Uʻilani Tanigawa Lum has joined the William S. Richardson School of Law as an Assistant Professor of Law effective March 2023. She will be teaching the Native Hawaiian Rights Clinic and contributing to the work of Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law as an affiliated faculty member.
Originally from Makawao, Maui, Uʻi is a hula practitioner and licensed attorney; she is also a 2019 graduate of Richardson Law School. U‘i most recently served as a Lecturer-in-Law and Post-Juris Doctor Fellow at Ka Huli Ao. Prior to her legal career, Uʻi worked at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Hawaiian Studies from UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge.
Ka Huli Ao’s director, Professor Kapua Sproat ‘98, highlighted the key roles Uʻi would immediately be assuming. “We’re thrilled to have Uʻi join our ʻohana in this new capacity! In addition to developing and teaching courses, she will co-direct our Native Hawaiian Rights Clinic, which provides legal services to rural, Kānaka communities with the greatest needs,” she said.
In addition to teaching and co-directing the clinic, Uʻi will be spearheading some of Ka Huli Ao’s community outreach and education initiatives. This includes Native Hawaiian Law Trainings, which are required for members of select state and county boards and commissions. “Uʻi has also accepted a leadership role in the publication of Ka Huli Ao’s second revised edition of the Native Hawaiian Law Treatise,”said Kapua. “And this is just the beginning. We have high hopes and great expectations for the work that Uʻi will continue to do for our lāhui!”
Together with her husband, Uʻi founded Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, a non-profit organization dedicated to catalyzing aloha ʻāina (love of the land) through mele (songs or chants) and other cultural practices. She also serves on the Board of Maui United Way and as the secretary for Hawaiʻi Land Trust. Uʻi now resides in ʻĀhuimanu, Koʻolaupoko, Oʻahu with her ʻohana.
Uʻi is part of an impressive cohort of several new faculty hired in the 2022-23 academic year. More new faculty expected to join Richardson Law School this fall will be announced.