Internationalization and Integration of Doctrine, Skills and Ethics in Legal Education: The Contrasting Situations of the United States and Japan
Hōshakaigaku [The Journal of the Japanese Association for the Sociology of Law], Vol. 75, pp. 8-70 (2011)
32 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015
Date Written: 2011
This article addresses two trends in legal education: internationalization and integration of doctrine, skills and legal ethics. In the United States, international and comparative law, skills training, and legal ethics all have deep historical roots in legal education, and the past few decades have seen further major increases in each of those areas. A particularly noteworthy recent development is the rise in efforts to integrate skills training and attention to ethical issues with doctrinal analysis, rather than just teaching each of those elements separately. Notably, Harvard Law School, which continues to influence educational patterns at other law schools within the United States and abroad, has embraced both trends wholeheartedly, beginning from the first year of law school. After surveying the history of internationalization, skills training, and education in ethics at U.S. law schools, this article discusses the recent developments, including the Harvard reforms, and then examines various forces that have fostered the trends.
The article then turns to Japan, where the situation lies in sharp contrast to that in the United States. After Japan's new legal training system commenced operation in 2004, a number of law schools made promising initial progress in the areas of internationalization, clinical education, and other efforts to integrates skills and ethics. Over the intervening seven years, however, many of those efforts have lost steam and begun to falter. Through a comparative examination of the relevant forces in the Japanese context, this article seeks to assess whether the setbacks are temporary in nature or are likely to persist over the long term.
Keywords: legal education, law schools, justice reform, internationalization, globalization, comparative law, legal history
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