The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i was again ranked among the nation’s “Best Value” law schools in the fall 2021 issue of PreLaw magazine.
Richardson was included among the nation’s 60 law schools recognized. The list factored in variables like bar pass rate, employment, tuition, cost of living, and indebtedness upon graduation. The most significant variables are the employment rate, which is weighted at 35 percent, and tuition at 25 percent.
Sixty-five percent of Richardson’s students received grants and scholarships during the 2019-2020 academic year.
Acting Director of Admissions Loreto Coloma, Jr. said, “It has been helpful that our tuition has remained frozen for the last several years, and will continue through the 2022-2023 academic year. In tandem with the other ways the administration supports its students, it’s no surprise the Law School has been able to remain a Best Value school.”
Richardson earned a B+ rating, with an ultimate bar pass rate of 90.67 percent and a graduate employment rate of 88.2 percent. According to data cited in the article, the average student debt accumulated from a private law school is about $133,480; Richardson’s average student debt is $59,792.
As value continues to be a significant factor for prospective students weighing their options, new graduates must decide upon employment options while facing varying amounts of academic debt.
“On average, 30% of students enter private practice, 30% find government work, and 30% take on judicial clerkships,” said Trisha Y. Nakamura, Director of Career Services and Professional Development.
Richardson provides opportunities for students to meet with legal professionals from different industries from their very first year in the program.
“The William S. Richardson School of Law provides a strong foundation for future lawyers. In their first year, students have opportunities to visit local law firms, meet state and federal judges, and participate in on-campus recruitment,” Nakamura said.
The law school has also been recognized nationally earlier this year for its international and environmental law programs, excellent student and faculty diversity, and the significant number of graduates pursuing jobs in public service. More prospective students are choosing Richardson as well, as this year the law school received its highest number of applications in nine years.