How to Become A Lawyer in Hawaii

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, lawyers are highly skilled individuals who are licensed to practice law. Their job is to give consultations to their clients regarding legal matters and represent them in the court of law as and when needed.

Should I Become a Lawyer in Hawaii?

The Hawaii State Bar Association is responsible for the regulation of Bar exams and licensure in for all lawyers in the state of Hawaii. To practice as a lawyer in the state of Hawaii, you must possess a doctoral degree in law that is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA). Moreover, lawyers are required to clear the Hawaii State Bar Exam and become licensed to practice the law. Further information on how to become a lawyer in Hawaii is detailed below.

Education Required

A doctoral or professional degree

Major Requirement



Passing the Bar Exam is mandatory to get a license


Taking on internships or volunteer work is beneficial

Key Skills

Communication, Analytical, Critical-thinking, Attention-to-detail, Interpersonal, Research, and Problem-solving skills, etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019) -



Annual Mean Salary (2019) - National



Job Outlook (2018-2028)

6% (As fast as average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019)

Career Outlook

Lawyers working in the US are projected to see a 6% employment rise by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2018 to 2028. Moreover, it was reported that 657,170 Lawyers were employed in the US in 2019. 2,040 of those lawyers were working in the state of Hawaii in 2019.

Steps to Become a Lawyer in Hawaii

If you are a resident of the state of Hawaii and your passion is to become a lawyer in this state, then here is a stepwise easy to follow the guideline that might interest you.

Step-1: Get a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree

If you want to work as a lawyer, the first thing to do is completing a 4-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Since you aim to become a lawyer, choosing courses that are related to law as it will not only help you prepare for the LSAT but will provide you with the fundamental knowledge needed to take on advanced courses in law school.

Step-2: Pass the LSAT Exam

The LSAT is an incredibly competitive aptitude exam that tests you for entry to a law school. It must be taken by all interested individuals who want to enroll in a law school. If you want to enroll in a well-reputed law school, you must obtain excellent scores in the LSAT exam.

Step-3: Graduated from a Doctoral Degree in Law (J.D.)

The doctoral degree in law, or the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree takes about 2 to 3 years to complete. It is important to know that your J.D. degree must be accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) if you want to become a licensed lawyer. Many universities in Hawaii, like the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, offer a J.D. degree.

Step-4: Pass the Hawaii State Bar Exam and Get Licensed

Once you have successfully graduated with a J.D. degree, the next step is to apply for the Hawaii State Bar Exam. All lawyers who want to become licensed and practice law in the state of Hawaii must clear this exam.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Lawyer in Hawaii?

Completing a bachelor’s degree in any major takes about 4 years. Adding 3 years of law school and another few months to clear the Hawaii Bar Exam, takes it to around 7-8 years. Therefore, becoming a practicing licensed lawyer in Hawaii can take about 7 or 8 years in total.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Lawyer in Hawaii?

If becoming a lawyer in the state of Hawaii has been your lifelong dream, then you must complete the following requirements:

  • Graduate with a bachelor’s degree
  • Pass the LSAT exam
  • Complete a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school
  • Clear the Hawaii State Bar Exam and obtain a license

How Much Can I Make as a Lawyer in Hawaii?

In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that lawyers employed in the state of Hawaii had an annual mean salary of $109,420. However, the District of Columbia was named as the highest paying state for this career with an annual mean salary of $192,180.

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