International Visiting Scholars Program

Each year the Law School hosts visiting scholars from around the world, mostly from Asia, to spend a semester or an academic year with us. We welcome our visitors and make every effort to integrate them into our Law School and faculty, including seminars, lectures and social events. During their stay at the Law School, visitors are also invited to participate in one of our seminar programs, which might include a talk for faculty members or a discussion with students.

Visiting scholars may use all University of Hawai‘i libraries, in addition to the Law Library, which can also provide computer access. But wireless internet access is available throughout the Law School, and we recommend that visitors bring their own laptops for use here. Because of space limitations, the Law School cannot provide offices for visiting scholars, but individual carrels in the Law Library will be assigned to visitors who request them.

With the permission of the instructor and the director of international programs, visiting scholars may audit up to two courses per semester in their area of interest. A few courses, such as those designed for our LLM students, may only be available upon payment of an additional course auditing fee. Visitors who wish to receive formal credit or a degree should apply to our LLM program for foreign law graduates. We also offer legal specialists who wish to pursue a more concentrated course of study the option of applying to the visiting international professionals (VIP) program, whether for the academic year or for a semester.

Application Requirements

Visiting scholars will ordinarily be teachers and scholars from law schools, research institutes or other academic institutions; we do not accept graduate or research students as visiting scholars. Special consideration will be given to visitors who can make a contribution to our Law School community through their research and other activities. No TOEFL or other English test is required, but English proficiency is a significant criterion in granting admission to the program.

Prospective visiting scholars must apply to the Law School using our application form (DOC or PDF).  Applicants should attach a copy of their current résumé, their proposed research plan, one letter of recommendation, any financial sponsorship and the proposed dates of their visit. Requests for application forms may also be sent to Spencer Kimura '96, International Programs, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaiʻi, 2515 Dole Street, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822-2350 or to Visiting scholar applications should ordinarily be received at least six months in advance of the proposed arrival date.

Once accepted for participation in the visiting scholar program, scholars will be sent information on visas and other requirements. Applicants must provide proof of support for the visitor and all accompanying family members. The University's Office of International Education handles the administration of visa applications, in conjunction with the Law School's International Programs office. Most applicants will need to obtain a J-1 visa for their visit.


Visiting scholars are responsible for housing, food and medical insurance fees, as well as for travel and personal expenses. The Law School does not have funds to assist visiting scholars with their travel or living expenses, or staff to assist visitors to secure outside funding. Positions as lecturers or teaching assistants are not available to visiting scholars.

For visa purposes, visiting scholars must be able to show that they can meet the minimum support requirements for themselves and their J-2 dependents:

  • Visiting scholar: At least $1500 per month
  • Spouse: Additional $500 per month
  • Child: Additional $350 per month per child

Health Insurance

All visitors are required to secure health insurance for themselves and their families. They may subscribe to the University health insurance policy if they do not have insurance from their own country.


The University does not at present have graduate dorms or provide faculty housing for international visitors and students, so most visiting scholars must seek off-campus housing in Honolulu. They may consult the University's off-campus housing office for assistance.


Spencer Kimura '96

Director of LLM and Summer Programs
(808) 956-9038


Alison W. Conner

Professor of Law
(808) 956-5569