Hawai'i State News

Law school at University of Hawai‘i earns top marks for environmental law, more

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The Environmental Law Program attended “Pilina Kanaloa: Ocean Awareness and Action Day” at the Capitol on April 4. Photo Courtesy: University of Hawai‘i

The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 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 article featured the Environmental Law Program’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 Environmental Law Program 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 Environmental Law Program 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 Hawai‘i State Capitol.

The University of Hawai‘i 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.


Reflecting on the high demand for online and hybrid programs in recent years, preLaw also recognized the University of Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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.”

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