Law school reaches out to China

April 2, 2013 11:00 AM

Nick Marinello
mr4@tulane.edu

Law professor Joel Friedman.

Joel Friedman hopes a new summer program will be the beginning of a string of  institutional affiliations with China. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)


With summer abroad programs in Europe and South America, the Tulane Law School has traditionally offered its students the opportunity for culturally infused training in international law. That training will travel to Asia this June, when the school debuts the Tulane Institute of Chinese Law and Business Transactions at university campuses in Beijing and Shanghai. It’s a step toward developing what institute director Joel Friedman hopes will be a string of new institutional affiliations with China and ultimately around the globe.

“There is a tremendous hunger in China for contact with the West,” says Friedman, the Jack M. Gordon Professor of Procedural Law and Jurisdiction. “There is the opportunity for law schools in America to create relationships with Chinese law schools, law firms and courts that might need training or exposure to American law. We want to be the main source for Chinese institutions.”

To that end, Tulane Law School has negotiated with the summer institute’s host institutions, China University of Political Science and Law (Beijing) and Fudan University (Shanghai), to create a special graduate degree (LLM) program for Chinese law students at those schools.

“Their students who have finished three years apply and come to Tulane for an LLM program,” says Friedman. “At the end of the one year at Tulane — if they successfully complete it — they get both their own undergraduate law degree and a Tulane LLM.”

And if the pilot LLM program is successful, the law school will seek to partner with universities in other countries. “The dean [David Meyer] has authorized me to talk to administrators in South America, which I am,” says Friedman.

In the meantime, Tulane students can look forward to increased exposure to international law.

“Many of our students need to be aware of the international consequences of what they do,” says Friedman. “Students understand that the world is small, and law is internationalized.”

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