Hawaii Bar Journal
January 2011 #1.
Louise Ing : 2011 BAR PRESIDENT
Hawaii State Bar JournalJanuary 2011Louise Ing : 2011 BAR PRESIDENT by Ed KemperBackground
Ed Kemper: Tell us about your background, law school, and pre-lawjob affiliations over the years.
Louise Ing: I was born in Honolulu (when Hawaii was still a territory!). After graduating fi-om Punahou (before President Obama), I got my undergrad degree in American Studies from Yale, which had only gone co-ed the year or two before. (I learned a few years ago that William S. Richardson Law School Dean Avi Soifer, as editor of the Yale Daily News, played a significant role in helping persuade Yale leadership to admit women.)
I spent a year after college exploring the working world in Boston as a paralegal. Being a paralegal was a rather new j profession in the mid-1970s. Apparently, so was career counseling of young women at Yale. As a senior faced with leaving the comfortable college "nest," I sought the advice of a female career counselor at Yale whose response to my consideration of law school was something like, "Oh, too many people are doing that. Why don't you look into something else, like being a paralegal?" The idea of women attending law school was still new in the mid-1970s.
My father tried to dis-courage me from law school for a different reason. As a Honolulu real estate developeri who usedj lawyers, he was of the opinion that law was too narrow a profession, and lawyers did not involve themselves in the broader community. I think my involvement in various social causes during law school and with non -profit ornizations after-wards was my way of trying to break that stereotype.
But back to Boston. I experienced several "aha" moments as a paralegal for a firm which represented the State College system in Massachusetts. First, Boston at the time was a pretty monotonous lunch place for a kid from Hawaii who appreciated the diverse cuisines of our islands: either deli sandwiches or McDonald's; no bento. Second, three-color Massachusetts winters (white, black and grey) made me ye am for Hawaii's vivid colors of flora, surf and sky Third, despite the interesting job I had listening in on faculty-administration collective bargaining sessions and writing up contracts, I realized on a Boston subway ride to work one gray morning, 'Argh! I can't do this the rest of my life." I sent away for those law school appfications soon afterwards.
After five East Coast winters, I was ready for the West. In August 1975, I found myself appreciating the mild dimes and more laid-back style of California. At Boalt, I was active with the Asian Law Students Association, interned at the public-interest community law collective Asian Law Caucus, and wore an orange armband at graduation to protest the lack of diversity on the Boalt law school faculty (diveisification is still a work in [ progress today, per our Boalt Hall dean).
I made life long friends in college and law school. I like to tell law ' school students that the friends one makes in school are the start of one's lifelong social and professional network. Our Yale gang and law school gang have annual holiday family gatherings and occasional poducks throughout the year, so we've experienced our careers, families, connections and spheres of influence evolving over the years.
Ed Kemper: Tell us about your legal experience.
Louise Ing: As a college freshman, I was too shy to consider being a lawyer, and during law school, I was too traumatized by moot court to think of being a litigator Yet, that's where I ended up. One of the benefits of being a business litigation lawyer is constantly being challenged and having daily opportunities to rise to that challenge.
After law school, I had the privilege of clerking for Judge Samuel P. King, who was an excellent role model with a wry sense of humor and a love of King's Bakery GoflFee Shop custard pies (where...