More in JD (Juris Doctor) Program:
For more information about this program, contact Troy J.H. Andrade at (808) 956-6543 or by email.
Ulu Lehua Scholars Program
The initiative now known as the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program was established by the William S. Richardson School of Law in 1974 as a manifestation of its commitment to make legal education accessible to members of all of Hawai‘i’s diverse communities. Each year, the Program provides a small number of students who have demonstrated their academic potential, leadership ability, and commitment to social justice with an opportunity to obtain a legal education at Richardson.
Candidates who are chosen for the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program have, through their actions, demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to social justice and community service, an ability to overcome educational and other forms of adversity, an impressive academic record, and the intelligence and seriousness of purpose required to succeed in law school, pass the bar, and become a public spirited legal professional.
Lehua Scholars benefit from participation in a small, supportive learning community within the Law School, and course load flexibility in their first year. In their first semester as Lehua Scholars, they will, like all first year (“1L”) law students, take Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Lawyering Fundamentals courses. Their fourth class, Torts, will be taught by the Lehua Director and will be only for Ulu Lehua Scholars. In addition to these classes, scholars will participate in the Ulu Lehua Seminar entitled American Legal Systems, which is taught by the Lehua Director. American Legal Systems is an introduction to the legal institutions, processes, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the relationship between law and social change. American Legal Systems provides students with structured and individualized instruction in legal reasoning, legal writing, law school study techniques, and other foundational legal skills.
TRADITION OF LEADERSHIP
Entering Lehua Scholars benefit from and contribute to a strong and cohesive Lehua community. Upper division Lehua Scholars provide a structured tutoring program for the 1L Lehua Scholars. Lehua Scholars often assume leadership roles in such organizations as the University of Hawai‘i Law Review, the ‘Ahahui o Hawai‘i, the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, the Student Bar Association, and the Law School’s award-winning moot court teams. Upon graduation, Scholars become part of a large and influential Lehua alumni community, which includes current judges, government leaders, social justice advocates, business administrators, and prominent attorneys. Recent graduates have obtained prestigious judicial clerkships, including with the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, the federal District Court, the Hawai‘i Intermediate Court of Appeals, and the Hawai‘i Circuit Court.
Each year, the Admissions Committee selects ten to twelve applicants to join the first year class as part of the Ulu Lehua Scholars Program. There is no separate application process for the Program. However, applicants who are interested in being considered are asked to include an additional statement in their application discussing how they meet the Law School’s criteria for admission as a Lehua Scholar. Lehua Scholars are selected for admission not solely by quantitative factors, but also by the following qualitative measures:
- Activities and/or employment manifesting a strong commitment to social justice, the public interest, and service to legally, socially, and economically disadvantaged communities;
- A record of overcoming social, educational, economic, or other sources of adversity;
- The ability to serve as a role model for and mentor to members of legally underserved and economically disadvantaged communities who are striving to overcome adversity and reach their full potential;
- The ability to bring distinctive viewpoints and life experiences to the Law School community, enriching the understanding of all who work and study here; and
- Educational and other achievements suggesting that the applicant’s ability to succeed in law school is inadequately reflected by numerical admissions indicators, such as the LSAT score and/or undergraduate grade point average.
“Never in their wildest dreams would my people have imagined that one of their own would be standing amongst the privileged, learning the skills necessary to effectively advocate on behalf of Maoli value systems and social justice. The Lehua Program made that possible.”
V. Lu’ukia Nakanelua, ulu lehua scholar