Maui Business

Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i names David Kauila Kopper as new executive director

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David Kauila Kopper comes to Legal Aid as the former Director of Litigation at Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. (PC: Legal Aid Hawaiʻi)

Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i has selected David Kauila Kopper as its new executive director, effective June 13.

Mr. Kopper will succeed Legal Aid’s long-time executive director, Nalani Fujimori Kaina, who
served the organization in a variety of roles for 24 years and has now joined Kamehameha
Schools as its general counsel and vice president.

Kopper comes to Legal Aid as the former director of litigation at Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. His various roles at Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation as intake staff, staff attorney, and especially as interim executive director, serve as an asset for Legal Aid as it continues its mission to address Hawai‘i’s critical legal needs in the pursuit of fairness and justice.


“The Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i is looking forward to working with
David, our new executive director, in carrying on fulfilling our mission of providing high
quality legal advocacy, outreach and education in pursuit of fairness and justice and improving
access to justice, especially for our vulnerable community members,” said Blaine Rogers, president of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i Board of Directors.

Mr. Kopperʻs relationships with policymakers and stakeholders, as well as his experience with contracts and grants provide a strong foundation for this position. He is passionate about serving the keiki and kupuna, individuals and families, and Hawai‘i’s vulnerable groups and communities, including Native Hawaiians.

He has served as panel speaker and presenter at a wide range of trainings, conferences and radio shows, most recently for the Harvard Law Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, National Legal Aid & Defender Association and Hawai‘i Access to Justice Commission.


“I have always gravitated towards organizations that serve and empower communities, ʻohana,
and people in need, and I deeply admire those rare breed of advocates who unselfishly dedicate themselves to that mission,” said Mr. Kopper. “I am honored to serve as the next executive director of our state’s oldest and largest nonprofit legal services provider and embrace wholeheartedly the kuleana entrusted to me: to carry forward LASH’s 70-year legacy of advancing justice and fairness all across our pae ʻāina.”

Originally from Hilo, Mr. Kopper received his degrees from William S. Richardson School of
Law (J.D. magna cum laude, 2010) and from Arizona State University (magna cum laude, 2006). He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama.


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