Associate Dean for Global Programs and Professor of Law and Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program


Professor Keith J. Hand brings more than 20 years of professional experience in private practice, government, and academia to his teaching and research at UC Hastings. Professor Hand’s research focuses on legal reform in the Greater China, with particular attention to constitutional law, criminal justice, citizen efforts to use the law to promote legal and political change; and the role and development of China’s procuratorate. In January 2015, he co-founded the UC Hastings East Asian Legal Studies Program with Senior Professor Setsuo Miyazawa.

Professor Hand holds a JD and an MAIS in China Studies from the University of Washington and a BA from Whitman College. As a law student, he served as editor-in-chief of the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal. After graduating Order of the Coif in 2000, he joined the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and private equity funds. He later served as senior counsel to the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Immediately prior to joining the UC Hastings faculty in 2009, Professor Hand was Beijing director, senior fellow, and lecturer-in-law at Yale Law School’s China Law Center and visiting scholar at Peking University Law School. During his tenure with the Center, Professor Hand worked with Chinese courts, government agencies and law schools to implement cooperative legal reform projects in the areas of criminal justice, judicial reform and property law.

Professor Hand has been cited as an expert on Chinese legal issues in a wide variety of media, including The New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Deutsche Welle, Radio Free Asia, Reuters, The Christian Science Monitor, ChinaFile, and Time. In 2011, Professor Hand was named a National Committee on U.S.-China Relations Public Intellectuals Fellow. In 2014, he was presented with the UC Hastings Foundation Faculty Award for Scholarship.

A native of Seattle, Professor Hand enjoys the outdoors and rarely turns down an opportunity to travel through remote regions of Asia or ski, cycle, or hike at home.



  1. University of Washington

    J.D., Law

  2. University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies

    M.A.I.S., China Studies

  3. Whitman College

    B.A., History


  1. Visionary Service Award

    Awarded by UC Hastings College of the Law Board of Directors.

  2. Co-Founder of UC Hastings East Asian Legal Studies Program

    With Professor Setsuo Miyazawa

  3. Foundation Award for Scholarship in East Asian Legal Systems 2014

    Awarded by the UC Hastings Foundation.

  4. Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal Distinguished Alumnus Award

    Awarded by the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal

  5. Public Intellectuals Fellow 2011

    Awarded by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations

  6. National Committee on US-China Relations Public Intellectuals Program (PIP) Fellow 2011

  7. Developed a Cooperative Program in Taiwan 2015

Selected Scholarship

  1. Translator's Introduction to Liu Songshan, 1981: Embryonic but Inchoate Designs for a Constitutional Committee 2016

    UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal

  2. Translation of Liu Songshan, 1981: Embryonic but Inchoate Constitutional Committee Designs for a Constitutional Committee 2016

    University of California Los Angeles Pacific Basin Law Journal

  3. An Assessment of Socialist Constitutional Supervision Models and Prospects for a Constitutional Supervision Committee in China: the Constitution as Commander? 2016

    John Garrick and Yan Chang Bennett eds., China's Socialist Rule of Law Reforms under Xi Jinping (Routledge)

  4. Understanding China's System for Addressing Legislative Conflicts: Capacity Challenges and the Search for Legislative Harmony 01/2013

    Columbia Journal of Asian Law

  5. Exploring Constitutional Reforms in the Wake of the Bo Xilai Affair 2012

    China Brief

  6. Constitutionalizing Wukan: The Value of the Constitution Outside the Courtroom 2012

    China Brief

  7. Resolving Constitutional Disputes in Contemporary China 2012

    University of East Pennsylvania East Asia Law Review

  8. The NPCSC: The Vanguard of China’s Constitution 2008

    China Brief

  9. Citizens Engage the Constitution: The Sun Zhigang Incident and Constitutional Review Proposals in the People's Republic of China 2009

    Building Constitutionalism in China (Palgrave MacMillan)

  10. Can Citizens Vitalize China's Constitution 2007

    Far Eastern Economic Review

  11. Using Law for a Righteous Purpose: The Sun Zhigang Incident and Evolving Forms of Citizen Action in the People’s Republic of China 2006

    Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

  12. Watching the Watchdog: China’s State Compensation Law as a Remedy for Procuratorial Misconduct 2000

    Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal

  13. Translation of Wang Liming, An Inquiry into Several Difficult Problems in Enacting China’s Uniform Contract Law 1999

    Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal


  1. Contracts
  2. China & The International Legal Order
  3. Chinese Law & Legal Institutions