|Born||May 1, 1969|
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
Magdalen College, Oxford (MSc)
Yale University (JD)
Kenji Yoshino (born May 1, 1969) is a legal scholar and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law. Formerly, he was the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. His work involves constitutional law, anti-discrimination law, civil and human rights, as well as law and literature, and Japanese law and society.
Yoshino graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy (1987) as valedictorian and Harvard College, obtaining a B.A. in English literature summa cum laude in 1991. Between undergraduate years, Yoshino worked as an aide for various members of the Japanese Parliament. He moved on to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a M.Sc. in management studies (industrial relations) in 1993. In 1996, he earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
From 1996 to 1997, Yoshino served as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 1998, he received a tenure-track position at Yale Law School as an associate professor, and in 2003 the school bestowed a full professorship. In 2006, he was named the inaugural Guido Calabresi Professor of Law. Courts throughout the United States, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have referenced Yoshino's work.
His first book Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights was published in 2006. It is a mix of argument intertwined with pertinent biographical narratives. His second book, A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice was published in 2011. In 2016, his book Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial was published and received the Stonewall Book Award's Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award.
Covering won the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Non-Fiction from Publishing Triangle in 2007. His major areas of interest include social dynamics, conformity and assimilation, as well as queer (LGBT) and personal liberty issues. He has been a co-plaintiff in cases related to his specialties.
During the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years, he served as a visiting professor at New York University School of Law, and in February 2008 he accepted a full-time tenured position as the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law.
In May 2011, Yoshino was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers, where he served a six-year term. In 2023, Kenji Yoshino joined the Facebook Oversight Board.
A Japanese American, and openly gay man, Yoshino writes poetry for personal enjoyment.