Virginia E. Hench

  • Professor of Law
  • Director, Hawai‘i Innocence Project


  • BA magna cum laude American University 1970
  • MA University of Iowa 1974
  • JD University of Richmond 1987
  • LLM Temple University 1993


Professor Hench joined the University of Hawai`i in 1993 following two years as the Abraham L. Friedman Teaching Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Temple University Law School. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Professor Hench taught in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Italy.

While attending the T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, she was elected to the McNeill Law Society, served on the Law Review, and worked part-time for the Sheriff's Department of the City of Richmond. After graduating from law school, Professor Hench clerked at a large Norfolk, Virginia law firm then served as law clerk to United States District Chief Judge J. Calvitt Clarke, Jr.

Following her judicial clerkship, she engaged in general practice with three other attorneys in Indiana until 1991. As a private attorney, she also conducted seminars on civil rights law for Indiana police chiefs and officers.



Professor Hench's scholarship includes articles published in Temple Law Review, Thurgood Marshall Law Review, Case Western Law Review and the University of Hawai'i Law Review.


  • CRIMINAL LAW, CASES AND MATERIALS (case book) (8th Ed. Foundation Press, May 2008) and TEACHER’S MANUAL, CRIMINAL LAW CASES AND MATERIALS (Foundation Press, 2008) (co-author; sole author of 4 chapters and co-author of new Ch. 12 on National Security Criminal Law Issues.


  • Grant from the California Western School of Law via U.S. Department of Justice (for Hawai‘i Innocence Project).
  • Grant from Office of Hawaiian Affairs (June 2008) (for Hawai‘i Innocence Project).
  • Grant from Hawai‘i Justice Foundation (June 2007) (for Hawai‘i Innocence Project).
  • Grant from Hawai‘i Justice Foundation (March 2007) (for Hawai‘i Innocence Project).