Students Say

Life at the University of Hawaii – Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law is not as carefree and relaxing as its gorgeous island setting might make you imagine. The course load is “demanding,” but since there is a “tremendous feeling of support from both peers and administration” the school has managed to develop “a proud and loyal student body.” The “amazingly accessible” staff at Manoa are “here to make sure that we succeed and that we enjoy this process.” Richardson may be small, but “the faculty is a distinguished group with diverse backgrounds and experience.”

Overview

Applicants
541
Acceptance Rate
37%
Average Undergrad GPA
3.35
Accepted Applicants Who Attend
96

Test Scores

LSAT
153 - 159

Deadlines

Application Deadlines
February 1

Application Process

Rolling Admissions
Yes

Application Fee
$75

LSDAS Service Used
Yes

Applicants accepted in terms other than fall
No

Transfer Applicants Accepted
Yes

Deferred Admission
Yes

Other Admission Factors

Academic

LSAT Score
Undergraduate GPA
Essay / Personal Statement

Overall

Students Say

Life at the University of Hawaii – Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law is not as carefree and relaxing as its gorgeous island setting might make you imagine. The course load is “demanding,” but since there is a “tremendous feeling of support from both peers and administration” the school has managed to develop “a proud and loyal student body.” The “amazingly accessible” staff at Manoa are “here to make sure that we succeed and that we enjoy this process.” Richardson may be small, but “the faculty is a distinguished group with diverse backgrounds and experience.” A few students do feel that “more intense attention should be given to developing legal writing/research skills,” but not for lack of resources. Research tools available to students are “more than adequate,” the “amount of books available in the library is quite good,” and librarians and researchers “teach strategies and practical skills.”

Some have had a “mixed” experience, with some courses offering “a lot about topics relevant to my career interests” and other courses taught by replacement teachers who “had no experience in teaching the topic.” Overall, however, students feel they have “received a great legal education” by being “challenged academically” at Richardson. Key is the idea that professors “encourage discussion and questions,” with a hands-on process that “allows students to play with the hypotheticals” rather than simply absorb lectures.

Students here do not feel cut off from the administration of the school, either. Faculty are supportive of all, even “talented students who may not aspire to law review but will still serve as assets to the profession. “ “When we feel that any part of the school’s facilities is lacking, there are avenues we can take to express our concerns, and there is often action taken to address our problems.” The administration is even “willing to work with students in order to adjust finals and class schedules.” While some complain “there is a lot of red tape to go through if you want to accomplish anything,” results are the bottom line, and most students agree that the administration is “eager to help students” and “take the time to get to know us.” Students have even “had discussions with the various deans passing in the courtyard.”

“Antiquated” facilities vex some students, however, with “unreliable” Internet access and classrooms “not all equipped for the mandatory use of laptops.” The IT staff at Richardson completed a wireless expansion in April 2013. This is balanced by “some of the most competent and experienced professors ever,” an “amazing” group of educators who display “passion for teaching” and a “willingness to personally engage with their students.” As one student notes, these traits “add value to my education and growth.”


Faculty Information

Total Faculty
61

50.8
Female
45.9
Minority

Career overview

Career Rating
84
Pass Rate for First-Time Bar Exam
69%
Average Starting Salary
$58,000
% of graduates who are employed within nine months of graduation
80%

Career Services

On campus summer employment recruitment for first year JD students
Yes

On campus summer employment recruitment for second year JD students
Yes

# of Employers that Recruit on Campus Each Year
33

Employers who most frequently hire graduates
Hawai`i State Judiciary; Office of the Prosecuting Attorney; Public Defenders Office; Ashford & Wriston; Bays Deaver et al; Cades Schutte; Carlsmith Ball; Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel; McCorriston Miller et al; Starn O'Toole Marcus & Fisher; Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda; Imanaka Asato.

Graduates Employed by Area

19%
Government

Graduates Employed by Region

2%
MidWest
1%
International
1%
Mountain
1%
South West

Prominent Alumni

John Waihee
former Governor of Hawaii

Sabrina McKenna
Associate Justice, Hawaii Supreme Court

Alexa Fujise
Associate Judge, Hawai`i Intermediate Court of Appeals

James Duke Aiona
former Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawai`i

Junichi Yanagihara
COO & Executive Producer, Sprite Animation Studios

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
Mar 1
Application Deadlines
Mar 2

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Annual Total Aid Package Awarded
$27,829

% Students Receiving Some Aid
71%

Direct Lender
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

In-State Tuition
$19,464
Out-Of-State Tuition
$39,192
Estimated On-Campus Room and Board
$13,284
Estimated Off-Campus Room and Board
$13,284
Estimated Cost for Books / Academic Expense
$1,270
Fees
$712

Student Body Profile

Total Enrollment
325
Parent Institution Enrollement
20,006

Number of Foreign Countries Represented
6
Average Age at Entry
26

% Out-of-State
18%
% International
4%

Demographics

68.00%
% Under-represented Minorities

79% are full time
21% are part time
54% female
46% male

Campus Life

Students Say

Expect a more welcoming environment than Richardson’s reputation may lead one to believe. In the past people have talked about “haole bias,” or bias against mainlanders, but these days many feel “there is way too much emphasis on any strife between islanders and mainlanders.” The degree to which this division exists is not just “overstated,” it’s a situation that “has changed a lot over the past few years. “ As one student notes, “in my experience, there has been no conflict among the groups on campus. I would certainly not consider it merely civil.” Whether from the mainland or the island, students in recent classes “quickly gelled” and “respect each other.” Indeed, the small student population means you do get “better responses when students are in crisis” from the “friendly, supportive environment.”

While Richardson does boast more diversity than many other law schools—“women and minorities are well represented”—that diversity can be a little misleading because “they largely come from privileged backgrounds.” Without great access to scholarship money for the financially disadvantaged, the school may “increasingly be reserved for rich kids.” The fact that “we do not have large endowments or a wealthy alumni base” does not help in this regard. But for those who can attend, opportunities outside the classroom are unlike those anywhere else in the nation thanks to the stunning tropical setting.


More Information

% of Classrooms with Internet Access
100%

Campus-wide network
No

Admissions Office Contact

Contact
Elisabeth Steele Hutchison
Direcotr of Admissions

Address
2515 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822-2350

Phone
(808) 956-5557

Email
lawadm@hawaii.edu
University of Hawaii at Manoa - William S. Richardson School of Law campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

541
Applicants
325
Size
37%
Acceptance Rate

Rankings & Lists