to the Pacific

The Center for East Asian Legal Studies at UC Law SF

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Economic growth and legal transformation in East Asia offer tremendous opportunities for UC Law SF students. UC Law SF is a hub for research and professional exchange on East Asian legal systems, and our San Francisco campus is perfectly situated for those who want to be close to the action. Our center is advancing understanding of historic legal changes in East Asia and providing students with tools to work effectively with clients and counterparts in this dynamic region.

Annual Report, Events and Exchanges

2023-2024 Annual Report


The curriculum delves into emerging legal issues across East Asia. Courses range from country-specific surveys to seminars focusing on China’s impact on international institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. Students supplement their coursework by connecting with visiting scholars and practitioners from the region and taking advantage of our numerous conferences and career-building programs. Students with a wide range of practice interests, including cross-border transactions, trade law, intellectual property, human rights, and environmental law, can expect East Asia to play an increasingly important role in their professional lives. In the global legal practices of the 21st century, lawyers with specialized knowledge, experience, and connections in the region will have a leg up on the competition. The Center for East Asian Legal Studies combines in-depth academic training with relevant professional work experience to prepare students for an exciting legal career in this highly dynamic and increasingly influential competitiveness in the region.

Study Abroad

UC Law SF offers students the chance to study abroad at leading law schools in China, Japan, and Korea. Our exchange programs give students the opportunity to experience East Asian legal cultures, enhance their language skills, and build professional networks. Students seeking work experience abroad can apply for internships with UC Law SF partners in Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul, or tap into a large network of alumni serving in leading positions throughout East Asia.

Ways to Get Involved

Law Students

We welcome the opportunity to meet with students to tailor programs of study, exchanges, and internships to advance their specific academic and professional interests. Students are encouraged to become active partners in developing our programs.

Learn More about our course curriculum


Legal employers participate in East Asia events as sponsors and expert speakers. Many employers post job openings, conduct interviews on campus, host student interns, or contact faculty members for referrals. We welcome opportunities to help employers tap into the skills of the many outstanding UC Law SF legal professionals with expertise in East Asia.

Contact Us


With multiple long-term or tenured faculty specializing in East Asian legal systems, UC Law SF is home to one of the broadest East Asian legal studies programs on the West Coast. We invite donors to help us advance cutting edge research on East Asian legal systems and enhance the competitiveness of our graduates by supporting the UC Law SF the Center for East Asian Legal Studies.

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Key Program Personnel

Our faculty members are leaders in their fields, and they are committed to helping students take advantage of growing opportunities in this region. Professor Setsuo Miyazawa is the leading scholar on Japanese judicial reform and has founded international associations on East Asian law and society. He holds a joint appointment with Aoyama Gakuin University Law School in Tokyo. Since 2012, Professor Miyazawa has organized an annual UC Law SF symposium on law and society in Japan. Another pillar of the program is Professor Keith Hand, a legal scholar and former business lawyer who has advised the U.S. Congress on China policy and worked with key Chinese legal institutions on emerging reforms. Professor Hand travels to China regularly to conduct research and build academic and professional networks for UC Law SF. Practicing attorneys offer seminars on business law in China and Japan as adjunct faculty members.

Headshot of Keith Hand

Keith Hand

Professor of Law and Director of the Center for East Asian Legal Studies
View Keith Hand’s Profile

Headshot of Setsuo Miyazawa

Setsuo Miyazawa

Senior Director Emeritus of the Center for East Asian Legal Studies and Senior Affiliated Scholar
View Setsuo Miyazawa’s Profile

Headshot of Sally Harpole

Sally Harpole

Affiliated Scholar, International Arbitrator and Mediator
View Sally Harpole’s Profile

Headshot of David Makman

David Makman

Center for East Asian Legal Studies Affiliated Scholar
View David Makman’s Profile

Upcoming Events

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