The dean of the William S. Richardson School of Law has announced his retirement after 16 years in the leadership position on the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa campus. Aviam “Avi” Soifer, who has served as dean since 2003, led the law school through two successful reaccreditations and a major facility expansion that added a new $7.3-million Clinical Building.
Soifer will remain in the dean’s post during the search for his replacement, and will continue to teach constitutional law.
“Our law school is in a very good place, and I believe that I am handing it off at the right time,” said Soifer. “Someone else will bring fresh ideas and a new perspective to our school, where our faculty and staff are really the ones who have maintained and shaped our many successes.”
During his tenure at UH, the law school added its Evening Part-Time Program; Ka Huli Ao the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law; an innovative January Term offering mini-courses before the beginning of the spring semester taught by distinguished visiting scholars, professors and judges; and a number of joint degrees and multidisciplinary UH programs.
“We all owe Avi Soifer a deep debt of gratitude for leading Hawaiʻi’s law school with vision, dignity and a steady hand over the past 16 years,” said UH President David Lassner. “He has brought national recognition to one of the best community-centric law schools in the country, and while we will miss Avi in his leadership role, we are delighted that he intends to teach constitutional law to the continued benefit of our students and the community.”
Soifer previously served as dean and professor at Boston College Law School in Massachusetts. He is a 1972 graduate of Yale Law School, and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He is married to award-winning documentary filmmaker Marlene Booth, an instructor in the UH Mānoa Academy for Creative Media.
For more on Soifer, go to the law school’s website.