Educating Lawyers for a Changing World

The Asian Law Center’s teaching, research and public policy work on Asia and developing economies is one of the areas for which the UW School of Law is known nationally and internationally.

We are part of a UW tradition of public service, providing world-class legal education for U.S. and international lawyers focused on Asia. We support the legal profession and government agencies with expert research on Asian and developing legal systems. We are helping to build the next generation of lawyers, scholars and policymakers in Asia and developing economies through our rigorous LLM and PhD programs.

Mission Statement

The law intersects every aspect of our society and our lives. The Asian Law Center's mission is to create an inclusive learning community to deepen the knowledge of law, business, culture, economic development and socio-political systems in Asia. We foster open dialogue and mutual understanding through center-sponsored events and scholarly exchanges. With strong connections in Asia, we promote collaboration across legal and business practices and academic disciplines.


  • Foster multi-lingual, multi-cultural intellectual community
  • Strive to provide excellent legal education
  • Establish community engagement to promote collaborative learning, research, teaching, policymaking and advocacy


The Asian Law Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012. Founding director of the (then) Asian Law Program, Professor Dan Fenno Henderson, led the development of Asian and comparative law in North America. The second director, Professor John O. Haley, consolidated the UW scholarly reputation in comparative approaches to Japanese, Korean, Chinese and Taiwanese law. During Professor Veronica L. Taylor's tenure as director, the program became the Asian Law Center, extending the geographic reach to include Central Asia and Southeast Asia, while focusing on the intersection of emerging business and investment markets, development and rule of law, and Islamic law in context. The center continued to develop this work under the leadership of Professor Jonathan A. Eddy. Professor Dongsheng Zang is the current center director.

Regarded by many scholars as the place that established Asian law as an innovative and serious discipline more than 50 years ago, the Asian Law Center at UW continues to push the boundaries of legal knowledge.