New program admits UH law school students without LSAT

Photo: William S. Richardson School of Law


A new pilot program at University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law will allow prospective students to apply without taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

The program reflects recent changes in American Bar Association rules and is open to “highly qualified” new UH Manoa graduates and very recent alumni.

Applicants under the new pilot “Direct Admission Program” must meet the following criteria to apply directly to the William S. Richardson School of Law:

  • They have not already taken the LSAT and do not plan to take the June 2015 LSAT.
  • They graduated (or will graduate) from UH Manoa between August 2014 and August 2015.
  • They earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above in six semesters of undergraduate, academic work at UH Manoa.
  • They scored at or above the 85th percentile on the ACT or SAT.

No more than nine students will be accepted via this program, school officials said.

Those interested in applying to Richardson via the new direct admission program must email admissions director Elisabeth Steele Hutchison by May 22 to discuss the application process.

UHM students or alumni who have already taken the LSAT or will take the June 2015 LSAT are not eligible for this new pilot program, but may still apply via the law school’s regular admissions process.

The deadline to apply for Fall 2015 admission is July 7.


2014-2015 Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools:

Chapter 5: Admissions and Student Services

Interpretation 503-3

(a) It is not a violation of this Standard for a law school to admit no more than 10% of an entering class
without requiring the LSAT from:

  1. Students in an undergraduate program of the same institution as the J.D. program; and/or
  2. Students seeking the J.D. degree in combination with a degree in a different discipline.

(b) Applicants admitted under subsection (a) must meet the following conditions:

  1. Scored at or above the 85th percentile on the ACT or SAT for purposes of subsection (a)(1), or for purposes of subsection (a)(2), scored at or above the 85th percentile on the GRE or GMAT; and
  2. Ranked in the top 10% of their undergraduate class through six semesters of academic work, or achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above through six semesters of academic work.

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