For more information about this program, contact D. Kapua‘ala Sproat at (808) 956-7489 or by email.
Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law
Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law is an academic center that promotes education, scholarship, community outreach and collaboration on issues of law, culture and justice for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific and Indigenous peoples.
Established in 2005 at the Law School through a Native Hawaiian Education Act grant, Ka Huli Ao focuses on education, research, scholarship, community outreach, and the preservation of invaluable historical, legal, traditional, and customary materials. It also offers new courses and supports Native Hawaiian and other law students as they pursue legal careers and leadership roles.
Education, Research, and Scholarship
Ka Huli Ao facilitates wide-ranging programs to promote education, research and scholarship on the unique aspects of Native Hawaiian law, and the intersection of local, federal and international laws affecting Native Hawaiians. Ka Huli Ao also offers new courses on Native Hawaiian and Indigenous law, as well as the first-ever Native Hawaiian Law Certificate. See below for more information on this Law Certificate.
Ka Huli Ao facilitates discourse between the legal community, the Native Hawaiian community, and the community at large. Law students and faculty—through workshops, symposia, and meetings – inform and educate, and are educated and informed by, the community about significant Native Hawaiian issues, history, and law.
Accessing Hawaiian Legal and Historical Materials
Access to early Hawaiian legal and historical resources is currently limited. Ka Huli Ao has created a searchable online archive [punawaiola.org] of Hawaiian legal and historical materials for use by law students, lawyers, scholars and the community.
To find out more, please visit the Ka Huli Ao website.
Maoli Thursday is our popular lunchtime forum and speaker series held the first Thursday of the month during the semester. Maoli Thursday features speakers on a wide range of topics, from traditional and customary rights to international law, resource management, ancestral lands, legal challenges to Native Hawaiian programs, and job opportunities in Native Hawaiian law.
KA HULI AO LSAT PREPARATION PROGRAM
Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law offers a Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) Preparation Program to support prospective applicants to the William S. Richardson School of Law. The Ka Huli Ao LSAT Preparation Course is intended to further the vision of Chief Justice Richardson: to provide access to legal education for all the people of Hawai‘i.
If you would like to receive emails about upcoming classes, please email us to be added to our listserv.
For a free online LSAT Prep course that allows for self-pacing, check out Khan Academy website.
If you are interested in advising and other resources related to applying to law school, please check out the Pre-Law Advising Center’s website.
“We are committed to learning as a collaborative enterprise. Our program challenges students to grow intellectually and professionally. Faculty members engage with students as partners as well as serving as sources of knowledge.”
Camille A. Nelson, Dean and Professor of Law
Scholarship & Legal Resources
In August 2015 Ka Huli Ao released Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise, the definitive resource for understanding critical issues affecting Native Hawaiians. This extensively updated and revised edition of the groundbreaking 1991 Native Hawaiian Rights Handbook offers a comprehensive overview as well as analysis of specific topics within this complex area of law. Native Hawaiian Law: A Treatise is a collaborative effort of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, and Kamehameha Publishing.
‘Ohia advances cutting-edge research in Native Hawaiian law; articles are written by Ka Huli Ao’s Post-Juris Doctor (J.D.) Research Fellows. The publication fosters understanding of Native Hawaiian history, culture, and social context, facilitates law teaching and learning, and supports on-the-ground Native Hawaiian justice issues. Ka Huli Ao’s Post-J.D. Research Fellowship Program allows recent law graduates to produce cutting-edge research and scholarship that advances Native Hawaiian law.
The fellowships and articles were made possible with funding from Kamehameha Schools.
The Commerce of Recognition (Buy One Ethos, Get One Free): Toward Curing the Harm of the United States’ International Wrongful Acts in the Hawaiian Islands [PDF, 8MB]
Where Blood Runs with the Land: Partition Actions and the Loss of Native Hawaiian Ancestral Land [PDF, 6.6MB]
Ho‘oulu Lāhui: Land, Economic Development, and Nation Rebuilding In Hawai‘i [PDF, 6.5MB]
He Wa‘a Hou: An Alter-Native Court For Hawai‘i [PDF, 6.5MB]
Government ‘Of The People, By The People, For The People’: Cultural Sovereignty, Civil Rights, and Good Native Hawaiian Governance [PDF, 514KB]
Breann Swann Nu‘uhiwa
These legal primers provide community-oriented introductions to laws governing iwi kupuna (ancestral bones), traditional and customary rights, water, and quiet title. They are designed to summarize major laws and issues, and direct those with additional questions to available resources.
Although these primers are intended to provide helpful information, they are not substitutes for, and do not provide, individualized legal advice. If you have legal questions, please consult an attorney who specializes in these areas of law. These primers were printed with funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
Ho‘i Hou I Ka Iwikuamo‘o: A Legal Primer for the Protection of Iwi Kupuna in Hawai‘i Nei [PDF, 5.4MB]
Natasha Baldauf ’11 and Malia Akutagawa ’97
Ho‘ohana Aku, a Ho‘ola Aku: A Legal Primer for Traditional and Customary Rights in Hawai‘i [PDF, 3.9MB]
David M. Forman ’93 and Susan K. Serrano ’98
OLA I KA WAI: A Legal Primer for Water Use and Management in Hawai‘i [PDF, 3.5MB]
D. Kapua‘ala Sproat ’98
E ‘Onipa‘a i Ke Kulaiwi: A Legal Primer for Quiet Title & Partition Law in Hawai‘i [PDF, 7.1MB]
Stephanie M. Chen with Kainui M. Smith ’13, Mari L. Tsukayama ’12, & Lisa H. Higa ’14
Certificates & Requirements
Native Hawaiian Law Certificate
Ka Huli Ao’s courses prepare students with the knowledge and tools to advance the traditions and legal rights of Native Hawaiians and other Pacific and Indigenous Peoples. It also offers the first-ever Certificate in Native Hawaiian Law. Since the inception of Ka Huli Ao in 2005, over a hundred graduates have completed a Native Hawaiian Law Certificate.
Certificate Requirements and Courses
The Native Hawaiian Law certificate candidates must fulfill course and procedural requirements before being awarded a Certificate upon graduation. Students are advised to consult with the Ka Huli Ao director and faculty during their 2L and 3L years to ensure they are on track to complete the certificate requirements. Certificate candidates need to submit the completed certificate form to the Ka Huli Ao director no later than 30 days before graduation.
Latest News from Ka Huli Ao Center
Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law hosted its first Maoli Thursday forum and speaker series of the Fall semester.
With over 150 participants, the training focused on the trust obligations and duties of state and county decision makers regarding Native Hawaiian natural and cultural resources.
A Pre-Commencement Reception honored certificate recipients for both KHA and ELP as well as LLM graduates with Specializations in Environmental Law.
After four years of recovery, Ka Huli Ao and the Environmental and Native Hawaiian Law Clinics help secure water for kalo farmers in Waiʻoli.
Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law conducted an I Mana i ka Wai Water Law and Advocacy Training for Department of Hawaiian Home Land beneficiaries over Zoom.
The Water Crisis at Kapūkakī: Law, Culture and Environmental Justice was held by Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law.