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Incoming juniors and seniors from Farrington, Waipahu, Roosevelt and Kamehameha high schools learned about civics from William S. Richardson School of Law professors and students and Hawaiʻi judges, when the law school at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa launched a new five-day summer program for high school students.

The week-long Law and Justice Summer Institute program, augmented high school civics education, especially in the public schools, and also offered students hands-on experience in a dramatic courtroom proceeding of their own making. The innovative program took place June 8–12.


Along with lessons in civics, the high school students sat in on Circuit Court proceedings, visited with several judges and heard from retired Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Associate Justice Simeon Acoba, as well as Hawaiʻi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, who presented them with certificates of completion at the end of the week.

“There’s a sense that there’s less opportunity for students today to learn about civics in their school settings,” said Liam Skilling, who has led development of the new institute at the School of Law throughout the past year.

“The overall purpose is to introduce high school students to issues of law and justice, build their skills in discussion, research, debate, analysis and advocacy and to provide the inspiration for them to become active and involved citizens,” said Skilling.

For more information, read the William S. Richardson School of Law news release.

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