law school commencement

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law was again ranked among the nation’s “Best Value” law schools in the fall 2021 issue of PreLaw magazine.

The UH law school was one of the nation’s 60 law schools recognized. The list factored in variables such as bar pass rate, employment, tuition, cost of living and indebtedness upon graduation. The most significant variables were the employment rate, which was weighted at 35%, and tuition at 25%.

Among UH law students, 65% received grants and scholarships during the 2019–20 academic year.

Acting Director of Admissions Loreto Coloma, Jr. said, “It has been helpful that our tuition has remained frozen for the last several years, and will continue through the 2022–23 academic year. In tandem with the other ways the administration supports its students, it’s no surprise the law school has been able to remain a Best Value school.”

The William S. Richardson School of Law provides a strong foundation for future lawyers.
—Trisha Nakamura

The UH law school earned a B+ rating, with an ultimate bar pass rate of 90.67% and a graduate employment rate of 88.2%. According to data cited in the article, the average student debt accumulated from a private law school is about $133,480; UH law school’s average student debt is $59,792.

As value continues to be a significant factor for prospective students weighing their options, new graduates must decide upon employment options while facing varying amounts of academic debt.

“On average, 30% of students enter private practice, 30% find government work, and 30% take on judicial clerkships,” said Trisha Y. Nakamura, director of career services and professional development.

The UH law school provides opportunities for students to meet with legal professionals from different industries from their very first year in the program.

“The William S. Richardson School of Law provides a strong foundation for future lawyers. In their first year, students have opportunities to visit local law firms, meet state and federal judges, and participate in on-campus recruitment,” Nakamura said.

This ranking 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.