Record number Native Hawaiian Law Certificates awarded

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Derek Kauanoe, (808) 956-8411
Student & Community Outreach, Law
Posted: May 17, 2011

14 of 15 Native Hawaiian Law Certificate recipients
14 of 15 Native Hawaiian Law Certificate recipients
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law graduated 15 law students with  the Native Hawaiian Law Certificate at its annual Spring commencement ceremony held on Sunday, May 15. Last year, seven law students graduated with this distinction.
The 15 awardees are diverse and composed of both Native Hawaiian and non-Native Hawaiian students: Natasha Baldauf, Amy Brinker, Elena Bryant, Maria Carmichael, Amanda Donlin, Mark Jensen, Ha‘aheo Kaho‘ohalahala, Ryan Kanaka‘ole, Sarah Kaopuiki, Kekoa Keiley, Christopher Leong, Ann Otteman, Jeannin-Melissa Russo, Sherilyn Tavares, and Alexa Zen.

Students contributed to both the community and the law school in several ways:

Baldauf and Kaho'ohalahala conducted community presentations for Hawai'i's rural and farming communities regarding water law with law professor Kapua Sproat. During these presentations, Ka Huli Ao's water primer was also distributed to attendees.

Brinker has been recognized as spear-heading the legislative effort to "legalize pa'i'ai" and for founding by successfully advocating for passage of Senate Bill 101. SB 101 now waits for Governor Abercrombie's approval.

Donlin interned at Kahea: the Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance and the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. These two organizations are public-interest law firms in Hawai'i.

Zen volunteered on the Leona Kalima case against the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Law students pursuing the Native Hawaiian Law Certificate enroll in a variety of classes. The new graduates' employment plans include: working for the Hawai'i judiciary, private firms, the military (Judge Advocate General), the federal government, and non-profits.

Established with federal funding in 2005 at the William S. Richardson School of Law, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian is an academic center that promotes education, scholarship, community outreach and collaboration on issues of law, culture and justice for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific and Indigenous peoples. Law Professor Melody Kapilialoha MacKenzie serves as the Director of Ka Huli Ao, and is also among the Law School’s first graduates.

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