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UH Law & Justice Students Participate in Courts in the Community

Posted on Jun 21, 2022 in Featured News, News & Reports, Press Releases
In the Hawaii Supreme Court Courtroom, Justices stand at the bench, as students and a teacher gather in front of the bench, 06/08/2022.

Students from six Oahu high schools participating in the Law & Justice Summer Program at the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law posed with the justices after watching oral argument.

HONOLULU — High school students participating in the William S. Richardson School of Lawʻs “Law & Justice Summer Program” attended a Supreme Court oral argument at Aliiolani Hale on June 8. They were the first in-person participants in the Judiciary’s Courts in the Community program in more than two years.

Image of Donn Fudo.

Donn Fudo

Twelve students representing Campbell, Kalani, McKinley, Nanakuli, Waianae, and Waipahu high schools were in the gallery with program leaders Professor Liam Skilling and Kari Carolan, and seven law students who served as mentors to the high school students.

The Law & Justice Summer Program is an intensive one-week summer program for high school students interested in justice, the law, and related professions. In this year’s program, the students were taught by supreme court law clerks the relevant facts, procedural history, and legal issues in preparation for the oral argument in State v. Obrero.

Oral argument was followed by two question-and-answer sessions for the students; one with attorneys Thomas Otake and Donn Fudo, and another with the five justices.

Image of Thomas Otake

Thomas Otake

Courts in the Community is a hands-on civics education experience, giving students the chance to study important legal issues of a pending court case, form their own opinions, and then see how the attorneys and justices address those issues in a real Supreme Court oral argument.

“The future of our system of government depends on the public’s understanding of the constitution and the protections it provides,” said Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald. “The dedication and hard work of these students show that we will be in good hands going forward.”

The Hawaii State Bar Association and the Hawaii State Bar Foundation generously provided the students, faculty, and mentors with lunches and transportation to and from the courtroom.


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