Environmental Law Program

ELP Colloquium: James Koshiba on the Role of Law Students in a Movement for More Sustainable, Compassionate, and Resilient Societies

On November 10, 2010, the Environmental Law Program welcomed James Koshiba, Executive Director of Kanu Hawai’i, to discuss the role of law students in a movement for more sustainable, compassionate, and resilient societies. Kanu Hawai’i is a non-profit organization based on O’ahu that combines online tools with traditional organizing to push its almost 13,000 members worldwide to promote an “island style” activism that focuses on personal commitments to change before banding together in demonstrations based in kuleana.

(Pictured L-R: Brent Kakesako ’12, James Koshiba, Dean Avi Soifer). Kanu was started by forty friends, including James, who gathered to discuss their worries about the present and their hopes for the future. They came to the realization that the very things that constrained Hawai’i were its strengths: island-style living that focused on living within our means with a mind always to community. The friends found that simple commitments on a personal level aggregated into larger impacts on their community.

Expanding to the legal community, James offered a few tidbits of advice for law students:
1) Don’t just talk amongst fellow lawyers and attorneys but expand that conversation to include the wider community.
2) Follow your gut and don’t forget why you came into law school.

James also mentioned the possibility of carrying out pro bono or externship opportunities with Kanu. For more information, please contact James at james@kanuhawaii.org or Brent Kakesako at kakesako@hawaii.edu