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The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been ranked tops in the nation as the “Best Environment for Minority Students” in the annual Princeton Review rankings that rate the country’s top 168 law schools.

The Princeton Review also ranked the School of Law fourth in the country for the “Most Diverse Faculty,” and points out that 42 percent of the school’s faculty are members of minority groups and 43 percent are women.

Dean Avi Soifer responds to the rankings in the video above.

Ideal location and environment for studying law

Classroom of students
The William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa is recognized for providing the best environment for minority students and faculty diversity. (Photo courtesy William S. Richardson School of Law)

The Princeton Review includes comments from UH law students who said the school is “Nestled at the Crossroads of the Pacific” and offers local, national and international students “an equal opportunity to get a law degree while enjoying a little piece of heaven on earth.”

Students also noted, however, that none of the laid-back nature of the students and faculty took away from the school’s “rigorous” academics.

These top rankings put the William S. Richardson School of Law among the nation’s most outstanding law schools, according to the education services company that publishes more than 150 review books annually that examine qualities in the country’s colleges, universities and professional schools.

The law school is one of only 59 schools (about 35 percent of the 168 profiled) that appear on one or more of The Princeton Review’s ranking lists.

According to Robert Franek, senior VP and publisher for The Princeton Review, the schools profiled on the lists were chosen “based on our high regard for their academic programs and our reviews of traditional data we collect from the school . . . We recommend the William S. Richardson School of Law as one of the best institutions a student could attend to earn a law school degree.”

Student surveys and administrative data contribute to rankings

The rankings are gathered through student surveys of schools across the nation and administrative data. For its “Best Law Schools” report, The Princeton Review surveyed online more than 18,000 students at 168 law schools and collected data from school administrators.

The Princeton Review does not rank the law schools in the book on a single hierarchical list from 1 to 168, nor does it name one law school as best overall. Instead, the book has 11 ranking lists of the top 10 law schools in various categories.

Ten lists are based entirely or partly on surveys of students. They were conducted during the 2011–12, 2010–11 and 2009–10 academic years. One list, “Toughest to get into,” is based solely on institutional data.

— Adapted from a William S. Richardson School of Law news release

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