The University of Hawaiʻi William S. Richardson School of Law’s masters degree program for foreign attorneys—the LLM—has been named one of the best in the nation by The International Jurist magazine, which evaluated 450 programs at 153 law schools.
The program earned an A+ for its academic offerings, and an A both for being among the schools offering the “Best Law School Experience” as well as for career support.
Its high scores placed the law school among the top 10 schools in the U.S. cited for academics, top 14 for best experience and top 11 for career support.
Program director Spencer Kimura said that LLM graduates are so pleased with the program that they often hate to leave at the end of the year.
“I am constantly amazed by the wealth of experience and diversity that the LLM students bring to the Law School,” said Kimura. “We do our best to integrate them with our students, faculty and staff as part of our Law School ʻohana. Because they have already studied law in their home countries, they are a great resource for us to learn about how the study and practice of law in foreign countries compares to what we do in the United States.”
The program has attracted 143 students from 52 countries since it was founded in 2003 under the leadership of Professor Alison Conner, a Chinese law scholar who is the director of the law school’s international programs. The law school offers more courses on Asian law than any other law school, and it is the only law school in the nation offering courses on Pacific Island and Native Hawaiian law.
“The LLM program recently was permitted to be open to United States residents with a JD,” said Conner. “And it’s possible to specialize and earn a certificate, perhaps pursue an interest that graduates didn’t have a chance to focus on when they were JD students.”
Said Dean Avi Soifer, “We are extremely proud of our LLM program. Professor Conner’s founding vision has been realized as LLM students from a multitude of different countries have taught us a great deal and enlivened life at the law school in the process. We are also very pleased to announce that the UH Board of Regents has just permitted the law school to make the LLM program more affordable by allowing us to lower the tuition for both foreign and domestic students.”