The LLM (Master of Laws) Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law is a one-year course of study of the U.S. legal system. If you have a law degree, or will soon graduate with a law degree, you may apply for the Program. The Program runs from August to mid-May. Our Program will help to enhance your legal English skills and understanding of American legal culture while providing you with the opportunity to interact daily with excellent American law students and faculty in a warm and friendly environment.
- Specializations in Business, International, Environmental Law, and more.
- Opportunity to Transfer to the Juris Doctorate Program
- Networking with Top Legal and Business Leaders
- Personalized Attention for LLM Students
- Hawai‘i’s Strategic Location to Pacific Rim Countries
- Hawai‘i’s Culture, Recreation & Beauty
The William S. Richardson School of Law
The School of Law is particularly strong in environmental law as well as Pacific-Asian legal studies. It maintains a very favorable student-faculty ratio (14:1), which encourages closer interaction between teachers and students. The student body now numbers around 325 and is the most ethnically and racially diverse in the nation, drawing applicants from Pacific and Asian countries as well as from Hawai‘i and throughout the U.S. It is located in beautiful Manoa Valley on the island of Oahu, minutes from world-famous Waikiki Beach. Hawaii is one of the safest and cleanest places for students and offers an amazing diversity of cultures and cuisine to enjoy.
Flexible Curriculum in U.S. Law
Students who decide to pursue an LLM concentration in one of our areas of excellence may earn a separate certificate in addition to their diploma. We now offer LLM specialization certificates in five major areas: business and commercial law, conflict resolution, environmental law, international and comparative law, and ocean law and policy. Click here for more information about LLM Specializations: https://www.law.hawaii.edu/llm-specializations
We provide our LLM students with solid training in U.S. legal analysis. During the fall semester, all students take Introduction to American Law, a special course that emphasizes the distinctive aspects of the American legal system and approach to legal issues. In the spring semester, we offer an optional Legal Research and Writing course designed to train international students in American legal analysis and writing. LLM students may also enroll in first-year courses such as Contracts and Civil Procedure, which serve as a useful, in-depth introduction to key areas of U.S. practice.
For those planning to take the New York State Bar Examination, the Law School offers courses to meet the new requirements effective as of 2012-13. These include Introduction to American Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Professional Responsibility, so you can prepare for the NY bar examination while studying in Hawai‘i.
Courses in Other Graduate Programs
Whether or not you pursue a specialized certificate, you may enroll in courses offered by the University’s other schools and departments. You may count up to six credits (usually two courses) taken outside the Law School towards the twenty-four credits required to obtain an LLM degree.
Student Learning Outcomes
The William S. Richardson School of Law LL.M. complies with American Bar Association standards, having received acquiescence in 2003. Students in the Richardson LL.M. program have already trained as lawyers in diverse global legal systems and often have substantial practice experience when they begin their LL.M. year of study at Richardson. The Richardson LL.M. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are specific and tailored to their foreign law experience and training. The LL.M. SLOs are:
- To gain a comparative understanding of the importance of law and legal institutions in the U.S., and the role of lawyers and the judiciary in the American legal system;
- To understand the professional ethics and service obligations of lawyers;
- To master fundamental skills in American legal research, legal analysis, and legal reasoning;
- To learn to communicate an understanding of U.S. legal issues effectively both orally and in writing; and
- To develop expertise in a specialized area of U.S. or international law through successful completion of an organized program of courses in a selected specialization. (Rev. Aug. 2014)