law building
Clinical Building

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law earned a B+ rating as one of the nation’s best schools for practical training in the latest survey by preLaw magazine.

In the spring 2021 issue of the magazine, the UH law school was one of 65 of the nation’s law schools receiving top marks for practical training options.

Dean Camille Nelson called the rating a gratifying validation of some of the outstanding opportunities offered at Richardson law school.

“The rating confirms the quality experiential learning opportunities provided by the stellar faculty at Richardson law,” said Nelson. “The faculty and fellows leading our clinics and externships are to be commended for their work, reach and commitment. The students who engage in these learning opportunities are enriched by the chance to gain real-life practical training while serving clients.”

Hands-on experience for students

The UH law school clinical building has dramatically expanded the school’s ability to offer space for clinics and the community clients they serve. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, this year has been unusual and has kept the new building from being fully utilized.

The hands-on experience in a clinic is something that students find both empowering and challenging as they deal with real life issues. At Richardson law school, students in the Immigration & Refugee Law Clinic go to court with clients to prevent their deportation. Often those clients are young people who have escaped frightening circumstances in their home countries.

“The people I have been privileged to work with have helped me tremendously,” said Taylor Brack, who worked with the immigration clinic before graduation and has continued as a UH law school graduate.

“In these past two years, our clients have taught me so much about the type of attorney I want to be,” Brack added. “For one, I have learned that tenacity and empathy can take me very far when dealing with difficult circumstances outside of my control. Despite the frustrations that I have experienced, I still can’t help but feel like our work is not done in vain.”

This effort is an example of UH Mānoa’s goal of Enhancing Student Success (PDF), one of four goals identified in the 2015–25 Strategic Plan (PDF), updated in December 2020.

For more information, see the UH law school website.