USALI hosts 10-12 outstanding foreign research scholars each year. Our visiting scholars, who are funded by external sources, include judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal journalists, and legislators, as well as academics. Scholars are able to audit classes at NYU while pursuing their own research goals and contributing to Institute projects. Our bi-monthly Visiting Scholar Workshop Series provides an opportunity for visiting scholars to share their work with experts from various fields.
Learn about the Visiting Scholars Program here.
2017 - 2018 USALI Visiting Scholars
Seigo Onishi has worked as a judge at the Tokyo District Court since 2013. His background is in complex civil and administrative cases. He received his LL.B. and J.D. degrees from Kyoto University. Onishi was sent to the United States by the Supreme Court of Japan as a member of the Japanese Government Long-Term Overseas Fellowship Program of the National Personnel Authority. Subsequently, he attained an LL.M. degree from Cornell Law School. During his time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, his research will focus on the relationship between complicated civil cases and civil juries.
Ms. Hatano is currently a Ph.D. candidate of the University of Tokyo in the field of international human rights law and development. Her interest is in exploring how international norms become internalized or vernacular particular societies. She holds a B.A. in International Relations, a J.D. and a M.A. in Human Security Studies at the University of Tokyo and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law. She has worked in a global investment banking, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and non-governmental organizations with a focus on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations in Geneva. She has also worked in international organizations such as The Hague Conference on Private International Law in the Netherlands, and UNICEF in Sierra Leone focusing on women’s rights and children’s rights. She has engaged in advocacy to protect the human rights of minorities, women and children, with a focus on sustainable development. Her recent research focuses on hate speech and racial discrimination in Asia.
Mr. Ren Ito is a diplomat, scholar, and social entrepreneur, and joined the Japanese Foreign Service in 2001 and held key positions in Tokyo and Washington D.C. for 15 years. He has a strong track record in building a broad network with governments, businesses, and civil societies in the US, Japan, and other Asian countries, as well as managing politically sensitive negotiations on East Asia’s geopolitical dynamics, security framework and trade facilitation. After his career in the government, Ren moved to the private sector and now holds executive positions in a number of Japanese and American start-ups to lead their international operations. Ren’s current research focuses on the strategic implications of the maritime disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and how Japan, the US and China view sovereignty and international law of the sea. Ren’s study also includes questions arising from international business transactions, in particular, arbitration, dispute settlement, privacy and data protection in cyber space. Ren received his LL.M. from NYU School of Law, and his LL.B. from the University of Tokyo. Ren also holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.
Yizhi Huang currently works at Beijing Yirenping, a rights advocacy center. During her six years with the organization, she has been responsible for the implementation of many projects, such as the “Advocacy for Anti-discrimination Law.” Additionally, she has coordinated and presented many public interest cases, such as the first case on genetic discrimination in China, the first case on gender employment discrimination (one of China's top ten public interest litigation cases in 2012) and the case against the Beijing Police Bureau Hukou registration (one China's top ten public interest litigation in 2013). She graduated from Tsinghua University Law School in 2007 and was admitted to Chinese Bar in June 2009. She obtained her Masters’ degree on human rights law from the University of Hong Kong in 2015. Following this, she worked as a Research Asisstant for Professor Fu Hualing to conduct research on human rights lawyers in China and organize workshops for mainland lawyers on topical issues.
Prior to joining NYU as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Zhiyu Li received her JSD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as a teaching assistant for the Legal Research and Writing course. Her primary research interests are in legislation and statutory interpretation, administrative law, judicial decision-making, and comparative law. Her scholarly work has appeared in U.S. and international journals, including the Washington International Law Journal and the Review of Law & Economics. Her co-authored article on the positive political theory of comparative administrative law received an honorable mention for the Colin B. Picker Prize, awarded by the American Society of Comparative Law. She is also a member of the P.R.C. bar. Zhiyu is currently engaged in a project that describes and accounts for the diffusion of judicial innovation in Chinese courts. To elucidate the lawmaking function of the Chinese judiciary, she employs both qualitative methods, such as doctrinal analysis, case studies, and interviews, and quantitative methods, such as traditional surveys, and survey experiments. The fruits of this inquiry should be of interest to researchers who are seeking a theoretical understanding of the development of Chinese law and to practitioners who are trying to predict legal and regulatory trends in China.
Mr. Xiaoguang Wang is a discipline inspector at Zhoushan Supervisory Committee (est. May 2017) and is responsible for anti-corruption cases in China. He graduated with a LL.B degree in 2008 and a LL.M. degree in 2011 from Southwest University of Political Science and Law. From August 2011 to May 2017, he served as a prosecutor in Zhoushan People's Procuratorate, focusing on crime investigation. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Criminal Procedure Law at East China University of Political Science and Law (ECUPL) in Shanghai. He has also received many honors, such as Sterling Civil Servants, Order of Commendation, and Academic Researcher. During his time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York University, his research will focus on interrogation and wrongful convictions.
Yishien Wu graduated from National Chung Cheng University in 2004, and has been a Taiwanese prosecutor for seven years, specializing in criminal law and criminal procedure. She initially worked in investigations, primarily in domestic and child abuse, disaster fraud, and environmental crimes. Later, she transferred to the Public Prosecutor Department. There, she was responsible for high profile cases, such as those dealing with political corruption, corruption within the judicial system itself, and insider trading. At the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, she will focus on the relationship between the media and judicial systems, particularly researching the correlation between freedom of the press and the principle of secret investigation and how this correlation may or may not affect trial outcomes in the U.S.
Ms. Dongni Yan is a Ph.D. candidate at Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s (SJTU) School of Law, where she also obtained her Master’s Degree. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree from East China Normal University. Her current research focuses on eminent domain, planning, and zoning. Ms. Yan published several academic papers about judicial review in cases of urban and rural development in China. She was also invited as a member of the team to take part in academic projects as conducting research on the development of compensation standards of takings in Shanghai and on legal issues in the process of urban renewal in Shenzhen. During her time at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, she will continue her research on land use regulation from a comparative perspective.
Ryangok Ku received her J.D in 2008 from Osaka University and registered with the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA) in 2009. She is a polyglot lawyer in Japan, a native speaker of Japanese and Korean (also intermediate Chinese). She specializes in providing legal services to foreigners and foreign companies including business, immigration, labor, and family law. Ryangok also served as lead counsel of a leading case of hate speech from 2009-2014, and won the Supreme Court decision that affirmed the illegality of racial discrimination. Her recent research focuses on legal systems for addressing hate speech, hate crime and their practical use in the United States
Ms. Meijun Xu is currently a professor at Fudan University Law School, China. Her research focuses on judicial reform in China, and her publications include articles on investigative powers, simplified criminal procedure, criminal mediation, comparative judicial systems and criminal evidence. In recent years her research interests have centered mainly on wrongful convictions and the standard of proof in criminal procedure. She will conduct empirical research on the death penalty during her stay at USALI.