Derek Kauanoe '08

  • Student and Community Outreach Coordinator, Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law
  • Junior Faculty Specialist


  • JD William S. Richardson School of Law 2008


Derek is the Student and Community Outreach Coordinator for Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law. He graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law in 2008 with a Pacific Asian Legal Studies Certificate with a Specialty in Native Hawaiian Law. While in law school, Derek was an Alaka'i of 'Ahahui O Hawaiʻi, President of the Hawaiian Society of Law & Politics, and the captain of the Native American Moot Court team. Derek was a research assistant under Professor Melody MacKenzie from 2005 to 2008, and has done extensive research on Federal Indian Law.

With support from Professor MacKenzie, Derek has been successful in obtaining grant money from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs to create a recruitment program designed to increase the number of Native Hawaiian law students at the Law School. This program offers Law School Admissions Test preparation classes to Native Hawaiians and others interested in pursuing a legal education. Derek also successfully conducted a feasibility study for a pre-law program to prepare Native Hawaiians for the rigorous study of law.