group of people dining and mingling in front of a building
The 2016 Advocates for Public Interest Law Gala

An organization of William S. Richardson School of Law students dedicated to providing assistance to those who cannot afford legal help is holding its 7th Annual Fundraising Gala March 9, 5:30–9 p.m. at the Laniakea YWCA.

The event, sponsored by Advocates for Public Interest Law (APIL) will include pupu, drinks, entertainment and a live and silent auction.

Proceeds from the gala will go toward providing summer grants for law students doing pro bono work for non-profit public interest law firms and agencies serving traditionally underserved groups. For law students with a passion for social justice, the APIL summer grants offer a chance to work in areas to make the most impact.

“The grant really opens up doors for students to explore non-profit work and give back to our community,” said Janjeera Hail one of this year’s event organizers and a 2016 grantee. “The work I did at the Domestic Violence Action Center last summer would not have been possible if it had not been for APIL.”

Since its founding in 1985, APIL has awarded 145 summer grants to law students doing free legal work. These students have provided more than 40,000 free “billable hours” to more than 30 non-profit organizations that directly assist a wide variety of people in need, including immigrants, homeless individuals and families and victims of elder abuse, domestic violence and sex trafficking.

Law school Dean Avi Soifer said, “Year after year, some of our most exceptional students serve as the leaders of APIL, and their hard work and the generosity of our community leads directly to legal assistance for people who are most in need.”

The 2017 student grantees will be recognized at the gala, and there will be award presentations to a number of firms, organizations and individuals to honor their work promoting advocacy and increasing access to justice for Hawaiʻi’s marginalized populations.

Additional information

  • $25 tickets for students
  • $35 for the general public
  • Children 8 and under are free
  • Tickets are available online and may be picked up at the door on a walk-in basis.

There is metered parking behind ʻIolani Place. Parking is also available at Aliʻi Place.

The silent auction items will include gift packages from local businesses, artwork, jewelry, restaurant gift certificates and more.

The gala will feature alumni performances by the Subpoenas (Jeffrey Oka, Winston Wong, ʻOlu Campbell) and renowned DJ, Lezlie “DJ Ezl” Kiaha.

More information is available at the APIL website.

—By Beverly Creamer