two people smiling
From left: Carol Peterson and Matthew Stubenberg.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law has hired its inaugural Innovator in Residence as part of the Dean’s Innovation Fund, which will allow Dean Camille Nelson to bring the type of innovative approach that drives business into legal education.

The Dean’s Innovation Fund was created in fall 2022, with a $1 million gift from UH alumnus Jay H. Shidler, to allow the dean to be strategic in supporting new and emerging ideas that address future-oriented challenges, especially relating to new technologies, and to incentivize and encourage faculty to explore bold new ideas.

Nelson recruited Matthew Stubenberg, director of Legal Technology at the Harvard Law School Access to Justice A2J Lab, to serve as the UH law school’s first Innovator in Residence for two years. Stubenberg will work with faculty, students and staff and take on technology and justice projects.

“Stubenberg is a problem solver who believes technology can make legal services accessible to all,” said Nelson, who first brought Stubenberg to UH in 2021 to teach the law school’s first Coding for Lawyers class.

“It’s exciting to have Matt here now full-time. He will have more time and capacity to take on advanced projects and engage our students with opportunities similar to those he provided at Harvard,” said Nelson. “Our students and other community members will benefit greatly from his data-driven approach to collaboration that furthers justice.”

Elevating international expertise, opportunities

Nelson has also recruited UH law Professor Carol Petersen to serve as director of International Programming, to further the UH law school’s mission of outreach and opportunity in the graduate degree space and to elevate international expertise and opportunities.

Petersen taught law in Hong Kong from 1989 to 2006, and served as director of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law from 2001 to 2004. She joined the UH law school faculty as a visiting professor in 2006 and served under a joint appointment as director and graduate chair of the Matsunaga Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

“Carol’s vast international expertise, including her experience living and working in Hong Kong are essential to helping us reach our goal of broadening global opportunities and expertise,” Nelson said. “Because of our geographical and cultural connections, having a strong global bridge to the Pacific region and beyond gives our students a unique skill set that enhances their education and future career opportunities in a shrinking world.”

The UH law school embraces Hawaiʻi’s diversity and values as part of its collaborative, multicultural community which prepares students for excellence in the practice of law and related careers that advance justice and the rule of law. The UH law school is marking its 50th anniversary in 2023. Its part-time program is rated No. 21 and its full-time program No. 91 in the 2023 U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of law schools.