The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law and its dean have been featured in two stories in the latest PreLaw Magazine—one story exploring the importance of diversity in education, and the other stressing the value of experiential learning through clinics.
The William S. Richardson School of Law earned high marks in each category—coming in 6th in the nation for its clinical programs, in which students get hands-on experience dealing with clients.
An interview with Dean Avi Soifer on diversity – in the article titled “Should Law Schools Be Colorblind?” – points out that the UH Mānoa Law School has earned top rankings in the area of diversity over the last two years.
The story notes that affirmative action has been under attack and offers some new definitions for the term “diversity”, pondering whether in addition to racial, cultural and gender diversity, the definition should be expanded to include such values as socio-economic and life experience diversity.
In highlighting the UH Mānoa law school as one of America’s success stories, the article notes that UH has managed to fine-tune the definitions, but also has the good fortune of being located in the state with the most diverse population in the country. Year after year the school’s admissions team brings together students who truly reflect what diversity means in today’s world.
“The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa – William S. Richardson School of Law has been lauded as being one of the nation’s more diverse law schools,” the story notes. “In 2012, it finished fifth in The National Jurist ranking, and it finished first in the 2013 U.S. News and; World Report’s tally.”
The article goes on to quote Dean Soifer—“Our students graduate with many cultural influences. In the world, wherever they may end up, they can adjust more easily.”
Soifer also noted that law school provides significant outreach to the state’s Native Hawaiian population to offer opportunities for legal education to those whose roots are deep in Hawaiʻi.
In its story on clinical programs, the magazine established a Top 20 list by dividing the total number of full-time law students into the number of clinics available. Using that rubric, the law school ranked just a few notches behind Yale Law School, which ranked first, but significantly above such well-known law schools as Cornell, Berkeley, Northwestern and the University of Chicago.
According to PreLaw Magazine, clinics “allow students to get practical experience, which helps make them more practice-ready upon graduation.”
For more, read the UH Mānoa news release.