Mark A. Levin

Professor Mark A. Levin, a Japanese law specialist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa William S. Richardson Law School since 1997, has been named director of the school’s Pacific-Asian Legal Studies (PALS) program. Levin is also deputy director of the Institute of Asian-Pacific Business Law at the UH law school.

“The PALS program has been central to the law school’s mission and Mark has been a fixture within it for nearly 20 years,” said School of Law Dean Avi Soifer. “Our law school concentrated on the Pacific Rim and Asia from the time of our founding, and we are confident that, with the help of Mark’s leadership, the excellent courses and programs we offer will be even more highly regarded in the future across the globe.”

Levin said he is excited to take on this new responsibility and for the opportunity it offers to work more closely with colleagues, students, alumni and friends.

“The president recently described America making a pivot to Asia for the 21st-century but Richardson law school has no need to pivot,” noted Levin. “Asian and Pacific legal studies have been a part of what we have done from the start.

“Our PALS program’s reach has geographic breadth from India, up through the ASEAN region, to all of East Asia and across the waters to the many Pacific Island nations and territories. We have unique depth in our world-famous multifaceted faculty of area specialists in the public and private legal spheres and with our student-led Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, which is in its 18th year of publication.

“When you look at academic exchanges and research scholarship, you realize that nearly three-quarters of the Richardson instructional faculty have had some form of teaching or professional engagement in the past five years in Asia and the Pacific. Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA are the three best-known law schools on the West Coast, but we believe we do more than they do in the PALS area,” said Levin

More about the Pacific-Asian Legal Studies program

The PALS program is the law school’s largest specialized certificate program, with 11 faculty members and a rich array of course offerings. It is thought to be the most expansive program of its type offered by any law school in the United States.

—By Beverly Creamer