2515 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7966
(808) 956-3000 (Application Request Line)
Fax: (808) 956-6402
Dean: Lawrence C. Foster
Associate Dean: Carol Mon Lee
Assistant Dean: Laurie A. Tochiki
D. Antolini, MPP, JD-environmental law, torts, legal writing
J. Barkai, MBA, JD-clinical program, alternative dispute resolution, evidence
H. Beh, PhD, JD-contracts, advanced torts, legal writing
R. Brown, JD, LLM-labor law, legal writing
D. Callies, JD, LLM-real property, land use regulation, state and local government, legal writing
W. Chang, JD-native Hawaiian rights, water law, jurisprudence, legal writing
A. Conner, PhD, JD-Chinese law, legal writing
K. Gebbia-Pinetti, JD-commercial law, bankruptcy, legal writing
V. Hench, JD, LLM-criminal law, civil rights, legal writing
C. Iijima, JD (Pre-admission Program director)- legal writing
C. Jarman, JD, LLM-environmental law, ocean law, legal writing
M. Levin, JD, LLM-sales, Japanese law, legal writing
C. Pang, MPH, JD-elder law, family law
J. Pietsch, JD-elder law
R. Roth, JD, LLM-taxation, trusts and estates
L. Seeger, JD, MLawLibr-legal bibliography
J. Van Dyke, JD-constitutional law, international law, international human rights, legal writing
E. Yamamoto, JD-civil procedure; race, culture and the law; legal writing
Since admitting its first class of students in 1973, the William S. Richardson School of Law has graduated more than 1,500 attorneys, most of whom continue to serve in the state of Hawai'i. As the school matures, its graduates have risen to prominent positions, including governor of Hawai'i; president of a Hawai'i university; a federal magistrate; circuit, district, family, and per diem court judges; partners in major law firms; and members of the state Legislature and Honolulu City Council. In addition, graduates of the school are found in significant numbers at the attorney general, public defender, and prosecutor offices.
The law school offers a three-year, post-baccalaureate program culminating in the Juris Doctor (JD) degree, also known as the first professional degree in law. Although some law schools offer graduate degrees in law (this school does not), the great majority of students find that the JD degree is sufficient to prepare for admission to a bar and for a career in law.
Many of the 240 students in the law school either were born in Hawai'i or have other ties to the state or region. We also welcome students from the continental United States, Asia, and the Pacific. Many students from out-of-state express an interest in the school's exceptional Pacific-Asian, environmental, or ocean policy areas of emphasis. Each entering class (80-85 in number) typically reflects the ethnic diversity of Hawai'i and includes individuals of African American, Caucasian, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, and Pacific Island ancestry. Currently enrolled students from the Asia Pacific region represent China, Fiji, Guam, Japan, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Approximately half of the students are female, and about 20 percent have completed other graduate degrees before enrolling in the law school.
The mission of the William S. Richardson School of Law is to provide formal legal education, encourage and support scholarly legal research, and promote justice in our society and professional responsibility and public service within our profession. We share the goals of the State of Hawai'i and the University to provide educational opportunities for the people of this state and to be leaders in environmental law, Pacific and Asian legal studies, and the law of the sea.
In carrying out this mission, the school's graduates fill a demand for qualified attorneys who are sensitive to Hawai'i's special needs and who will serve government and the public interest as well as private entities.
Students are encouraged to study law and legal institutions as integral parts of larger social, political, economic, and ecological systems. A number of law students concurrently seek graduate degrees at the University of Hawai'i while undertaking the JD program.
The accreditation process of the American Bar Association (ABA) is designed to ensure that approved law schools have adequate facilities and adhere to sound educational policies. The School of Law has been fully approved by the ABA; this enables its graduates to present a JD degree acceptable to the bar examiners in every state. There are approximately 180 ABA-approved law schools in the United States.
In 1989, the School of Law was admitted to full membership in the Association of American Law Schools
Degree Offered: Juris Doctor (JD)
Students have access to academic, personal, and career counseling at any time during the program. Academic counseling is intended to assist the student in defining a program that will satisfy both personal interests and professional development.
Career counseling and information on job opportunities are provided to students for part-time, clerkship, and entry-level positions. About 40 Honolulu legal employers representing the private, public, and public-interest sectors participate in the on-campus interview program for law students. The law school also presents informational programs on career choices and alternatives and preparation for the job search.