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Guide to the Law Library at UH Manoa : Welcome

A guide to the University of Hawaii Law Library.

Law Library

Law Library Lobby

When you enter the library, you will be in the public area with round tables for patrons to study and chat with others.  The lobby also features the Reference Desk, the Hawaiian Collection, public computers, and a copier.

CJ's Corner

CJ's Corner

This corner is dedicated to Chief Justice William S. Richardson, the namesake of the Law School.  It is a welcoming space to sit in a living room-like environment and to have a chat with others. Hand made wooden bowls flank the portrait of Richardson. Also in this area is the "humidity to water" fountain for hot or cold water supplied by the air! It was a gift from the Class of 2015.

Circulation Desk

The friendly circulation staff can help you check out books, or answer any questions that you might have.  

Walk Through the Stacks

Explore this guide to learn more about our library and other resources we offer.

Traveler, ceramic sculpture by Karen Lucas

Art in Public Places

Traveler is a ceramic sculpture by artist Karen Lucas, who teaches in the Art Program at UH Manoa.

New Acquisitions

Click on this link to see the newest acquisitions.


Mission Statement

The primary mission of the Law Library is to support the research, publication, educational and service endeavors of the faculty, student and staff of the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai'i. The Law Library pursues this mission by acquiring, organizing, making accessible, preserving, and disseminating legal and law related information in all available formats, by providing the best possible service, support and instructional programs, and by creating a physical environment conducive to user needs.

In addition to its primary mission, the Law Library serves as a key information resource center for the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa community, the statewide University of Hawai'i system, other libraries throughout the state and region, and to the bench, bar and citizenry of the State of Hawai'i.

Law School Establishment Timeline

Search the online Index to the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin covering 1929-1967 for "law school."  Hamilton Library has indexes in print and microform between 1929 and 1990.  Many news articles are only available on microform.  Please check this guide to Newspapers at Hamilton Library for more information. 

Read more about the history of the William S. Richardson School of Law:

  • Lawrence C. Foster, The William S. Richardson School of Law Celebrates 25 Years, 2 Haw. B.J. 6 (April 1998) (University of Hawaii, Law Library; Call No. K8 .A92)
  • Tributes to the William S. Richardson School of Law on Its 25th Anniversary, 21 U. Haw. L. Rev. 1 (1999).


Gov. Burns and Wm. Richardson

Sep. 3, 1960 - Gov. William F. Quinn, a Republican, makes statements about the possibility of a law school in Hawaii.  (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Jan. 8, 1963 - Citizens' views about the establishment of a local law school.  (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Nov. 15, 1966 - C.J. William S. Richardson, a Democrat, publicly announces his plans to create a law school at the University of Hawaii.  (Honolulu Advertiser; Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

1966 - Judicial Council Subcommittee on Legal Education appointed.

Jan. 1967 - Report by the Subcommittee on Legal Education recommending a law school for Hawaii.

Feb. 16, 1967 - Gov. John A. Burns' Address, Joint Session, Fourth State Legislature, General Session of 1967.  Asks the legislature to fund a law school feasibility study.  (Legislative Reference Bureau)

Dec. 1968 - Law school feasibility study begins.  It is privately funded by the McInerny Foundation.

1969 Legislation - H.R. 284; S.B. 300; H.B. 630; H.B. 897 introduced. (Legislative Reference Bureau)

Mar. 1969 - Warren-Mearns report on the feasibility of a law school. Warren, William C. The School of Law, University of Hawaii: Its Feasibility and Social Importance. Honolulu, 1969. (University of Hawaii, Law Library; Call No. KF292.H384 W37 1969; also available at Hamilton Library)

1970 Legislation - H.B. 1339; H.B. 1504 introduced; H.B. 1160-70 (appropriations bill with funds allocated for a law school feasibility study) passed.  (Legislative Reference Bureau)

Feb. 13, 1970 - University of Hawaii President Harlan Cleveland envisions a law school that is innovative. (Honolulu Advertiser)

Sep. 5, 1970 - Gov. John A. Burns declares that the University will have a law school within five years in a speech to the Hawaii State Bar Ass'n Young Lawyers Section.

Dec. 1970 - Cost benefit analysis by Dean of Stanford Law School.  Ehrlich, Thomas, and Manning, Bayless. Programs in Law at the University of Hawaii: a Report to the President of the University. [s.l: s.n.], 1970. (University of Hawaii, Hamilton Library; Call No. KF292 .H384 E4)

1971 - Meller, Norman. Hawaii Law School Study. Legislative Reference Bureau. Report no. 3, 1971. Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 1971. (University of Hawaii, Hamilton & Law Libraries; Call No. KF292 .H384 M44)

July 1, 1971- Act 146 becomes law. Appropriates $192,500 for the law school during 1971-73 fiscal years. Originally codified at H.R.S. § 304-62 (recodified 2006 at § 304a-1351). [H.B. 937; H.D. 1; S.D. 1; H.S.C.R. 633; H.S.C.R. 694; S.S.C.R. 797] (Legislative Reference Bureau)

Jan. 1972 - University President Harlan Cleveland publishes Programs in Legal Education at the University of Hawaii Including a Proposal for the Establishment of a School of Law. [s.l: s.n.], 1972. (University of Hawaii, Hamilton& Law Libraries; Call No. KF292.H382 A52)

June 1, 1972 - Act 165 becomes law.  Re-appropriates $67,000 from 1971 appropriation; authorizes the hiring of 4.3 employees including a Dean; appropriates $125,000 for operating costs.  [H.B. 2110; H.D. 2; H.S.C.R. 230-72; H.S.C.R. 459-72; S.S.C.R. 661-72; S.S.C.R. 747-72] (Legislative Reference Bureau)

Sep. 1973 - Universtiy of Hawaii Law School inaugurated by C.J. Richardson and Dean David R. Hood.  There are 53 students in the first class and six professors.  Classes began in a "temporary" wooden building in a remote part of the UH campus called "The Quarry."  Tuition was $170 a year.



  • 1967 – HR 284 Requesting the Governor to conduct a study of the feasibility of establishing a law school in the State of Hawaii.
    NOTE:  The study was never done because funds were never appropriated.  In response, Thomas Hamilton, President of the University of Hawaiʻi conducted his own study co-authored, but unsigned, by Mildred Doi Kosaki.
  • 1971 – HR 20
  • 1971 – SB1320
  • 1971 – HB 937; Act 146 A Bill for an Act relating to the study of law and making appropriations therefor.
  • 1972 – HB 2110; Act 165 Law School appropriations.
  • 1972 – SB 1329 A Bill for an Act relating to a law school in the State of Hawaii.

Returning Library Materials

Return of Library Materials

A book drop is located near the Library main entrance. A basket is also provided in the Faculty Lounge for faculty to return library books. Library staff checks the basket every day. Library materials borrowed from any UH System library may be returned to the Law Library, except for reserve and audiovisual items which must be returned to the owning library. For example, audiovisual items borrowed from Sinclair Library must be returned to Sinclair Library to ensure that they are checked in promptly.

Reshelving (Don't)

Please do not re-shelve library materials you have used but have not checked out.  Materials should be placed on the re-shelving carts.