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The ELP attended “Pilina Kanaloa: Ocean Awareness and Action Day” at the Capitol on April 4.

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law earned an A rating as one of the nation’s top law schools for environmental law in the spring 2023 issue of preLaw magazine. The UH law school was also ranked among top law schools for practical training and online education in the latest issue.

The article featured the Environmental Law Program (ELP’s) three-day service-learning field trip to the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge in fall 2022 which included students, alumni and faculty.

“Part of the law school’s mission is to lead in environmental law,” said ELP Co-Director Richard Wallsgrove. “We are proud to carry on that tradition of excellence by stoking the passion and hard work of our students in the classroom, in the field and in the Environmental Law Clinic.”

Earlier this month, Professor Denise Antolini’s wildlife class, along with the ELP and more than 25 nonprofit organizations and agencies, attended an event, “Pilina Kanaloa: Ocean Awareness and Action Day.” The group hosted an educational booth, engaged with the Ocean Task Force and spoke to legislative leaders at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol.

Practical training

The UH law school earned a B+ rating as one of the nation’s top law schools for practical training.

This year’s “Best Schools for Practical Training” ranks a total of 68 of the nation’s top law schools known for producing practice-ready attorneys. Ranking methodology factors in moot court participation, simulation courses, unique practical training offerings and pro bono hours, with the most weight given to clinics and externships.

“For its size, Richardson provides a robust experiential program, which includes its eleven ‘live client’ clinics and seven simulation skills courses,” said Co-Director of the Clinical Law Program and Professor Calvin Pang. “In addition, students may hone their lawyering skills in the school’s longstanding pro bono program and through participation on one of Richardson’s many moot court teams.”

The UH law school’s externship program also provides the opportunity each semester for 25–30 students to work under the guidance and mentorship of supervising attorneys and judges in the community.

Online, hybrid programs

Reflecting on the high demand for online and hybrid programs in recent years, preLaw also recognized the UH law school among the top 25 law schools “leading the way to deliver the best in online education.” The legal profession is catching up with other disciplines and providing an online education that is comparable to those offered in a traditional, in-person experience.

The fast-paced growth of online programs is helping to increase access to legal education for students who may typically be underserved, and those with professional and family responsibilities; students are drawn to the flexibility and affordability of online and hybrid programs.

Speaking of the new Hawaiʻi Online JD Flex, Dean Camille Nelson said, “[t]his program recognizes our global connectedness and more flexibly supports prospective law students in obtaining a Richardson law degree without having to relocate, leave their families, or cease their employment elsewhere. This next-generation part-time program broadens access to legal education, promotes greater diversity in the bar and bench and expands educational opportunities in the state and region while remaining committed to the culture and community that make the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law a special place unlike any other.”

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