Law School Only Small School in Nation Still in Top 100

March 18, 2011

First in Diversity; Third in Student Teacher Ratio

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa's William S. Richardson School of Law maintained its spot as the smallest law school in the top 100 in the U.S. News & World Report annual law school rankings this year. The Law School tied for 95th this year and its new part-time evening program moved up to 26th . The Law School also ranked first in the nation in diversity.

Highlights in the new rankings include:

  • 3rd best student teacher ratio
  • 20th most selective school in terms of ratio of admission offers to applications
  • 23rd lowest average student debt upon graduation


Law School Dean Avi Soifer said, “We have a multitude of reasons to be very proud of our Law School that reach way beyond the numbers. Moreover, these rankings are skewed against a small school like ours that flourishes in a state that has no big law firms. We continue to strive to reflect CJ Richardson’s founding vision and we are doing very well in affording opportunities that otherwise would not exist while offering an absolutely first-rate legal education to all our students.”

In a much-discussed February article in the New Yorker magazine, author Malcolm Gladwell presented a devastating critique of the methodology used by U.S. News and World Report. And in a recent study using core criteria suggested by Gladwell--index of value for tuition dollars (40 percent); LSAT scores (40 percent); and faculty scholarship (20 percent)--the William S. Richardson School of Law ranked 30th in the country.

Soifer explained, “Fortunately, we are not driven nearly as much by rankings as are many other law schools these days. In fact, the number of applications we received this year again set a record. We were up over 11 percent while the national number of applicants is down about that same percentage. Word is out that we offer excellent, face-to-face legal training within a remarkably diverse Law School community in which our students actually look out for one another.”

The U.S. News & World Report rankings of professional schools in business, education, engineering, law, and medicine are based on statistical indicators self-reported by law school administrators across the nation as well as survey results from the judicial branch and most recently, the top 100 large law firms in the continental United States.

Press Release