David Kauila Kopper named executive director of Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i
Legal Aid Society of Hawai‘i has selected David Kauila Kopper as its new executive director, effective June 13.
Originally from Hilo, Kopper is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. He received his degrees from William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010) and Arizona State University (B.A., magna cum laude, 2006).
Kopper comes to Legal Aid as the former director of litigation at Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, where he served as intake staff, staff attorney and interim executive director.
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, according to the society’s press release.
“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.
Kopperʻs relationships with policymakers and stakeholders, and 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,” Kopper said. “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.”