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Rie Nishida


Admitted as a Japanese bengoshi (lawyer) in 2012, Rie is a member of Tokyo Bar Association and the New York Bar. She was educated at Hitotsubashi University, the Hitotsubashi University’s Graduate School of Law (JD), and the Legal Research and Training Institute of the Supreme Court of Japan (2012).

Rie specializes in the areas of criminal defense and dispute resolution. She started her career at a boutique law firm in 2012, where she handled a variety of criminal defense cases and dispute resolution cases. Cases she has handled include relatively petty crimes, like shoplifting, as well as more serious crimes such as drug cases, bodily injury resulting in death, and white-collar crimes.

As Rie got more interested in working in the fields of criminal defense and criminal justice reform, she decided to study at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Law as a visiting fellow from the Japan Federation of Bar Associations from 2015 to 2016, where she focused on studying criminal defense and constitutional issues regarding the capital punishment system. After that, in 2017, Rie decided to study at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law, where she studied different areas of criminal defense, particularly cases involving those facing capital punishment at the university’s Capital Punishment Clinic and obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree.


After obtaining her LL.M. in the United States and being admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 2017, Rie returned to Tokyo where she worked for Japanese law firm Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo, which specializes in providing multi-national clients with legal services in the areas of Japanese labor law, dispute resolution, and internal investigation in companies. The areas she focused on at this firm ranged from employment litigation and general commercial litigations to regulatory investigations for internal crimes or harassments.


Rie, who is a member of the Death Penalty Due Process Review Project, has also been actively engaged in trying to reform death penalty laws in Japan. As a member of the project, which is made up of lawyers and scholars concerned about implementation of the death penalty in Japan, as well as about other aspects of the Japanese criminal justice system, Rie has also represented death row inmates in their retrials.

In 2021, Rie started Shinjuku International Law Firm.

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