UH law school students during a Diamond Head hike.

PreLaw magazine singled out the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law for the high quality of its practical training and the unique classes it provides.

The spring 2017 issue of PreLaw magazine profiled a number of far west law schools. The article evaluated 64 law schools based on their practical training offerings, and the Mānoa law school placed 11 in the A- honor roll of schools that provide excellent practical training.

The article highlighted western law schools and points out that the location of law school—in Hawaiʻi and, specifically, in Mānoa Valley—isn’t all that the state’s sole law school has to offer.

“It has scored as a best value school, as a top school for practical training and as a most diverse law school,” notes the Prelaw magazine’s Managing Editor Katie Thisdell. “It’s among the smallest schools and the faculty and staff are supportive of students of all ages and their families.”

The magazine also quoted Dean Avi Soifer, “Students not only study and work together but they hike, swim, surf and paddle together in competitive water sports that help them bond as a class and as a future legal network.”

The schools were evaluated in five categories: clinics, externships, simulation courses, inter-school competitions and other. Clinical experience received the most weight—38 percent—and the editors noted that experts call this experience “a particularly effective” on-the-job training tool.

The William S. Richardson School of Law has 10 clinical programs and 12 other institutes, centers and projects. To graduate, students are required to have six credits of clinical training as well as 60 hours of pro bono experience.

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

—By Beverly Creamer