Law School's Evening Part-Time Program students will network with attorneys

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Posted: Apr 30, 2014

Law School Evening Part-Time Program Director Liam Skilling
Law School Evening Part-Time Program Director Liam Skilling

This is a career fair with a twist.  As this workweek winds down, the Honolulu legal community will have the chance to hobnob with a cadre of unique law students and recent graduates who have practical work experience as well as excellent legal training.

On Friday evening, May 2, the William S. Richardson School of Law will hold its first-ever downtown networking event to showcase students from the Law School’s Evening Part-Time Program. The event brings together current students and graduates of the Evening Part-Time Program with representatives of the Oahu legal community.

Said Evening Part-Time Program Director Liam Skilling ’07, “These students come with a wealth of educational and professional experiences. This diversity of backgrounds not only helps to enrich learning in the classroom, but also makes these students especially attractive to potential employers."

Brian Morrow, director of Wholesale Revenue Management at the Hilton Hawaiian Village who is now in his second year of evening law classes, is one example of this unique group of Law School students. He has worked with Hilton Hotels and Resorts for 13 years, including while he was an undergraduate student in California.

“It will be nice to acquaint the firms with these talented individuals who can walk out of law school, not just with a legal degree, but with significant business or governmental experience already,” said Morrow.  “We’re ready to hit the ground running. We already understand what it means to be a member of the workforce and how to act professionally.”

In addition to providing a venue for professional networking, the event is also intended to raise awareness about the Evening Part-Time Program in general.  “Although the program is in its sixth year, many people still do not realize that professionals can pursue a world-class legal education while working,” said Skilling.

The program has graduated nearly 50 students, most of them career professionals with years of experience in other fields. Coursework is generally completed in four years, rather than three, with students often balancing day jobs and families along with their law studies.

Michele Nakata, branch chief for the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Disease Investigations Branch, is another of the current evening students planning to attend the pau hana career fair. Nakata is in Law School because of a promise she made to her boss years ago that she’d go back for an advanced degree once her youngest child was in college. That time has come and, with a legal education, she hopes to gain an understanding of how to better fashion laws to support disease investigation work.

“I’ve always been interested in advocacy and that has really piqued my interest now that I’m in law school,” says Nakata. “Because of the possibilities I’ve been exposed to involving the variety and scope of the work lawyers do, I have the opportunity to branch out from public health if I choose to do so. I’m so excited about what I’m learning.”

The event will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, May 2, at the new Fresh Café location (the former Indigo Restaurant) at 1121 Nuuanu Avenue. More than 30 law firms are invited to participate. There will be pupus and a no-host bar.

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