Vernon Y. T. Woo is a distinguished lawyer based in Honolulu, Hawaii. With nearly fifty years of experience, Mr. Woo is a leading attorney in the fields of real property, contracts, and probate litigation. AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, he is currently in private practice where he focuses primarily on the counseling aspects of real property (development, condominium, leasing), contract negotiation, probate litigation and real estate law.
Though he is now one of the most highly lauded attorneys in Hawaii, Mr. Woo's decision to pursue a career in law didn’t arise right away. After earning his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii, his intellectual curiosity took precedence over his desire to enter the workforce. Mr. Woo continued his studies, earning a Master's degree in urban sociology, also from the University of Hawaii. He then set his sights on a Ph.D. in the field before having a change of heart, which redirected the course of his career. Looking back, Mr. Woo recalls his decision to change career paths:
I didn't want to go to work right after graduating from college, so I decided to stay in school. I was going to become a professor, and I was accepted for a Ph.D. program in sociology. What changed my mind was my father, who was an immigrant from Shanghai. He told me that I could go and do whatever I wanted to, but that if I went to Harvard Law, he would pay for it. I was very lucky that I chose to go to law school because I really enjoyed it.
Mr. Woo earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and has since established a leading practice on Hawaii's main island. Though during his career he served as a per diem judge for over a decade, he ultimately decided that he wanted to commit himself to private practice. Today, his practice touches on a broad range of legal matters pertaining to real estate development and probate litigation, including issues of zoning law, land use, and commercial transactions.
As a leader in his field, Mr. Woo is frequently invited to teach professional seminars covering such matters as land use and zoning and real estate development in Hawaii. This position of prominence gives Mr. Woo a unique vantage point from which to keep his finger on the pulse of prevailing trends in real estate and probate litigation in the archipelago state. In particular, he has been paying close attention to the rapid development occurring across Hawaii as a result of a recent influx of affluent individuals from Asia. He noted:
I'm looking at the transformation that is happening in Hawaii. We are becoming a hub for a lot of money in terms of real estate development from Asia. Consequently, I have been trying to stay up to date with the developments in Hawaii and how they impact the environment and the community in terms of affordability and infrastructure.
After nearly half of a century committed to law, Mr. Woo shows no signs of slowing down. He is as ambitious and dedicated to his practice as he was at the onset and he looks forward to continuing his practice full-time for many years to come.
Beyond his passion for law, Mr. Woo is also an avid open-water swimmer and enjoys long walks through the many neighborhoods of Honolulu, among other outdoor activities.
Harvard University (J.D., 1969)
Hawaii • U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii
Professional Memberships & Community Involvement
Past President of the Physicians' Exchange of Honolulu • Board of Directors of Child and Family Service • Board of Directors of the Hawaii Bar Association • Past President of the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii
Awards & Honors
AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® • Who's Who In American Law