Sam and Helen Piesner Endowed Scholarship for Japanese Legal Studies

February 21, 2013

HONOLULU -  Eric and Rae Piesner have pledged $50,000 to establish the Sam and Helen Piesner Endowed Scholarship for Japanese Legal Studies to assist students enrolled at the William S. Richardson School of Law (WSRSL), University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.  Eric Piesner is Managing Partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Singapore office and Firmwide Managing Partner with responsibility for Asia. He heads the firm’s market-leading Asia real estate practice.

“I made the gift because I think it is important that WSRSL continue to grow its reputation as a leader in Asia-Pacific focused legal studies in general and Japanese legal studies in particular," said Eric Piesner '92. He continued, “The connections between Hawaiʻi and Japan are so deep it is natural that Japanese legal studies should have an important place in the scholarship and curriculum of the Law School. I hope my gift will encourage other alumni and friends of the Law School to add to the endowment so that future generations of students with an interest in Japanese legal studies will be drawn to WSRSL, creating a virtual cycle of students and alumni with ties to Japan and Hawai‘i.”

The William S. Richardson School of Law Pacific-Asian Legal Studies Program (PALS) provides students with an opportunity to learn from renowned full-time faculty specialists in every area of East Asia, including Japan, China, and Korea. The program prepares students for future professional engagement with Asian lawyers and clients.

"We are so grateful to the Piesners for their generosity and leadership in establishing this important endowment," said Dean Aviam Soifer of the William S. Richardson School of Law. He continued, "Our Japanese Law Program has become a valuable launching platform for students interested in Pacific Asian Law with Japan at the center of their focus and many of our alumni are now enjoying meaningful careers throughout Asia." Soifer concluded, "We hope that other Law School alumni join the effort so we can keep enhancing our ability to attract the most promising law students to study Pacific and Asian Legal Studies at the William S. Richardson School of Law."

Scholarship Recipient Criteria:

Recipients shall be full-time or part-time students enrolled at the William S. Richardson School of Law.
Preference may be given to students who have demonstrated or self-identified an interest in pursuing coursework in Japanese law.
Recipients shall have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.
Financial need shall be a criterion in making this award although not necessarily as defined by federal guidelines.

You can also make a secure gift online at

The William S. Richardson School of Law provides an extraordinary Asia, Pacific and Hawai‘i-focused education in the law. It attracts a diverse and international student body and has earned accolades both for that diversity, and for its affordability. It is known for its community outreach programs, and is grounded in a spirit that supports the growth and enrichment of every student.

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations