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UH law school is a top choice for practical training in environmental law and law.

UH law school is a top choice for practical training in environmental law and law.

law school commencement

law school commencement

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of LawIt was ranked among the top law schools in the country, with an A rating in environmental law and an AA rating for practical training in the most recent issue of PreLaw magazine.

The UHThe law school was ranked amongst the top 56 schools for environmental law in the country. The UH Environmental Law Program (ELP) celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, and continues to be recognized for its diverse, rich education and international participation.

“Although it is gratifying to receive an A grade, we are most proud of the fact that we have continued to develop critical skills for students seeking to practice environmental law in the fields of public interest, public service and private practice, including our efforts to engage students in international environmental negotiations during a critical decade of Earth’s history,” said ELPDirector David Forman.

ELPMultiple publications have recognized it annually, including U.S. News & World Report. PrelawMagazine was also ranked the UHFor those who are interested in law school, you can apply earlier in the year. Its diversity and international law are two of its greatest assets programs.

Producing practice-ready lawyers

The magazines “Best Schools for Practical Training” ranks 70 of the nations top law schools known for producing practice-ready attorneys. The UHThe law schools rating has increased to A- from B+ a year ago.

Clinics were the most weighted metrics in the ranking methodology, followed by externships and simulation courses. Other factors included moot court and pro bono hours as well as additional practical training such legal writing.

Director, Refugee and Immigration Law Clinic John EganHe cited the authentic experience students have in advocating for justice. “Our clinical program provides law students with real life practice experiences, from client interviewing to brief writing to in-court appearances representing actual clients,” he said. “When we are able to succeed with a case, as some of our recent students have done with some challenging asylum cases, the feeling of accomplishment goes well beyond the grade points earned.”

Our students are provided with many clinical and other practical experiences. This helps us to teach the skills that enable us to fulfill our mission of community-service.
—Nicholas Mirkay

UHLaw school students have many experiences that enrich their practical training. Externships are extensions of their law school education and active participation in the community.

Trisha Y. Nakamura, director of career services and professional development, said, “Practical training is abundant at Richardson. Our clinic, externship, and pro bono programs are rich with diverse opportunities ranging from discussing a bench memo with a judge to interviewing clients on a neighbor island and representing them in court.”

Nakamura also noted that the local community was involved in the event. Hawaiʻi,This allows for both organic and structured relationships with downtown practitioners, judges, and legal nonprofits, which offer a wealth of skills-based education on a variety subject areas.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Nicholas Mirkay said, “Since its inception, the William S. Richardson School of Law has been dedicated to the service and betterment of the community. By providing our students with numerous clinical and other practical experiences, we are teaching the skills that ensure our mission of community service is continuously achieved.”

This is an example of UH Mānoas 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, please visit the UHWebsite for law school.

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