Frances H. Foster

Edward T. Foote II Professor of Law


A.B., 1977, Princeton University
M.A., 1981, Yale University
J.D., 1981, Yale University
J.S.D., 1987, Stanford University

Curriculum Vitae




 Jamie Roggen - (314) 935-6432

Phone / Email

Email: foster@wustl.edu 


Courses Taught

Trusts and Estates
Socialist Law in Transition
Chinese Law


Professor Frances H. Foster specializes in trusts and estates and in the legal systems of socialist and former socialist countries. She is the author of numerous articles on Chinese inheritance and trust law reforms, based on her original translations of Chinese cases, statutes, and academic commentary. Professor Foster also has written extensively on freedom of the press issues in post-Soviet Russia, China, and Hong Kong. She produced the first comprehensive Western analyses and translations of decisions of the Russian Judicial Chamber for Information Disputes. In earlier work, she examined restitution of expropriated property in post-socialist countries, including possible lessons for Cuba.  Her recent scholarship provides a critique of the pervasive role of privacy and family in American inheritance and trust law. Professor Foster has been a Research Fellow at Harvard Law School’s East Asian Legal Studies Program, a Fellow of Harvard University’s Russian Research Center, and a member of the ABA Task Force on Cuban Technical Assistance. Before joining the faculty, she earned a doctor of juridical science degree from Stanford University and held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Russian and East European Studies.

Representative Publications

Recent Articles and Essays

  • "The Massachusetts Environmental Trust," 41 Ecology Law Quarterly 751 (2014) (with Charles H.W. Foster)
  • "Should Pets Inherit?," 63 Florida Law Review 801 (2011)
  • "American Trust Law in a Chinese Mirror," 94 Minnesota Law Review 602 (2010)
  • "Individualized Justice in Disputes over Dead Bodies," 61 Vanderbilt Law Review 1351 (2008)
  • "Trust Privacy," 93 Cornell Law Review 555 (2008)