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A new island-focused leadership lab to train future legal and business leaders at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law will launch this fall. The Island Leadership Lab (Lab) is the result of a unique collaboration between law school alumni, leaders, and volunteer “leaders in residence” who will share insights gained over decades of service with law students about to embark on their careers.

Classes will be held on Saturdays, October 16 through November 20, from 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m., enabling enrollment by both day and evening law students.

Increasingly, law school graduates find themselves exercising leadership outside law firms and courtrooms. The UH law school has several generations of graduates who have founded businesses, become non-profit executives and dozens have been elected to political office. Richardson law graduates exercise leadership in multiple roles in many sectors across society, but legal education has traditionally focused exclusively on the role of lawyers within the legal arena.

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In this unique seminar, UH law school Dean Camille Nelson will be joined by several leaders in residence to provide an immersive leadership experience grounded in a curriculum specifically developed to prepare next-generation leaders for success. The seminar will feature candid conversations and case studies with established local and national leaders, including: former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; Catherine Ngo, president of Central Pacific Bank; Kenji Price, partner with McDermott Will & Emery LLP and former United States Attorney for the District of Hawaiʻi; and Kellye Testy, president and CEO of the Law School Admission Council.

“The Island Leadership Lab pilot program is designed to train our future state leaders upstream, and give our students the tools to succeed as leaders before they leave our doors,” said Nelson. “The Lab provides a leadership curriculum anchored in actual case studies and will foster serious conversations with high level leaders who want to invest in the next generation.”

The seminar will highlight contemporary leadership issues including dimensions of leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion, difficult conversations, courageous leadership, facilitation training and collaborative problem-solving. The Lab will feature small group interactions that build leadership skills and share tools that will be used by students during their law school studies, upon graduation and across their entire careers.

This event 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.

–By Beverly Creamer