Research Scholars



Yuan  (Amy) Gao is a recent LLM (15') graduate from Columbia Law School. In 2014, she received her Ph.D degree in Law from Peking University Law School, from which she also received her LL.B degree. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she spent a year as a visiting scholar with U.S.-Asia Law Institute where she focused mainly on comparative law studies and judicial reforms. In August 2015, after obtaining her LLM degree from Columbia, she joined U.S.-Asia Law Institute as a Research Scholar. Her research interests include criminal law, criminal justice, evidence, constitutional protection of procedural rights, law development and its implementation. She is currently working on various institution projects, related to labor law, and criminal justice issues.


Myung-Soo Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and holds a Master’s Degree (LL.M) and Doctoral Degree (S.JD) from Harvard Law School in public international law and conflict resolution. Her current research interests include legal issues concerning North Korea’s economic development and engagement with the international community, public international law issues related to the establishment of rule of law and the advancement of human rights, and comparative legal analysis involving East Asian countries. Ms. Lee has held many prestigious positions over the course of her career. She was a McArthur Scholar and Research Fellow at the Program on Non-Violent Sanctions at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and collaborated with the Harvard Negotiation Project/Conflict Management Group. She later worked as Director of Research of East Asian Legal Studies at Harvard Law School and subsequently as a Research Fellow at New York University School of Law. Her articles include “The Legal Status of Submerged Rock: Parang Island of ROK and Zhongsha Islands of PRC,” “The Role and Dynamics of Nongovernmental Actors in Contemporary Korea,” “Living Together on the Korean Peninsula: Legal Problems and Approach Facing a Divided Nation,” and “North Korea and International Law: Theory and Practice in Post-Cold War Era.” Ms. Lee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Master’s Degree in International Law from Korea University.


Chao Liu received her LL.M. degree from NYU School of Law in 2010. Prior to joining the Institute as a Research Scholar in 2011, she worked for one year as a legal intern in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. Ms. Liu assisted in investigations involving mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and accounting fraud. Ms. Liu has four years of working experience in China. Previously, she worked for two years as a legal assistant in a prominent Shanghai law firm specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining the law firm, she was a business consultant at the Council of Great Lakes Governor's Office in Shanghai. Ms. Liu received her LL.B degree from Shanghai University School of Law, graduating in the top 1% of her class. Her writing has appeared in Law360.


Sida Liu is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2016-2017. He received his LL.B degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D in sociology from the University of Chicago. Professor Liu has conducted extensive empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession and published many articles in leading law and social science journals (in both English and Chinese). He is the author of two books in Chinese: The Lost Polis: Transformation of the Legal Profession in Contemporary China (Peking University Press, 2008) and The Logic of Fragmentation: An Ecological Analysis of the Chinese Legal Services Market (Shanghai Joint Publishing Co., 2011). His first English book (with Terence C. Halliday), Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work, will be published by Cambridge University Press in December 2016. 


Chi Yin joined the Institute in 2013, and is currently focusing on China's recently revised Criminal Procedure Law. Ms. Yin previously served as a judge in the Intermediate Court of the greater Chengdu Municipality. The cases she tried included both appellate and first-instance criminal trials of white-collar, drug trafficking and violent crimes. Other work in the court included managing projects related to internal court reform, and editing an internal law review. She left the court in 2008 and moved to the U.S., where she pursued public interest law, volunteering with Colorado Legal Services and then interning with China Labor Watch. She received an LL.M from NYU in 2013. She received her LL.B and Master’s of Law from Sichuan University, and has been a member of the Chinese bar since 2004.


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Allen Clayton-Greene received his LL.M degree from New York University School of Law in 2014, and his combined BA/LL.B (Hons) degree from The University of Melbourne in 2007.  After graduation from the University of Melbourne, Allen worked as a litigation attorney with Australian law firm, Allens Arthur Robinson.  In 2012, Allen was awarded an Australian Government Endeavor Executive Award fellowship, through which he undertook field work in China with Walmart, and research with Beijing-based consulting firm China Policy.  Upon graduation from NYU School of Law, Allen was a visiting scholar with the US-Asia Law Institute and as China Law Officer with Human Rights in China.  Allen is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and his research interests include Chinese criminal law and procedure, digital and cyber-security, Constitutional law and international human rights law.




Trang (Mae) Nguyen (Nguyễn Thu Trang) is an affiliated researcher at New York University School of Law, U.S.-Asia Law Institute, and a visiting scholar at University of California Berkeley School of Law. Her research focuses on comparative Vietnamese and Chinese legal systems, including Vietnam and China’s local experiments, criminal justice and procedures, land and maritime border negotiations, and environmental litigation. Mae's academic work has been published in the New York University Law Review and by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Mae earned a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, where she was a Mitchell Jacobson Law & Leadership Fellow and executive editor of the New York University Law Review. She is fluent in Vietnamese.


Alvin Y.H. Cheung's research interests include the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong and Macau, China's approach to international law, and the relationship between trade policy and intellectual property.  Alvin holds degrees from NYU (LL.M. in International Legal Studies, 2014) and Cambridge (M.A. 2011), and has worked in Hong Kong as a barrister and as a lecturer in Law & Public Affairs at Hong Kong Baptist University. Alvin has written and presented extensively about Hong Kong for both academic and lay audiences. In addition to being a contributor at ICONnect, his writing on Hong Kong has appeared in publications such as ChinaFile, the South China Morning PostThe DiplomatOpinio JurisWorld Policy Journal, and China Rights Forum. He has also been quoted by Al-JazeeraDPA, and theAssociated Press.



Aaron Halegua is a practicing lawyer, consultant, and researcher at both USALI and NYU Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law. His expertise includes labor and employment law, dispute resolution, legal aid and access to justice, labor trafficking, labor issues involving “One Belt, One Road” investments, and corporate social responsibility and supply chains in the United States, China, and internationally. He has written numerous book chapters, op-eds, and law review articles in publications such as the Berkeley Journal of International Law, Harvard Law & Policy Review (Online), Hong Kong Law Journal, South China Morning Post, Washington Post, and ChinaFile. He is also the author of the report Who Will Represent China's Workers? Lawyers, Legal Aid, and the Enforcement of Labor Rights (2016). Aaron has consulted on labor issues in China, Myanmar, Malaysia, and elsewhere for Apple, the Ford Foundation, International Labor Organization, International Labor Rights Forum, Asia Foundation, and American Bar Association. He has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Economist as well as been invited to speak throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. After law school, Aaron was a Skadden Fellow in the Employment Law Unit of the Legal Aid Society. He then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard J. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Aaron lived in Beijing, China for two years: first as a Fulbright Scholar at Peking University Law School, and then with Yale Law School’s China Law Center. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. in International Relations from Brown University. He is speaks, reads, and writes Mandarin Chinese. More information is available on his website: