China and the Globalization of Legal Education: A Look into the Future

September 2017 University of California, Irvine School of Law-Australian National University conference on The Globalization of Legal Education: A Critical Study, and will be forthcoming in a published compilation of papers from the conference

Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 17-10

22 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Philip McConnaughay

Philip McConnaughay

Peking University School of Transnational Law

Colleen Toomey

Peking University School of Transnational Law

Date Written: September 9, 2017

Abstract

Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) began as an American law school in China, a transplant reflective of the growing worldwide appetite for American legal education and perhaps as well of an assumption that law everywhere eventually will converge around the Western legal tradition. When STL’s ambition of ABA approval evaporated with the ABA’s decision not to extend its accreditation jurisdiction beyond the United States, the law school was forced to take a fresh look at its purpose and mission. It did not need to look far. The mixing of legal traditions under way in China’s Pearl River Delta challenges more sharply than ever before both of the assumptions upon which STL was founded, as does China’s growing global influence and the promise of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. These developments compel a rethinking of legal education, whether American, Chinese or other. This is the task to which STL’s faculty turned. We preserved STL’s American law J.D. curriculum but dramatically elevated the importance of STL’s China law curriculum and introduced new methods of instruction likely to influence the teaching and exploration of China law and legal traditions everywhere. Additionally, we increasingly blend these two curriculums in ways reflective of the blending of Western and non-Western legal traditions under way in China and throughout the non-West. STL is attempting to prepare its graduates for the day, as Harold Berman predicted, “in which a multicultural East and West and North and South [begin] to forge a new tradition of world law.”

Keywords: Legal education, China, globalization, Western legal tradition, non-Western traditions, Pearl River Delta, Belt and Road, Shenzhen, Qianhai, Hong Kong

Suggested Citation

McConnaughay, Philip J. and Toomey, Colleen, China and the Globalization of Legal Education: A Look into the Future (September 9, 2017). September 2017 University of California, Irvine School of Law-Australian National University conference on The Globalization of Legal Education: A Critical Study, and will be forthcoming in a published compilation of papers from the conference, Peking University School of Transnational Law Research Paper No. 17-10, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3082649

Philip J. McConnaughay (Contact Author)

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

University Town
Xili Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

Colleen Toomey

Peking University School of Transnational Law ( email )

University Town,
Xili, Nanshan District
Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055
China

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