC) partnered with a high school class at Punahou School to develop "How To" videos for some common immigration forms. The class learning experience was part of a $5,000 grant awarded to HIJC as a result of the partnership.


Sample "How To Video" for Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center by Punahou School


Story from Punahou School:





MARCH 23, 2015


Project-based learning. Public-private partnerships. Service learning. These educational buzzwords were actualized in Punahou's American Studies classrooms this spring, as teachers implemented an applied approach to learning about immigration - both the complicated history of immigration in the United States and the present-day issues faced by lawmakers and immigrants in Hawai'i.


American Studies is offered to juniors as a yearlong interdisciplinary course and co-taught by an English and a history faculty member to form a fully integrated learning experience. Each class partnered with a local nonprofit organization that provides services to immigrant communities on O'ahu to learn about "what needs exist in our community, and the current state of immigration locally," explained Greg Puppione, an American Studiesteacher at Punahou. Representatives from each organization visited the students to explain how they serve immigrants and what actions students can take to support the community.


Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i is one of four organizations that partnered with Punahou for the service-learning project and Jennifer Jung, a staff attorney with the Hawai'i Immigration Justice Center - which is affiliated with Legal Aid - recently visited an American Studies class on campus and met with groups of students working on informational videos for the nonprofit's immigrant clients.


"This is a great start, it's what we were envisioning," said Jung, who provided feedback on videos students created to guide immigrants through different processes, such as applying to replace a permanent resident card. Students worked together using their individual laptops and shared tablets to create the content, and then assembled the material into a video using a digital application called "Explain Everything."


 Click here to read the full article

AmeriCorps Members "Meet & Greet"

AmeriCorps members from the Legal Aid Honolulu offices were able to share the impact of their work with Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The CNCS is the federal agency that engages citizens in service through the AmeriCorps program.  Ms. Spencer was appointed to serve as CEO of CNCS by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2012. 


Top: AmeriCorps Advocate Makana Gomes making poi.
Bottom: AmeriCorps Members with CEO Wendy Spencer.

New A2J Forms Launched


The new A2J forms, as part of the partnership with the Hawaii State Public Library and Hawaii State Judiciary, were officially launched last week. Ten new forms were created and ten "Know Your Rights" presentations were conducted through the grant with the State Justice Institute. A special thank you to A2J Developer, Jon Nakasone at the Honolulu Legal Aid office for his work in creating and developing the online forms. As reported on www.bigislandnow.com:



Partnership Provides Accessible Legal Aid

Posted on June 2, 2015

by Big Island Now Staff


Project partners from the Hawai'i State Judiciary, the Hawai'i State Public Library System, and the Legal Aid Society of Hawai'i joined together Monday to announce the latest developments in the ongoing effort to improve access to the courts for people of all income levels, with special emphasis on Hawai'i's self-represented litigants. Ten new court forms were made available online, and 10 seminars titled "Know your Rights" were completed state-wide.


"We want to thank all the librarians across the state who helped make this partnership a success. From hosting and helping organize the 'Know Your Rights' presentations at their local libraries, to directing library patrons to the legal resources and information available online, this project would not have been possible without their commitment to increasing access to justice in our community," M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina, Executive Director of Legal Aid said. "We also want to thank our partners at the Judiciary who were instrumental in securing the grant from the State Justice Institute to allow us to further develop these forms. These key partnerships have allowed us to help more people gain greater access to our legal system."


Supreme Court State Law Librarian Jenny R.F.F. Silbiger and Elise von Dohlen, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii's Director of Grants Management test the new Hawaii Self-Help Interactive Forms on Legal Aid's LawHelp website. (photo by Hawaii State Judiciary)

Click here to read the full story

In the Community


Christy Peace, Hilo Legal Aid office paralegal provided legal information at the North Hawaii Hospital Senior Health Fair on an early Sunday morning.


Hawaii Immigrant Justice Center Outreach Specialists Joanne Loeak and Margarita Cholymay provided testimony in front of the Honolulu City Council in support of Legal Aid's grant application to help start the Pacific Islander Legal Services Project and provide outreach, education, and legal services for one of the fastest growing racial groups in the nation.


Record number of attendees for Public Benefits Overview Training


The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii held its largest Public Benefits Overview Training (PBOT) at the William S. Richardson School of Law on May 28-29 with over 120 trainees in attendance.  A diverse range of topics related to public benefits were covered and Legal Aid staff attorney Connie Liu conducted training. According to one of the event organizers, Honolulu office manager Wade Honma, the annual training was filled to capacity and has gained in popularity each year.