Getting Into the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law

University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law Overview

Set in a valley located 10-15 minutes from Honolulu, the University of Hawaii’s law school is one of the smallest in the country. There are around 300 students, with an average of 80 students in a class. The school embraces the area’s diversity and offers a collaborative environment where students support and motivate each other to boost their chances for success in the legal profession.

Named after Hawaii’s State Supreme Court chief justice, William S. Richardson School of Law is not only the smallest but also the only law school in the state. It is fully accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is an official member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The school has adopted a mission of creating an elite community for teaching students to become future lawyers, judges, and servants of the law with an emphasis on Hawaii law and the Pacific Rim region.

Some of the programs include rights of native Hawaiians, environmental law, Pacific and Asian legal systems, and maritime law. International students can choose between LLM Program Advanced JD for Foreign Law Graduates, Visiting International Professionals Program (VIP), and the Visiting Scholars Program.

  • Business Law Clustered Curriculum is supported by corporate, cross-border, innovation & entrepreneurship, and small firm practice clusters. These clusters are responsive to the needs of the local Hawaii population and the next generation of corporate lawyers.
  • The Environmental Law Program was established to recognize the common challenges in Hawaii regarding the environmentally sustainable economy. The program educates students to become policymakers, future attorneys, and scholars in environmental law, both locally and internationally.
  • Pacific-Asian Legal Studies (PALS) Courses provide an overall perspective on the U.S. legal system. Students have an opportunity to broaden their knowledge through participation in studies centers, externships, and internships.
  • The Visiting International Professionals (VIP) Program provides business professionals with a chance to study U.S. and international law. The VIP program is excellent for career professionals who want to educate themselves on specialized law practice but aren’t looking for a degree.

Every year, the January term offers specially designed courses coached by reputable scholars from the U.S. and Europe. Furthermore, the Jurists-in-Residence program allows students to meet with U.S Supreme Court justices. The justices discuss current judicial cases, teach classes, and present seminars during the week they spend at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law.

The faculty members are acknowledged internationally for their expertise and scholarship and locally (in Hawaii) for their public service. The lecturers are committed to teaching and researching, and they are always accessible for both new and post-graduate students. The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law has a student-faculty ratio (8:1) that results in small classes and close interaction between students and teachers.

University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law Rankings

Deciding which law school to attend this year is the biggest decision you will have to make regarding your career. The law school on your resume carries more weight than you think, especially when you are looking for your first job position.

Your choice of a law school can set you apart from all other graduates looking for a job. As a general rule, the higher the law school is ranked, the more likely it is to find your dream job.

Compared to other colleges, the University of Hawaii is ranked the No. 1 Asian Law School in the U.S. based on faculty and student enrollment and is ranked No. 4 for student diversity. It is among the top schools in the country for Native Hawaiian law and Pacific-Asian legal studies.

In the Best Law Schools category, the University of Hawaii-Manoa is ranked No. 96 (from a total of 198 schools) and No. 31 in Part-Time Law (from a total of 69 schools).

University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law Admissions

What Is The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law Acceptance Rate?

Law school acceptance rates may vary. Some universities are more selective than others and have low acceptance rates when it comes to accepting new students.

Being familiar with what kind of factors the school considers in approving admission will help you prepare and customize your application correctly. LSAT scores, undergraduate GPA, quality experience, and recommendations are some of the most important factors that the Admission Committee considers when deciding which students will be accepted.

The University of Hawaii is considered a competitive school. With an official acceptance rate of 37%, it ranks No. 109 in terms of student selectivity.




Class of 2024 556 204 (36.69%) 85 (15.3%)
25% Median 75%
GPA 2.91 3.27 3.60
LSAT 151 154 158

University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law LSAT Percentiles

75th percentile 158
50th percentile 154
25th percentile 151

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2021 Entering Class Profile

Number of Students 314
LSAT Score 154
Undergraduate GPA 2.91 – 3.60
% Women 47.2%
% Students of Color 36.2%

What Is The Tuition For The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law?

In-State Resident Non-Resident
Full Time $22,392 $45,816
Part Time $16,792 $34,361

What Are The Living Expenses At The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law?

On-Campus $19,106
Off-Campus $19,106

What Are The Housing Options At The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law?

On-Campus Yes
Off-Campus Yes

Bar Passage Rates At The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law

Reporting 99.0%
First-Time Takers 97
University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law Average 69.8%
Hawaii (State) Average 74.4%
National Average 79.64%

Application Deadlines

When will the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law application materials be available?

The application materials are available at all times at the official school’s website. You can learn more about the application instructions here.

When does the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law begin accepting applications?

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is currently accepting new applications for the upcoming Fall Program. The application for Fall 2022 admission will officially become available on or before September 1, 2021.

How are applications to the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law submitted?

The University of Hawaii accepts admission applications via the LSAC online application service. The priority deadline is February 1, and the final deadline is April 1.

Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree (before August 31st)

Step 2: Take the LSAT

Step 3: Register for the LSAC Credential Assembly Service (LSAC combines LSAT score, letters of recommendation, writing samples, and TOEFL score)

Step 4: Apply for Financial Aid (File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Step 5: Apply to the University of Hawaii at Manoa Richardson School of Law using the online LSAC service (including an application fee, personal statement, and resume)

Does the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law have an “early admission” or an “early decision” process?

The University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law emails students regarding application decisions. The faculty will also update each applicant’s status page online. Applicants who submit complete applications with all information required before February 1 will receive early decisions in February. Students who apply after February 1 may not receive decisions until the end of April.

Most decisions are made within six to eight weeks of the submission. The Admissions Committee may hold some applications for revision until the end of the cycle.

How much is the application fee, and when is the deadline?

Application Fee $75
Early Decision Deadline February 1
Regular Decision Deadline April 1

Does the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law grant interviews?

No, the Admissions staff does not grant interviews. However, the faculty encourages all students to visit the law school and attend a law school class. You can request a visit here.

Employment After the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law

Median Salary Private Sector $85,000
Median Salary Public Sector $60,636

If you are one of those brave souls currently learning the basics of the law or one of the brave ones soon to graduate and start looking for jobs, you want to know what the legal profession holds for you. Between the highly competitive law service industry and the declining employment rates, students are worried about whether they will be able to find the job position of their dreams.

As long as you have a high LSAT score and are going to the University of Hawaii at Manoa, you have nothing to worry about regarding employment.

Class of 2021 at the University of Hawaii has a high employment rate of 82%. More than 99% of students reported their employment status nine months after graduation as follows:

  • About 21% of students found work in law firms.
  • 8% of students found employment in the business sector, 8% in the public interest sector, 58% in the government sector, and 2% in the academic industry.
  • About 88% of the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law graduates found work in Hawaii. The next most popular work destinations were the District of Columbia 2% and California 2%.