Our Society originally was formed in 1985 as an unincorporated association called The Hellenic Law Society of Northern California. In January of 2022, our Society incorporated as a statewide organization under the new name of the Hellenic Law Society of California, Inc.
Statement of Principles
The purposes of the Hellenic Law Society of California include:
- To advance the highest principles on which our legal system is based as beneficial to the Hellenic culture and society;
- To foster, promote and uphold the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct among the members of the Hellenic Law Society;
- To provide a forum for continuing education (MCLE) and the free exchange of ideas, information, materials, and support related to the practice of law;
- To mentor, promote and assist law student and novice lawyer members of the Hellenic Law Society in their professional development;
- To promote fellowship, social interaction, and community among the members of the Hellenic Law Society;
- To assist and refer to fellow members in the practice of law;
- To identify and encourage selection of qualified candidates for judicial appointments; and
- To participate, on a local, state national and/or international level, in programs and meetings with other Bar and legal associations.
In other words, the motto of the Society which represents the principles above is:
Liberty, Law with Justice, and Learning.
The Hellenic Law Society of California (HLS) has been operating continuously since 1985. It has held many events, including dinners, educational functions, weekend retreats, and other social and professional functions. HLS events have been attended not only by its dues-paying members, but also by many other friends and supporters in the community.
Some highlights of our events have include the following:
- Weekend retreat at St. Nicholas Ranch, with presentations by Kimon Friar (one of the most well-known translators of Nikos Kazantzakis and other Greek writers), Professor George Anastopoulos, and State Senator Nicholas Petris;
- Dinner and lecture by John Keker, Esq. (one of our members) about his experiences in prosecuting Oliver North;
- Dinner and lecture by Roxani Gillespie, Esq. (former California Insurance Commissioner) regarding her experiences in office;
- Dinner honoring and presentation by Vasilios Kokkinos, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Greece;
- Dinner and presentation by representatives of Greece and of the Commission of the European Communities about the European Economic Community;
- Dinner honoring and presentation by Judge Constantine N. Kakouris, member of the International Court of Justice of the European community;
- Tour of the California State Capitol and presentation by Senators David Roberti and Nicholas Petris;
- Dinner presentations by the Consuls General of Greece;
- Dinner and presentation by John Farmakidis, Director of the National Bank of Paris, speaking on Greece from a European perspective;
- Napa Valley retreats, at which Professor Rabchevsky from Stanford University presented about the ancient Greek Olympics and San Francisco Municipal Court Judge George Choppelas discussed procedures for dealing with the courts;
- Social events at the Paul Masson Winery in Los Gatos, California, at which major entertainers were enjoyed;
- Annual Christmas Dinners at the Mandarin Hotel in San Francisco, California, at which varying types of entertainment have been offered, including opera diva Ann Panagulias, as well as Greek bouzouki music;
- Presentation by Arianna Huffington, internationally prominent political commentator; and
- A variety of other events, including Major League baseball games, Greek culinary events, lectures, and social and educational events.
The Society bestows the Athenian Award from time to time. This award is given to persons in the community and beyond who exemplify and personify the best of the ancient Athenian ideals in our contemporary society. See “Athenian Award” for a list of past recipients.
The Hellenic Law Society has been designated by the California State Bar as a provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (“MCLE”) programs in the State of California. Attorneys in California are required to pursue certain continuing education requirements as a condition of their licensure in California. The HLS presents programs on a multitude of legal topics of interest to the legal community and allows its members to help satisfy their continuing minimum legal education requirements.
The HLS publishes an annual directory of its dues-paying members. This directory includes a statement of HLS principles, our Articles and Bylaws, a list of past chairpersons, a list of directors and officers for the current period, a directory of members, including honorary, regular, and associate members, and indexes by occupation and areas of practice, and by geography. A copy of our membership application and dues statement is contained on the last two pages in the directory, and also found here.