Eric A. Irwin

Hometown: Ashton, IL

Degrees: Concurrent BAs, Asian Studies (China) and Political Science

Why did you choose UH Law?
I chose UH Law primarily for two reasons: (1) I would like to build on my degree by earning a Pacific Asian Legal Studies (PALS) certificate, and (2) I would love to practice and raise my family here in Hawaiʻi.

What were you doing before you started Law School? 
I was working during my year break between undergrad and law school. The most interesting job I had was working on a project for the Honolulu Ethics Commission.

Where are you headed after you graduate?  
I would love to stay here in Honolulu, but neccessity will be the final judge of that. At this point in my 1L life, it's difficult to know the area of law I would like to practice, but working in a firm is where I would like to end up.

Describe a highlight of your law school experience.  
I love any "ah-ha" moment. A lot of what we do is new (at least to me), and I love when something clicks. It makes all the work worth it.

Describe your favorite organization and some activities related to that organization.  
There are so many to chose from but I find Pacific Asian Law Stuents Organization (PALSO) to be a very active group (with both serious and fun activities). There are events that the School does that are great, too. I've been able to watch a movie at the Honolulu Arts Museum and hear judges revealing what they want in clerks.

Describe your UH law school experience in 3 words.  
Busy. Engaging. Rewarding.

What advice would you give to an entering law student?  
Read what YOU want the summer prior to Law School. There might be something to reading a book or two off of the reading list the year prior to law school, but you will not have time to read what you want during school.

What surprised you most about UH Law?
How different it is from undergraduate studies. Law School requires you to remember everything, write differently, and more.     

Where can we find you when you're not in class?
The library or with my family.

What do you like most about UH Law?
The environment within the law school is unique. Everyone is competing on some level, but it is not cut-throat. People will help each other, study together, and more here. It is community in every sense of the word.

How would you describe your classmates?
They are helpful. I have been helped out when my daughter was sick (by being given briefs) and I was able to do the same for another classmate that had a problem outside of school. It really is a close knit group.

Students Speak

  • As a practicing attorney in Environmental Law in Japan, I was drawn to the strength of the Environmental Law Program at UH. I am striving to earn a specialization in Environmental Law.”
  • I love that I feel at home on campus. The faculty, administration, staff, and students create an inviting, peaceful environment. Everyone is dedicated to your success. I also get to see rainbows on a weekly basis, don’t need to wear a coat and boots durin”
  • Hawai‘i is home, and the William S. Richardson School of Law is Hawai‘i’s law school. UH Law School alumni include successful practitioners and valuable contributors to Hawai‘i in a variety of other roles.”
  • I consider the program as a pioneer on the frontier of legal education. One gets to experience the best of legal education while maintaining a critical eye on the process as a whole.”
  • Professor Linda Hamilton Krieger’s passion to shake up the status quo in the name of justice is contagious. Believe me – after hearing just one of her speeches, you will have the urge to do something great.”
  • American Inns of Court provides law students an opportunity to participate in interactive instruction with local judges and lawyers.”
  • Keep the balance and communication open with your loved ones. You'll hear this 1000 times but it really is important.”
  • I chose UH Law because I wanted to experience studying in Hawaiʻi, and I learned that the School has an excellent Environmental Law program. My graduate degree fellowship with the East-West Center is also tied with enrollment at UH.”
  • After reading about law school, I was expecting the professors to publically humiliate the students with the socratic method but it turns out they are quite friendly and even humorous at times.”
  • Before I started Law School I taught high school English at my alma mater for a few years. After teaching, I worked with the local organization that managed AmeriCorps programs in American Sāmoa.”