Student holding taro plant in law school courtyard
Incoming law student Jonah Hoshino of ʻEwa Beach assists with the kalo harvest as part of orientation activities.

The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa opened its doors to a strikingly diverse class of 120 students this fall.

The incoming class includes 80 students who are residents of Hawaiʻi or who have significant connections to the state. Of the total number of juris doctor candidates, 67 are women.

Members of the class include two medical doctors; middle and high school teachers, including one from Bolivia; and an airline flight attendant, social worker, data analyst, accountant, stock trader and financial planning company owner.

The new students engaged in orientation activities planned by Associate Deans Ronette Kawakami and Denise Antolini, including taking the law student pledge in a ceremony at the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court building administered by Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

For the first time, students were joined by their parents and close friends. Associate Professor Troy J.H. Andrade, who is the director of the Ulu Lehua Scholars program, offered an overview of Hawaiʻi history and its connection to the school’s namesake, the late Chief Justice William S. Richardson.

“The heart of this school is the students,” said Recktenwald, who praised the law faculty and outstanding leadership of Dean Avi Soifer. “I encourage you to embrace that commitment to service and I am confident you will make the world a more just place. You are heirs to the legacy of CJ Richardson, a great lawyer and a great person.”

As the school’s third-largest class, the incoming students include:

  • 83 full-time law students
  • 20 part-time evening program students
  • 3 transfer students
  • 1 visiting student
  • 2 advanced JD students (foreign attorneys who may practice in the U.S. after passing a state bar exam)
  • 2 doctor of juridical science students
  • 8 master of law students
  • 1 exchange student

See the full story on the law school website.