Conceived as a complement to existing providers of legal service that assist financially disadvantaged individuals, the mission of Lawyers for Equal Justice (LEJ) is a nonprofit law firm that advocates for low income residents of Hawaiʻi. Our mission is to help our clients gain access to the resources, services and fair treatment that they need to realize their opportunities for self-achievement and economic security. Central to this mission are the core values held by most people in Hawai‘i, such as fairness, opportunity, community, partnership, responsibility and ensuring equal access to justice for low and moderate income residents.

Our cases change systems and policies to make justice, equality and opportunity available to everyone. LEJ carries out its mission by engaging in:

  1. Legal advocacy, including the bringing of class actions, to assist low-income residents and communities to enforce their rights and receive benefits guaranteed by law or governmental policies;
  2. Legislative and administrative advocacy to ensure that policies, laws and practices affecting low-income residents are well designed and implemented legally, fairly and effectively; and
  3. Legal education to inform low-income individuals and groups of their rights and the options available to exercise those rights.

Since 2004, LEJ has been using class action litigation to stand up for the rights of hundreds of thousands of low-income households throughout Hawai‘i. LEJ’s cases have resulted in deep and lasting changes, improving health and safety, increasing economic and educational opportunities, and saving lives.

Our logo: Designed by Communications Director Will Caron, the symbol of the splintered paddle is meant to invoke Kānāwai Māmalahoe, the Law of the Splintered Paddle, which says, in part: “May everyone, from the old men and women to the children, be free to go forth and lie in the road without fear of harm.” This law, established by Kamehameha the Great, is partially codified within the Hawaiʻi State Constitution. Its meaning is layered, but the basic intent has been interpreted to provide a guarantee of protection and equal rights for all, but especially for the most vulnerable among us.