About the Law Center

The Law Center is committed to developing solutions that promote transparency and responsiveness in government. Open government is a cornerstone of democracy and critical to an informed electorate. The Law Center strongly believes that government business should be conducted as openly as possible because secrecy only fuels distrust of public officials. Anyone with questions about access to government information or meetings in Hawaii may contact the Law Center for advice.

Executive Director

R. Brian Black President and Executive Director

R. Brian Black
President and Executive Director

As Executive Director, Brian seeks to enhance the public dialogue between government and the community through a better informed citizenry.

Instilled with a strong community service ethic at Punahou School, Brian led the Civil Liberties Union at Harvard University, specialized in Public Law at Cornell University, clerked for a federal district court in Connecticut, and served as the inaugural fellow for the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at New York University. When he returned to Hawaii in 2011 after almost a decade in private practice as a complex commercial litigator with Hogan Lovells in New York, he was motivated by a sense of civic duty to serve the local community.

Brian joined the Department of the Corporation Counsel for the City and County of Honolulu, assigned primarily to advise the Department of Environmental Services. Building on that experience, Brian uses innovative advocacy and a spirit of healthy government collaboration to further the Law Center’s mission.

Law Center Fellow

Kaily Wakefield is the current Fellow for The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.  She received her B.F.A. in drawing and painting from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa (UH), graduating cum laude.  After two years working at various non-profit community organizations, Kaily returned to UH earning her Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.  While at the law school, Kaily served on the board of the Richardson Chapter of the American Constitution Society and worked as a research associate for Professor Williamson B.C. Chang and the Environmental Law Program.  Additionally, she earned certificates in Environmental Law and Native Hawaiian Rights Law.

Kaily’s admiration for the Law Center’s work and a desire to help bridge the gap between our government and our communities led her to apply for the Fellow position with the Law Center.  Through previous work with Planned Parenthood and the Surfrider Foundation, Kaily has seen the impact that motivated citizens can have when they have access to facts and the opportunity to participate in the democratic process.  Kaily hopes that with the Law Center, she can help encourage greater discourse between our communities and our government agencies.

Prior Fellows