University of Hawaii receives ABA reaccreditation

"Mau hoohiwahiwa". That's Hawaiian for congratulations.

The William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been reaccredited for 10 years by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions.

The law school’s long and rigorous reaccreditation process took place from 2016–17 and was granted until 2026–27. It was first accredited in 1982.

Said Dean Avi Soifer, “The accreditation committee concluded that we have demonstrated compliance with ABA standards…(and therefore) the law school remains an approved school.”

In the past, ABA accreditation was for only a seven-year period, but was recently extended to 10 years, said Soifer, who has overseen three reaccreditation processes at the school since he arrived in 2003.

The complex process entails a deep dive into the school’s programs, its support for students, its plans and aspirations for the future and much more. It includes an extended visit to the Law School by the ABA site visit team, joined by a representative of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The team visited classes and conducted intensive interviews of faculty, staff, and students.

According to the school, an important element in the recent accreditation is the construction of the new Clinical and Trial Advocacy Building, set to open early in 2019. (Pictured above.)

For decades, the Richardson Law School has provided legal assistance to many of the most vulnerable and underserved members of the community, with students working under the guidance of faculty members, but the dedicated space for practical learning in the new building will dramatically increase the school’s ability to offer practical training for its students while increasingly serving the community.

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