Shaun K. Muaina is a senior associate attorney at Henness & Haight.
Shaun grew up in Henderson, Nevada where he played on his high school’s volleyball team. Shaun enjoyed a successful four years with his team and quickly built up a reputation in the local community for his impressive athleticism. In response to his high-jumping abilities at the net, a local newspaper nicknamed him the “Flyin’ Hawaiian.” The nickname stuck, and since then, it seems that Shaun has always gone above and beyond in pursuing his ambitions.
Following graduation, Shaun attended Brigham Young University, where he was offered a scholarship to continue his volleyball career with the school’s team. In 2003, during his freshman year, Shaun’s team was a runner-up in the national championship. Impressively, throughout his time at BYU, his team was consistently ranked within the top five teams in their conference, Mountain West. At one point during Shaun’s collegiate volleyball career, his team was ranked #1 in the nation.
Shaun himself was awarded the designation of a Mountain West Scholar Athlete, one of the highest academic honors awarded to athletes in his team’s conference. The prestigious award is given to student-athletes who maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA and who have competed in a varsity competition in the Mountain West conference.
Shaun’s successes as both as an individual player and a member of his team during his high school and college years taught him the importance of hard work and dedication in pursuing his goals.
Aside from his athletic pursuits, as a student at BYU, Shaun initially began on the pre-medical track.
“I’ve always wanted to work with and help people,” Shaun explained. “That’s why I was originally pursuing the medical route.”
However, in the face of science classes like organic chemistry, Shaun soon realized that the medical field was not where his interests truly resided. While Shaun was studying at BYU, his brother was attending law school. Knowing his younger brother’s second thoughts about his career plans, Shaun’s brother persuaded him to consider the legal field.
“Becoming an attorney was never something that I’d considered growing up, but after talking to my brother I started taking some practice LSATs and found that I was doing really well,” Shaun recounted. “And I was always a good writer.”
Along with his brother’s encouragement, Shaun’s interests in writing, communication and public service ultimately motivated him to apply to law school. After being accepted into several different schools, Shaun decided to move back to his home state and pursue his Juris Doctor at the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
During his second year of law school, Shaun began working for Henness & Haight as a law clerk. Due to his hard work at the office as well as his academic success, upon graduation, Shaun was offered a full-time position with the firm. Throughout the course of Henness & Haight’s 17-year history, the firm has only offered about 1 in 4 of their law clerks an Associate Attorney position.
"We've always looked at our law clerk program as an extended interview process,” founding partner Michael Haight explained. “After hiring Shaun as a law clerk, it quickly became apparent to both me and Mark that Shaun was special and that he would be a wonderful addition to our team. Shaun is an exceptionally hard worker, and he takes his responsibility as a ‘counselor’ at law very seriously. He always puts his clients’ needs first, and he always makes sure that every client is on the same page with him before he presses forward in their case. Shaun is fantastic at explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what we do for our clients, so they always understand our goals for their case.”
“I like how everyone gets along so well with each other here,” Shaun said. “And there is longevity with some of the team members, so I’ve known some of them for a long time, for as long as I’ve worked here. There’s a good atmosphere here, and everyone helps each other out. You never feel like you’re on an island.”
“Shaun possesses the most important qualities that an attorney can have,” co-founder Mark Henness said. “Beyond being intelligent and an excellent problem solver, Shaun genuinely cares about the people he represents and takes personally the outcome of each case he handles. We can’t ask for more than that of the people we work with.”
Aside from his career, in his free time, Shaun enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, as well as playing the occasional game of volleyball. On his journey from star athlete to pre-med student to personal injury attorney, Shaun remains gratified with his ultimate decision to join the legal field.
“I really enjoy working as an attorney because there is finality to my clients’ problems,” Shaun said. “I like that I get to know my clients and work with them on a one-on-one basis. From start to finish with their cases, I get to help my clients by providing solutions to their problems. That is a very cool process to be a part of.”