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Guide to the Law Library at UH Manoa : History

A guide to the University of Hawaii Law Library.

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.


Law Library History

About The Law Library

In January 1983, the Tenth Anniversary of the Law School was marked by the official opening of the new Law Library building on Dole Street. The celebration was marked by a performance by the Law Student Hula Halau, the presentation of a traditional Hawaiian wooden bowl to Justice Brennan (then Senior Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court) and the offering of a traditional Hawaiian blessing. A luau followed a speech by Justice Brennan.

The library is a one-story building with skylights in the middle and windows overlooking the main street across which is the main upper campus. A carpet of grass and leafy plants and trees separate the building from the street. A shady courtyard leads to the spacious library entrance/foyer from which Diamond Head is clearly visible.

The library has several interesting paintings. One is actually a mural in three parts. The artist is Frank M. Moore, the first director of the Honolulu Academy of Arts. It was painted in 1919 for a wealthy patron who owned the Blaisdell Hotel on Fort Street. One of the three large murals, the mural facing the entrance doors, is untitled, but it is the image of a "perfect" wave.

The seventy-foot mural was split into three segments to wrap around the walls of the hotel's restaurant. The mural was later given to the Law School. The second is of Diamond Head and the third shows O'ahu's south shore at night. Another impressive painting is also a mural entitled Hawaiians at a Luau by Mataumu Toelupe Alisa, ca. 1977.

The library is located on Dole Street. Visitors may park at the parking garage located below the library at a flat rate.

The Law Library is open to all students, faculty and the general public.

In January 2001, the Library migrated to the Endeavor library automation software (Voyager).   Then in 2020, the Library migrated to ExLibris' Alma for the circulation services, acquisitions, and serials receiving function; and Primo, a discovery product for the online public access catalog,

CJ's Corner

CJ's Corner

CJ's Corner (Chief Justice [Richardsonʻs] Corner) is located on the makai (seaward) side of the Law Library lobby. This comfortable seating area is dedicated to Chief Justice William S. Richardson, or CJ, for short, who founded our Law School.  His portrait overlooks the space with a sense of welcome. This area features soft cushion sofas, seats, and a long dinner table, to feel like a comfortable living room space. 

Dan DeLuz Bowls

Dan DeLuz Bowls

Underneath CJ's portrait are some glass display cases featuring the wooden bowls of Dan DeLuz, a woodworker from Paʻauilo, Hilo. This collection was donated to the Law Library from Billy Richardson, Jr.  Come to CJ's corner to see the different types of wood that the bowls are carved out of.

Dan developed a knowledge and appreciation for trees and woods of Hawaii. He followed the indigenous Hawaiian philosophy of  “I ola ʻoe, I ola mākou nei” (my life is dependent on yours; your life is dependent on mine).  As a woodworker, he made efforts to protect the living forest.  He used wood taken from dead, fallen, dying trees or removed near homes for safety reasons and carved calabashes from locally grown wood.  

The function of wooden umeke and calabash bowls represented his life philosophy of “sharing.” His shared his shop with cats, a dog and cockatiel--he had a special way with animals, plants, and people. He shared his life passion with others, building Hawaiʻi’s woodworking community with the Big Island Woodturners Club, West Hawaiʻi Woodturners Club, and Hawaiʻi Wood Guild. 

DeLuz passed away on Jan 15, 2012 at 77 years old. But the gallery is still open. The gallery is called Dan DeLuz Woods.   Shaun, Dan DeLuz’s  grandson, continues his grandfather’s tradition, while carving his own style.