A powerful Hawaiian chant, an evocative hula and the chance to sit in on a criminal law class were featured as the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law welcomed 38 members of the incoming fall 2019 class during Admitted Students Day.
Dean Avi Soifer greeted students with a warm welcome to a school lauded for its diversity and humanity. Incoming Student Bar Association President Ian F. Tapu shared his personal story of being the first in his family to finish college and to attend law school. And Assistant Professor Troy J.H. Andrade offered a compelling overview of the law school’s origins and its 45-year history.
Said Andrade, “To understand the essence of our law school, it’s important to know and appreciate the life and legacy of CJ (William) Richardson. His life provides such an apt example of the way in which, despite struggles, change in the law—real change—is possible, and can make Hawaiʻi a better place.”
The welcome chant by Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie and hula by current law student Tarita Keohokalole-Look launched a full day of introductions to the world of legal studies, while Kenneth Lawson’s class in criminal law about self-defense and battered women’s syndrome provided a touch of gritty reality.
The gathering drew 33 incoming full-time JD program students, and five Evening Part-Time Program students. Among them are marine scientists, biologists, teachers, military personnel, bankers, paralegals, engineers, philosophers, medical personnel and more, coming from as far away as Guam, Nevada, Texas and Massachusetts.