UH Manoa School of Law offers certificate program with Native Hawaiian Law specialization

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Nov 24, 2006

HONOLULU — The William S. Richardson School of Law‘s Pacific-Asian Legal Studies (PALS) program and the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law are pleased to announce that beginning in Spring 2007, students pursuing a PALS certificate will be able to specialize in Native Hawaiian Law. The School of Law has long had a vibrant Pacific-Asian Legal Studies program and recognizes student concentration in these areas by awarding PALS certificates.

When asked about the new PALS specialty in Native Hawaiian Law, Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie, the inaugural director of the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, said, "Previously, the law school has only been able to offer a basic course in Native Hawaiian Rights and a Native Hawaiian Rights Clinic. But the Center has been able to expand course offerings including a Federal Indian Law course, and courses looking at issues such as repatriation and burials or the legal aspects of Native Hawaiian identity."

With the increase in courses focused on Native rights, "the specialization in Native Hawaiian Law is evidence of that expansion," said MacKenzie.

Third-year law student Malina Koani-Guzman has been a driving force behind creating the PALS certificate with a specialization in Native Hawaiian Law.

"The creation of the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law provides students with a greater selection of courses focusing on Native Hawaiian issues, making the idea of a specialty a real possibility," said Koani-Guzman. "This is the only place I could learn about Native Hawaiian rights and legal issues -- from the only experts in the field."

The UH Mānoa School of Law currently offers more programming on Asian law than most other law schools. It is also the only law school in the country to offer courses on Hawaiian and Pacific Islands law. In 2005, a federal grant administered by the Department of Education helped to establish the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law.

For more information about the PALS program or the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, contact the law school at (808) 956-7966 or visit the School of Law‘s website at www.hawaii.edu/law.

Established in 1907 and fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the University of Hawaiʻi is the state‘s sole public system of higher education. The UH System provides an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees and community programs on 10 campuses and through educational, training, and research centers across the state. UH enrolls more than 50,000 students from Hawaiʻi, the U.S. mainland, and around the world. For more information, visit www.hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.hawaii.edu/law