UH's law school scores high for diversity
Princeton Review also gives high marks for the environment for minority students
Second-year law student Richard Lee said the William S. Richardson School of Law is "very reflective of what we have in the islands."
"I think if there was ever a ranking for a place that someone could study law and feel like part of a family, we would come first every time," said Lee, representative of the school's American Bar Association-Law Student Division.
The Princeton Review's 2006 "Best 159 Law Schools" ranked the University of Hawaii law school second in the category for "best environment for minority students" and fifth in the category for "most diverse faculty."
The UH law school also ranked as one of the 159 "best law schools" in the nation, according to the recently published book.
More than 15,000 students filled out surveys, mostly online during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 academic years.
Eleven ranking lists were created and compiled by information from law school student surveys and statistics reported by law school administrators. The lists are not intended to rank the schools in terms of overall quality.
Each lists shows the top 10 schools in each category, ranging from best overall academic performance, most competitive students to best career prospects and best quality of life.
Rankings for best environment for minority students were determined by the students' assessment of whether they received equal treatment by faculty and fellow students regardless of their ethnicity and the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the student body, according to the Princeton Review's Web site.
"I think at Richardson, which is kind of indicative of Hawaii, we view people for the people they are, not the color of their skin and not the economics, their wealth or anything like that," Lee said.
Howard University's School of Law in Washington, D.C., topped the category's ranking list. The University of District of Columbia, Florida International University and CUNY-Queens were the other schools in the top five.
Rankings for the "most diverse faculty" category was based on the percentage of minority law school faculty and the students' assessment of whether the faculty comprises a broadly diverse group of individuals.
"The faculty and administration is so caring of everyone, in every other facet, not just with academics," Lee said.
Howard University topped the category's ranking list, followed by Florida International University, CUNY-Queens and Northern Illinois University.
In January the UH law school was ranked in the same two lists in another book on graduate schools released by the Princeton Review, a New York City-based company that is not affiliated with Princeton University.
For more information on the 2006 Princeton Review rankings, go to www.princetonreview.com/law.