American Bar Association approves UH Law School part-time program to launch this fall

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Feb 19, 2008

HONOLULU -- The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa received approval from the American Bar Association to begin an evening law program starting this coming Fall 2008.

The part-time program targets a class of 24 students to enter in the fall. In the normal course of study, a part-time student should expect to complete the first year of the regular JD curriculum in two years, and to graduate in five years, though this timing will be flexible.

The Law School held an information meeting for interested applicants on December 18, 2007, which generated an overwhelming response with more 100 attendees. An interested applicant for next Fall must have taken the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) by February 2, 2008, and must submit an application by March 1, 2008. Those admitted to the part-time program will be expected to meet the same admissions standards as students admitted to the full-time program. Classes are tentatively scheduled to meet three evenings a week (Tuesday-Thursday) from 5:30-8:35 p.m.

This new part-time program advances the Law School‘s central mission of providing an excellent legal education and helping to meet the legal needs and interests of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region. "This part time program will broaden access to legal education, promote greater diversity in the Bar, and expand educational opportunities for our state and beyond," said Law School Dean Aviam Soifer. "Our current full time format is a significant barrier to access to legal education for nontraditional aspirants and for those who must work to support themselves and to care for their families."

The school‘s admissions statistics reveal considerable demand for increased opportunities for legal education in Hawai‘i and the region. Currently, approximately 90 students matriculate into the full-time program each year. But with approximately 1,100 applications, the Law School disappoints many applicants who are qualified and would perform well in law school.

The U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the William S. Richardson School of Law among the top 20 law schools for environmental law, diversity and low faculty/student ratio.