Kaleo Nacapoy

Hometown: Kāneohe, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi

Degrees: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Fall 2008, Concurrent Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Bachelor of Arts in Hawaiian Language

Why did you choose UH Law?
I chose UH Law School because I knew that I wanted to practice native Hawaiian-related law here in Hawaiʻi, and hopefully make an impact in the native Hawaiian community as one of a few Hawaiian-speaking attorneys.

What were you doing before you started Law School?
Before I started law school, I just finished my undergraduate schooling at UH and had only a seven month “break” between undergrad and the first day of law school. I worked at Gordon Biersch Restaurant & Brewery as well as traveled to Japan to dance hula at various venues.

Where are you headed after you graduate?
I want to practice native Hawaiian law but I also know that this is not my only interest so the next couple of years here at UH Law until graduation will be an exciting adventure to discover where the road takes me and what jobs and interests become available to me.

Describe UH Law in three words.
Rigorous, Compassionate, Diverse

What advice would you give to an entering law student?
I would say to never be afraid to express who you are as a person and hold on tight to your values and future goals because the pressures, the assignments, and the busy life of a law student sometimes leaves us “swimming in rough high seas, not sure which way to go.”

I always try to stay true to who I am as a person and try not to let others dictate my life and steer me, whether politically, mentally, or educationally, into areas that I would not want to find myself in. Keep your identity true and honest. In doing so, you will not have to worry so much about the sometimes competitive and time-consuming nature of law school. Remember that you chose to come to law school for a specific purpose. Let that purpose allow you to use all the available resources our law school has to offer to fulfill your goals and reach your maximum potential in all that you do in life. Law school not only transforms minds but, can also transform hearts.

What do you like most about UH Law?
I like how UH Law allows one to really grow as an individual and develop and realize one’s strengths and weaknesses. The curriculum, diversity of the class, as well as the time one spends at the law school allows a student to discover his or her personal goals, the challenges one will face as future attorneys, as well as passion for areas that completely envelop a law student’s life mentally, physically, and emotionally.

How would you describe your classmates?
I would describe my law school classmates as “social characters.” Everyone came to this law school from many different places, financial backgrounds, and ethnicities. When you put such a diverse range of adults together in a small law school, you’ll find a group of enthusiastic and outgoing students who can use these differences to truly grow and learn together. My class has a lot of personality and I feel that we have all become so amazingly close over the past year. Our class likes to have a lot of social gatherings and events, which have helped us through all of the struggles and rigors that the law school curriculum can place on a first-year student.

Students Speak

  • What I like most about UH Law is the open access to our Deans and Professors, the variety of programs and events available to us, and the ability to shape the future of not just our careers, but also our law school.”
  • A highlight for me was volunteering to be a bailiff at the Susan B. McKay competition. I saw upperclassman compete orally in front of real lawyers and judges from our community. I was amazed at the professionalism and skill that the competitors showed.”
  • It's the total package for me. I am able to attend law school at home, be around my family and friends, watch my nephew grow, dance hula, and be a part of a really special community at Richardson.”
  • 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”
  • I chose UH because they offer a specialization in Criminal law. The other reason is the fact that I wanted to live in Hawai'i.”
  • 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 chose UH Law because Hawai'i is my home and I plan on staying here to practice. Also, as a Hawaiian, I am interested in Native Hawaiian Rights under the law, thus, the program here allows me to explore this interest in great depth.”
  • 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.”
  • Keep the balance and communication open with your loved ones. You'll hear this 1000 times but it really is important.”
  • American Inns of Court provides law students an opportunity to participate in interactive instruction with local judges and lawyers.”