University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law has once again been ranked among the top tier law schools in the country, according to the new 2015 rankings released by U.S. News and World Report.
The School of Law was ranked in 100th place among the 146 best law schools—tying with the University of Oregon Law School, SUNY Buffalo Law School in New York and Florida International University Law School.
While the law school was tied for 80th last year, school administrators note that the change this year could be the result of a static bar passage rate. In the July 2013 bar exam, however, the bar passage rate soared seven points to 82 percent, which could indicate a ranking upswing for 2016.
A school’s bar passage rate is one of the complex array of metrics used by the U.S. News consumer guide in making its evaluations, including student/faculty ratios, employment at graduation and nine months afterward, LSAT scores and acceptance rates.
Dean Avi Soifer called the latest rankings recognition of the excellent education offered by the law school. “What makes our school exceptional, however, is not measured in these rankings,” Soifer noted. “We are able to personalize the legal education we provide, and our extraordinary diverse students support one another, have fun together and actually enjoy law school.”
Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Sabrina McKenna, class of ’82, noted that the law school is a powerful community resource. McKenna said she puts less stock in rankings than she does in other subjective values. “I don’t think there could be any better law school in equipping people for the challenges of the future—the challenges of bringing together people of different cultures and backgrounds to solve the world’s problems.”
In addition to ranking the full-time day program, U.S. News ranked the evening part-time program 26th in the country, tied with William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota and Cardozo School of Law in New York.
For more, read the UH Mānoa news release.