The Reform of Legal Education in East Asia
Posted: 27 Dec 2008
Date Written: December, 23 2008
Legal education in East Asia, particularly in China, Japan, and Korea, is undergoing fundamental changes, both institutionally and pedagogically. A common feature of those changes is the introduction of elements of the American system of legal education. Although traditional legal education in these countries has been provided at an undergraduate level and has not been considered professional legal education, recent and current reforms in those countries are either adding postgraduate professional law schools to existing undergraduate legal education or replacing undergraduate legal education with postgraduate professional law schools. The main parts of this review describe key features of those reforms in the three countries. The conclusion draws some theoretical implications from similarities and differences among the three countries, particularly in terms of the role of the top elite as agents of reform and of the constraints of different local conditions.
Keywords: legal changes, professional law school, American model, China, Korea, Japan
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