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Getting Real About Globalization and Legal Education: Potential and Perspectives for the U.S.

47 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014

Date Written: 2013


This article addresses whether U.S. law schools are preparing their JD students to work in the global environment that many — if not most — law graduates will encounter. It begins by considering the significance of globalization for legal education, drawing on research analyzing its influence on legal practice, as well as on higher education. It then explores possible settings and opportunities for learning to work in a global environment. For the vast majority of students whose learning must occur in the U.S., the presence of international students in their law school offers the potential for creating a global learning environment. Data from the Law School Survey of Student Engagement is used to consider the quality and quantity of interaction between students in JD programs — generally U.S. nationals — and international graduate law students. Generally, the story is one of lost opportunity. In order to address this void, schools must design interaction rather than leave it to chance, and the elements of this, as developed in other disciplines, are examined in the context of legal education. Finally, the article considers the ways in which law schools are likely to use globalization as mechanisms of competition, offering slightly different opportunities and challenges. In each case, developing global learning environments will require intentional choreography.

Keywords: legal education, globalization, legal profession

JEL Classification: K1, K49, K40, J10, I20, I29, F00

Suggested Citation

Silver, Carole, Getting Real About Globalization and Legal Education: Potential and Perspectives for the U.S. (2013). Stanford Law & Policy Review, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2013; Indiana Legal Studies Research Paper No. 265. Available at SSRN:

Carole Silver (Contact Author)

Northwestern University School of Law ( email )

375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
United States


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