Visiting Scholars

The U.S.-Asia Law Institute hosts a small number of outstanding scholars each year. Our Visiting Scholars include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal journalists, and legislators, as well as academics. The program for visiting scholars extends specified courtesy titles and privileges to scholars of distinction who visit New York University in order to engage in research and scholarship, and in general scholarly and cultural interaction with New York University’s faculty and students. Learn more about how to become a USALI Visiting Scholar.


Current Visiting Scholars


Na Young Choi

Na Young Choi has worked as a public prosecutor in South Korea since 2006. She graduated from Sookmyung Women’s University and was appointed as a public prosecutor of Korea in 2006. Following this, she worked at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office and Ministry of Justice (Criminal Prevention Policy Bureau). She is an expert in prosecuting financial crimes, sexual crimes, child abuse crimes and crime prevention policies. In 2014, she received an award from the Prosecutor General as the best prosecutor in Korea and in 2016, she received an award from the Minister of Justice for her achievement in crime prevention policies such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) project and law educational program. During her time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, she will conduct comparative research on crime prevention policies between the United States and South Korea.


Minh Tuan Dang

Minh Tuan Dang is Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, Deputy Director of Constitutional and Administrative Law Department of Vietnam National University School of Law. He received his Doctor in Public Law from University of Montesquieu Bordeaux IV of France in 2010. He was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar for the academic year 2018-2019 at Boston College Law School. His research focuses on Vietnamese and Comparative Constitutional law. He is author and co-author of several publications related to judicial review, separation of power, and comparative constitutional law. He provided academic contributions for the development of the 2013 current Vietnamese Constitution. He is a short-term scholar at the U.S-Asia Law Institute of the New York University School of Law for 6 months from August 15, 2019 to promote the scholarly cooperation and exchange of ideas in the field of Constitutional Law. He is conducting research on the anti-corruption mechanism of Vietnam, focusing on the division between the Party and the Government in the struggle against corruption in the democratic transition of Vietnam.


Jue Jiang

Jue Jiang obtained her Ph.D. degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2012 and has worked with multiple NGOs ever since. She is the author of the book Criminal Reconciliation (xingshi hejie) in Contemporary China: An Empirical and Analytical Enquiry (Edward Elgar: 2016) as well as several book chapters and journal articles discussing the revision of the criminal procedure law, wrongful convictions, civil society activism, women’s rights and domestic violence in China (details can be found at her SSRN page). Before joining USALI, she was the holder of Li Ka Shing fellowship (2017-18), with which she taught Law and Society in China and Human rights in Asia at McGill University and Shantou University. At USALI, she will continue with her research on the various aspects of the criminal justice system in China and the relationship between citizens and the state in the authoritarian regime.


Hikaru Iwaki

Hikaru Iwaki is an Assistant Judge at the Kyoto District Court. During his time, he has presided over civil and criminal cases as well as conducted legal research, drafted decisions, and adjudicated trials. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Judge at the Osaka Family Court. He received his J.D. from Keio University Law School, his LL.B. from the University of Tokyo, and spent a year at the Legal Training and Research Institute in Japan. Most recently he received his LL.M. from New York University School of Law. During his time at USALI, he will research specialized knowledge and advanced technology in courts. He also is interested in researching multidistrict litigation, as well as pretrial detention systems.


Colin Jones

Colin Jones is a historian of East Asia from the nineteenth century to the present. He focuses on legal and intellectual history, international history, social policy, and the history of the family. His manuscript, tentatively titled Searching for Social Order: Capitalism, Empire, and the Making of Modern Law in Japan, explores the intersection of a global social turn in legal thought and a national effort to manage the dislocations of the market economy and a growing empire. It argues that in the wake of World War I, professional jurists in Japan reimagined the legal system as an instrument of social policy. It then traces how their efforts to realize this vision in Japan and northern China gave rise to new legislation, legal practices, and conceptions of society and gender that have endured into the present. He is currently working on an article about Japanese housing.


