Steps to Becoming a Lawyer in Hawaii

According to the American Bar Association there were 4,236 lawyer is Hawaii. About 80% of them were in Oahu. 27% of them were solo practitioners. Their average salary is about $120,000 per year. Becoming a lawyer in Hawaii isn’t easy though. Here’s what you have to do. Aside from the traditional areas, having an office in Hawaii also allows lawyers to practice in native law or Asian Pacific American law.

Get Your Bachelor’s Degree

The American Bar Association (ABA) doesn’t require you to go into a specific program. It does though require you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in just about any field that you want. It might be from anywhere between biology to zoology or education to western culture. What is important is to have the school accepted into the of Database of Accredited Post-Secondary Institutions and Programs the Department of Education. That’s what determines whether or not a school is accredited. If you’re not from an accredited law school, you’re probably wasting your time.

The Law School Admissions Test

Any accredited law school in the country will require you to take the Law School Admission Exam. On the LSAT, applicants will be confronted with four question that follow:

  • Analytical Reasoning.
  • Logical Reasoning.
  • Reading Comprehension.
  • Essay question.

The LSAT is offered nine times a year in Hawaii. It costs $215 for multiple choice and the written questions. The LSAT has nothing to do with law school. You’d best prepare for it by taking a national class. As the best people in your class are taking it, you had better take it too. The average score on the test is 156. Scores range from a 120 low to a high of 180. You’ll be notified is scores about there weeks after the test. According to one representative from the University of Hawaii Law School, your undergraduate records make up about 2/3 of the admitting decision, while the LSATs account for about 1/3. A typical student scores 151 on the LSAT.

Law School in Hawaii

The Hawaii Board of Law Examiners requires that you must graduate from an accredited law school. It need not be in Hawaii though. You’ll be using the Credential Assembly Service to apply to a school though. This service puts together a candidate’s record, letters and assembles and the like for the schools that you apply to. The fee for CAS is $215 plus $45 to each school that you apply to. The law schools that you apply to will request a copy of your CAS file which will contain a summary of your credits, your yearly cumulative grade point average, overall grade distribution, the mean grade point average of other students at your university, your percentile and and of course, your LSAT and writing sample.

Your Internship

There is only one law school in Hawaii. That law school makes students attend at least 60 hours of legal work as well as legal clinic totaling two hours.

Taking the Bar Exam

If after graduating from college, passing the LSAT and graduating from an ABA accredited law school, you’re almost ready for the bar exam in Hawaii. Another exam will be administered, and that exam is known as the bar exam. You’ll likely be taking a class to take that test. Just ask around your third year of law school, and you’ll quickly learn which one to take. The bar exam consists of two parts. Those follow:

  • Day 1: This is the Multistate Essay Exam, the Hawaii Legal Ethics Exam and the Multistate Performance Test.
  • DAY 2; This consists of the multistate bar exam.

The Professional Responsibility Exam

The Hawaii Board of Bar Examiners also requires examinees to apply to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. These are given at the University of Hawaii in Manoa in Honolulu. A passing score is 85.

Candidates must also take the Hawaii professionalism course by December 31, of the year they were sworn in.

About three months after the bar exam, examinees receive their scores in the mail. They’ll also receive notices of when to be sworn in.