Select Courses

Native Hawaiian Rights (LWPA 581):

This course examines the evolution of the rights of Native Hawaiians to land and resources and the important statutes and laws affecting Native Hawaiians. Areas of study include the Hawaiian land tenure system, the conversion from a communal to fee-simple land system, traditional and customary rights, the public land trust (Government and Crown Lands), the Hawaiian Home Lands trust, and the charitable trusts established by ali‘i to benefit Native Hawaiians. The course will particularly examine current cases and legislation relating to the political status of Native Hawaiians.

Emerging Hawaiʻi Water Issues (LWPA 584):

This course explores the legal and cultural frameworks for water resource management in Hawaiʻi nei under the State Constitution, Water Code, and common law.  Current water struggles serve as case studies to learn the in-and-outs of the state litigation process and track the evolution of the public trust, precautionary principle, and other legal, scientific, and policy areas where Hawaiʻi leads the nation.  

Pacific Island Legal Systems (LWPA 594):

This course is intended for students who wish to: (1) increase their knowledge of the substantive rules of one or more Pacific Island jurisdictions; and, (2) study the development of legal systems to broaden their understanding of the basic requirements and general characteristics of legal systems. The course will also consider the relationship between the Pacific Island legal systems and custom and tradition, and will explore the various ways that Pacific jurisdictions have, or have not, been successful in reflecting the values of the people in the substantive and procedural law of the jurisdictions.

Race, Culture, and Law (LAW 544):

US cases and legal theory emphasizing law in the social construction of racial categories, shifts in race-based antidiscrimination law, and the interaction of culture and law in judicial decision-making.

Foundations for Kānāwai (LWPA 582E):

With a focus on Hawaiʻi’s history and justice through an ʻŌiwi lens, this seminar will examine important cultural and legal foundations as essential context for surveying and understanding the evolving body of Native Hawaiian Law today. This course will begin to explore the existing legal framework as well as its context in the area of Native Hawaiian Law. Areas of study also include ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge) including ʻāina, traditional and customary practices, and other guiding values such as pono, kuleana, and more. This course will also engage practitioners, leaders, and legal scholars in the fields of law, Hawaiian Studies and more. Finally, this course will preview emerging issues affecting Native Hawaiian rights, contemplate kuleana around pono participation in the legal profession in Hawaiʻi, and consider the efforts in effectuating restorative justice for Hawaiʻi and its people.

Historic Preservation Law (LAW 503):

This course studies cultural and historic preservation laws and how they affect efforts to protect and preserve native cultural heritage. The course will examine state and federal laws including: the National Environmental Policy Act and its state equivalent; the section 106-review process under the Historic Preservation Act; Hawai‘i law requiring cultural impact statements; the American Indian Religious Freedom Act; and case law and administrative processes established to ensure that native voices are heard in historical and cultural resource management.

Native Hawaiian Rights Clinic (LAW 590I):

Students work under the direct supervision of a Native Hawaiian Rights attorney providing legal services to clients. Each semester, the clinic focuses on one or two major cases involving issues such as traditional and customary rights, the ceded lands trust, the Hawaiian Home Lands trust, or water rights. Students will aid attorneys in identifying and researching significant issues, gathering evidence, interviewing clients, and drafting pleadings.

Externship In Native Hawaiian Law (LAW 555H):

Under the supervision of an attorney, students perform research, drafting, investigation, and other lawyering tasks for attorneys, legislators, and public and private organizations on issues of Native Hawaiian law and policy. Approved prior externships include the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.,Dept. of Hawaiian Home Lands-Attorney General’s Office, Senate or House Hawaiian Affairs Comm., Kamehameha Schools Legal Office.

Externship in the Pacific (LAW 555H):

Students perform research, drafting, investigation, and other lawyering tasks for judges and attorney supervisors in Pacific Island jurisdictions.