UH Law School leaps in rankings by U.S. News & World Report

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Mar 10, 2015

The William S. Richardson School of Law
The William S. Richardson School of Law

The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa jumped 18 places in the 2016 rankings released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report, continuing the school’s standing as one of the nation’s top tier law schools.

The University of Hawai‘i Law School was ranked in 82nd place among the 149 best law schools in the country, tying with the University of Oregon, University of Cincinnati in Ohio, St. John’s University in New York, and University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

In the same new rankings, the Richardson Law School was first in the nation as the “Most Diverse” law school, meaning that students are “most likely to encounter classmates from a different racial or ethnic group.”

The Richardson Law School repeatedly scores either as best or one of the best U.S. law schools for its diversity, both among students and faculty.

Richardson Law School Associate Dean for Student Services Ronette Kawakami, Class of ‘85, called the rankings solid recognition of the excellent education offered by Richardson, which is one of the nation’s smallest and most affordable law schools.

“It’s a testament to our innovative programs, the diversity of our faculty and administration, but also to the strength of our students who are known for being highly supportive of one another,” said Kawakami. “Our small size allows us to personalize the legal education we offer. While our students achieve in the classroom, they also have fun, and graduate to become outstanding members of the Bar.”

During Monday’s events as part of “Admitted Students Day,” which welcomed members of Richardson’s incoming class of 2015-16, Student Bar Association President Matthew Tsujimura, Class of ’16, also spoke of the warmth and camaraderie that are a large part of the Richardson spirit.

“Part of the reason I came here is because it’s a small, tight-knit community,” said Tsujimura. “It’s a wonderful school where we all get to know each other.  Every student has each other's back.”

In addition to ranking the full-time day program, the U.S. News consumer guide ranked the Evening Part-Time program 30th in the nation, just ahead of Texas A&M University and St. Louis University. And it ranked the Environmental Law Program in 25th place -- one of the best in the nation.

While fewer than half the country’s law schools offer a part-time program, 14 percent of all law students attend part time, noted U.S. News. That amounts to 18,450 law students, out of a total enrollment of 128,641 nationally.

A year ago Richardson Law School administrators were predicting a surge in the 2016 rankings because the 2013 bar passage rate soared seven points to 82 percent.

A school’s bar passage rate is one of the complex array of metrics used by U.S. News in making its evaluations, including student/faculty ratios, employment at graduation and nine months afterward, LSAT scores and acceptance rates.

In analyzing the strengths of the Richardson Law School, U.S. News noted that it has a tough acceptance rate, which falls at 38 percent of those applying for admission. It also noted that, of the 2013 graduating class, 35.8 percent were employed at graduation, and 71.6 percent were employed within nine months of graduation.

Additionally, the new rankings pointed out that, in 2014, Richardson had a student/faculty ratio of eight to one.

For more information, visit: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/