Staff Attorney Hilary Rosenthal


Honolulu, Hawai‘i: The ACLU of Hawai‘i is pleased to announce the addition to its team of Hilary Rosenthal, who joins as a Staff Attorney. Her position will help the ACLU of Hawai‘i further build its capabilities and reach in order to better protect and advance civil rights for all the people of Hawai‘i. 

Originally from New York, Hilary is a lawyer who became involved in human and civil rights work after beginning her career in environmental justice and environmental organizing with local communities. In her work, Hilary saw how interconnected access to a safe and healthy environment is with all other areas of civil rights and liberties. She has since dedicated her work to helping amplify the voices of–and advocate with–people in securing those rights. In her new role at the ACLU of Hawai‘i she aims to continue that work alongside Hawai‘i communities, families, and individuals. She is particularly looking forward to advancing the affiliate’s work in smart justice, decriminalizing poverty, and reimagining policing. This work seeks to empower people, not punish them, so that everyone and not just the lucky few has access to the resources they need to thrive.

On joining the ACLU of Hawai‘i team, Hilary Rosenthal said: “I'm beyond thrilled to join the dedicated, passionate, and incredibly welcoming team at the ACLU of Hawai‘i. Already, I have seen how tirelessly and thoughtfully this group of people works to address each and every civil rights or civil liberties issue that people in the Hawaiʻi community raise. Similarly, I hope to bring my empathy and creativity to help tackle the barriers to justice and equality that so many people here face, whether in the courtroom or outside of it."

Before joining the ACLU of Hawai‘i, Hilary worked in Human Rights Watch's Americas division as the Leonard H. Sandler Fellow where she covered issues relating to indigenous rights and environmental justice. She was also an associate at the law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP in California, where she helped litigate complex intellectual property disputes as well as assisted individuals secure asylum in the United States.

Executive Director Joshua Wisch said, “The work of the ACLU is never done and indeed becomes more critical with each passing day. Hilary brings a unique set of skills and a record of fighting for human rights and civil rights to her work with the ACLU of Hawai‘i. We’re excited to have her join us and know she will be an important part of enhancing our capacity as we continue to do our best to serve the people of Hawai‘i.”

Hilary earned a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a member of the Mediation Clinic and was a semi-finalist in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition. Before law school, Hilary served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay. She is a graduate of Brown University, and speaks Spanish and Guarani. In her free time, Hilary loves to surf, scuba dive, take photos, and hike with her unruly dog.


The mission of the Hawai‘i affiliate of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties contained in the state and federal constitutions through litigation, legislative and public education programs statewide. The ACLU is funded primarily through private donations and offers its services at no cost to the public. The ACLU does not accept any government funds.