Mark A. Levin

  • Professor of Law


  • BBA high distinction University of Michigan 1980
  • JD Yale Law School 1983
  • LLM University of Washington 1990


Professor Levin joined the faculty in January 1997 from the Law Department of Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. His interest in Japan began after his 1983 graduation from Yale Law School, when he worked in international business and financial transactions at Masuda and Ejiri, one of the leading Tokyo international law offices at the time.

From 1984 to 1986, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle, Washington, and then practiced in Seattle for five years as a corporate attorney, representing numerous Japanese clients. Professor Levin also earned an LL.M. from the University of Washington’s Asian Law Program (Japanese Law Emphasis) in 1990.

In 1992, Professor Levin was one of the first recipients of a Blakemore Foundation Grant for Advanced Asian Language Study, which enabled him to study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama for one year. This was followed by a Japan Foundation Fellowship for one year of research at the Tokyo University Faculty of Law. He was then invited to Hokkaido to become the first non-Japanese given full status as a faculty member at the law department there, teaching a variety of subjects concerning American law and advising graduate student researchers on related topics.

Professor Levin’s scholarly publications have considered diverse topics including smoking and tobacco regulation in Japan, legal education in Japan, and the legal circumstances of race and indigenous peoples in Japan. Briefer writings have looked at Japanese legal history, Japan’s new lay judge system, and the April 2007 Japanese Supreme Court decision concerning the nation’s history of sexual slavery and forced labor during mid-20th century wartime engagements in Asia and the Pacific. Works have been published in leading law journals in both the United States and Japan.

Professor Levin's current research is centered around a multi-year project focusing on judicial administration and procedural justice in Japan. The first of three works envisioned in the project – “Courts and Constitutions: The Limits of Instrumental Judicial Administration in Japan,” was published in Volume 20.2 of the University of Washington’s Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal in February 2011.

Professor Levin is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Journal of Japanese Studies. He has served on the State of Hawai‘i Supreme Court’s Committee on Certification of Court Interpreters and its Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, and as Vice-Chair of the State of Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board from 2007 - 2009. He is also currently serving on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate and the University’s Center for Japanese Studies’ Executive Board.


(links open to online open access)


  • Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Japanese Studies, May 2011 – present.
  • Honorary Advisor for International and Domestic Policy, Japan Society for Tobacco Control, Tokyo, Japan, August 2006 - present. Advisory Board, Blakemore Foundation, Seattle, Washington, 1998 - present.
  • Supreme Court Permanent Committee on Equality and Access to the Courts, Supreme Court of the State of Hawai‘i, July 2004 - June 2007.
  • Hawai‘i State Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Advisory Board, April 2007 - June 2009; Vice-chair, November 2007 - June 2009.
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Faculty Senate, March 2011 – present.
  • Visiting Scholar, Hokkaido University Law School, Sapporo, Japan, June-July 2007, June-July 2009, July-August 2011.
  • Visiting Lecturer, Meijo University Law School, Nagoya, Japan, June 2007.
  • Visiting Lecturer, San’in Law School, Matsue, Japan, March 2007.