May 28, 2019 CHAIR'S COLUMN

Chair's Column: May 2019

By Marvin S. C. Dang

Aloha (greetings) from Honolulu, Hawaii!

Beginning with my Chair’s column in August 2018, I’ve introduced monthly a Hawaiian word or phrase which I’ve linked to activities in our Division.

The Hawaiian word for this month is “mālama” – caring, take care of, or to care for.

This word came to my mind when I was in Washington, D.C. this month attending the Diploma Ceremony for the new graduates of my alma mater, The George Washington University Law School. The ceremony address speaker on Sunday, May 19, 2019 was Scott Greenstein, a 1984 graduate of GW Law School and the current President and Chief Content Officer at Sirius XM. The following is an excerpt from the written portion of his presentation:

“As you move forward, remind yourselves that in addition to working hard for clients and constituents, we have a responsibility to contribute to our society, to act on behalf of those in need of help. While it may sound like a cliché, it is true and I believe it wholeheartedly: we all have the capacity to make the world a better place. The whole is made up of the sum of its parts. We all have the opportunity to be a part of the greater good.”

I agree. Each of us can do our part to care for and take care of those who need help. Together we can make our lives, our communities, our country, and our world a better place.

We can volunteer. In my Chair’s Column in the April 2019 issue of Voice of Experience, I wrote:

“April is National Volunteer Month in the United States. This designation began as part of President George H. W. Bush’s 1000 Points of Light campaign in 1991 to support volunteerism. National Volunteer Month recognizes the volunteers in our communities and encourages volunteering.
“I want to thank our SLD members who volunteer countless hours – not only in April, but throughout the year -- with local, state, and national organizations, including with our Division.
“To join our team of SLD volunteers – “na poʻe pa‘ahana” or the hard working people -- please e-mail your interest to our Division’s staff at abasrlawyers@americanbar.org.”

We can donate. In my Chair’s Column in the November 2018 issue of Voice of Experience, I wrote:

“In November as we begin the season for giving thanks, we should also note that November 15 was first proclaimed as National Philanthropy Day by President Reagan in 1986. Annually on this day, donors and others are recognized for their philanthropy – for their help and assistance.
“As attorneys, we can help increase our impact through our personal philanthropy. We can do so by contributing to the American Bar Association’s Fund for Justice and Education which is a 501(c)(3) charitable fund that supports about 200 public service and educational programs.
“Your donation to the Program Support Fund of the Senior Lawyers Division will enable our Division to continue to produce public service and educational programs covering many timely issues.
“Please join me by making a donation of any amount at: donate.americanbar.org/sld.
“Your kokua – your help, assistance, and aid – will go a long way to harness the power of our legal profession and our Division to make a positive difference.”

When we’re volunteering with local, state, national, or international organizations (including the ABA) and when we’re donating to charitable funds (including the ABA’s Fund for Justice and Education), we’re each doing our part to “mālama” – to care about our lives, our profession, our communities, our country, and our world. 

Author

Marvin S. C. Dang is the managing member of Law Offices of Marvin S. C. Dang, LLLC in Honolulu, Hawaii and has been an attorney since 1978.  He’s currently the 2018-2019 chair of the ABA Senior Lawyers Division, a member of the ABA Nominating Committee, a delegate in the ABA House of Delegates, and a commissioner on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic  Diversity in the Profession.  During the past 42 years, he’s held leadership positions in various ABA divisions and sections.  A former legislator in the Hawaii State House of Representatives, he’s now a registered lobbyist.  His law firm’s practice areas include legislation, lobbying, creditors’ rights, and real estate matters.  He received his law degree from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.