Faculty & Staff




Professor of Law Emeritus
Former Dean (1995-2003)


BA, University of Washington, 1967
PhD, University of Washington, 1974
JD, William S. Richardson School of Law, 1981


Dr. Foster served as Associate Dean for eight years and Dean for eight and a half years (1995-2003). He came to the School of Law as Associate Dean in 1987 after six years in private practice in Honolulu.

Before obtaining his legal education, Dr. Foster received a PhD in Chinese Studies and taught Chinese language at the University of Hawai`i, Western Washington State University, and at the University of Washington.

He was an East-West Center grantee during law school and served as articles editor of The University of Hawai`i Law Review.

Dr. Foster has lived and traveled extensively in Asia.

Recent Activities

  • President, East-West Center Alumni Association
  • Member, Governing Council, Inter-Pacific Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Tokai University’s Hawaii campus

Selected Publications


  • China Law Reader, with Tiffany Yajima and Yan Lin. Long River Press, 2012
  • Mandarin Chinese: A Practical Reference Grammar for Students and Teachers, Vol. 1, Crane Publishing Co., 1984. Translated into Chinese and published in the People’s Republic of China by the Beijing Foreign Language Institute, 1990. (Coauthored) 
  • Mandarin Chinese: A Practical Reference Grammar for Students and Teachers, Vol. II, Crane Publishing Co., 1989. (Coauthored) 
  • The Shi-i-chi and its Relationship to the Genre Known as Chih-kuai hsiao-shuo, Xerox University Microfilms, Ann Arbor (1981) (facsimile of microfilm)


  • “The Ten Most Influential Cases that Changed China in 2009,” 12.2, Asia-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, 2011. A translation with Jordan Cormier, Catherine Wong Jayne, and Matthew Radik “Judicial Independence in the U.S.,” Translated into Japanese and published in 60.3-4 Meijo Law Review, 72-92 (2011) HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • “Chinese Legal Studies’ Thirty Years on the Eastside and Thirty Years on the Westside,” 11.2 Asia-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, 2010, 221-242. A translation with Jonathan A. Devers and Dr. Brian Mackintosh. HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • “Behind the Great Wall: HSBA Members in China-A Conversation with Larry Foster and Russell Leu,” 10.13 Hawaii Bar Journal, 2007, 91-107. With Mark Shklov and Russell Leu.
  • “Foreign Investment in the PRC Logistics Sector,” 3.3 China Law Reporter, May 2007, 21-25. With Charles Wang.
  • “American Legal Education in the 21st Century” 54 Journal of the Osaka University of Economics & Law, March 2002, 158-190.
  • “We Need More Lawyers!?” Hawai‘i Bar Journal, March, 2002, 40-42 PDF
  • “Hawaii’s Role in Law Reform in Japan,” Hawaii Bar Journal, December 2001, 28-29
  • “The Impact of the Close Relationship between American Law Schools and the Practicing Bar,” Journal of Legal Education, September 2001, Volume 51 no. 3, pp. 346-349 HeinOnline | ScholarSpace
  • “The Vision Thing,” 21 U. Haw. L. Rev. 4 (1999) HeinOnlineScholarSpace
  • “China and the Rule of Law,” lead article in the inaugural issue of The Advocate (1995)
  • “Civil Litigation in Hawai‘i,” translated into Japanese in Volume 15 no. 3, pp. 93-106 of the Hiroshima University Law Journal (Hiroshima Hogaku), 1995
  • “China and the Rule of Law,” translated into Japanese in Volume 16 no. 4, pp. 367- 380 of the Hiroshima University Law Journal (Hiroshima Hogaku), 1995  
  • “Two Common Motifs of Six Dynasties Fiction,” Proceedings of the PNCFL, 26:1 (1975), 13-21
  • “Further Motifs of Six Dynasties Fiction,” Proceedings of the PNCFL, 27:1 (1976), 14-16
  • “Wang Chia’s Shih-i-chi,” Monuments Serica, 33 (1977-78), 379-402


  • Principal Investigator, Grant from the University of Hawai‘i’s National Resource Center-East Asia Federal Grant to develop and edit the China Law Reader, (Summer 2009).
  • Member, Planning Committee, East-West Center Association’s Biennial Alumni Conference, Bali, Indonesia, October 2008.
  • Arbitrator, Shanghai Arbitration Commission.
  • Elected Member, Governing Council of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association. Re-elected to second term in 2008 (2005-present).
  • Legal Advisor, American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.
  • Trustee, Tokai University-Hawaii Campus.
  • Ex-Officio member, Board of Governors, East-West Center.
  • President, East-West Center Associates (the international alumni association of the East-West Center).
portrait photo