Ming-Jung Lee

Ming-Jung Lee has worked as a Prosecutor at Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Prosecutor’s Office since 2014. She specializes in felony cases such as murder, gun violence, telecom fraud, as well as narcotic hazard cases. She received her LL.B and M.PH from National Taipei University and National Yang-Ming University respectively. Upon graduation, she worked at GJ Law Firm in Taipei as a lawyer, and then became an intern prosecutor in 2012. During her time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, she will conduct research on the global challenge of fake news and possible legislation.


Takayuki Obata

Takayuki Obata is a practicing attorney who specializes in juvenile delinquency, criminal defense, family and labor law. Having worked eight years as a Tokyo attorney, Takayuki has won administrative lawsuits which have been reported on throughout the country. During his time at USALI, Takayuki will study foster care and family reintegration in the United States, which is an extension of his work as a member of the Committee on Children’s Rights at the Saitama Bar Association. In preparation for his time abroad, he has been deepening his understanding of social services through research, attending sessions at institutions and organizations, participating in symposia, and interviewing specialists.


Pham Ngoc Minh Trang

Pham Ngoc Minh Trang is currently a lecturer in Faculty of International relations, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University. She teaches courses about International Law, the Law of the Sea and International Organizations. Her research focuses primarily on the maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Trang graduated with an LL.M from University of Nottingham. She also undertook training program for dispute settlement from the International Tribunal for Law of the Sea (ITLOS). Additionally, Trang was one of the eight young scholars who were awarded 3-year-free-membership-fee of the International Law Association (ILA) in 2017. Trang received a scholarship from the Fulbright U.S. Visiting Scholar Program to conduct research in the United States at the U.S. – Asia Law Institute (New York University). Her research aims to seek a practical model of cooperation between the ASEAN and the U.S. to enhance the compliance of international law in the South China Sea.


Ming-Xuan Yu

Ming-Xuan (Daniel) Yu is a judge at the criminal court of Taipei District Court in Taiwan. In 2010, he received his Master’s degree in law from National Chengchi University, and has judge of the criminal court in Taiwan while retaining his qualifications to be a lawyer and practice law. Additionally, he has been a lecturer at the Judges Academy of Taiwan and the criminal court of Taipei District Court in Taiwan. He specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure. As a judge, he has presided and sentenced thousands of criminal cases that have included felonies and misdemeanors. He was selected by the Judges Academy of Taiwan in 2019 to attend NYU as a visiting scholar. During his planned time at the U.S-Asia Law Institute (USALI), his research will be on the American sentencing system and focus on the practice of the Sentencing Guidelines. Moreover, he will conduct comparative research on the sentencing system between the United States and Taiwan.


Masaaki Yatabe

Masaaki Yatabe received his J.D. from Keio University Law School in 2010, and has been a lawyer for seven years in Japan. He has devoted an important part of his career to the development of criminals’ rights and freedom of expression. He was appointed the vice chairman of the Criminal Defense Committee of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association in April 2018. He is also an attorney who handles legal issues relating to publication and press, and has engaged in civil matters related to manga, television and internet media. Currently, he mainly conducts research on the issues related to the restrictions on the expression about crimes and criminals.


Jing Zhao

Jing Zhao is currently a Ph.D. candidate of Beijing Normal University, specializing in criminal procedure law and evidence law. Her previous work includes research for the Ministry of Justice and Beijing Social Science Fund’s. Jing has attended the intergovernmental Expert Group held by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) as member of the Expert Group. She has also been invited to visit ESC La Rochelle and Hong Kong University as a Visiting Scholar. Zhao has interned at courts and law offices. She enjoys playing the guzheng and dancing. During her time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, her research will focus on the miscarriages of Justice and Judicial Relief.


Wenzhang Zhou

Wenzhang Zhou is currently a Ph.D. candidate of the Zhejiang University. His research focuses on empirical legal studies and the judicial system. After 2016, he participated in several programs through the National Foundation of China focusing on statistics and analysis of land conflict cases in China, especially in Yangtze River Delta. During that time, he researched different interfering factor in land conflict judgment and published several academic articles in foreign journals. During his time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, he will focus on the research on Judicial logic-behaviors in Chinese labor right conflicts.