[photopress:MBA_Jeffry_Lehmann.jpg,full,alignright]A new, U.S.-style law school in Shenzhen aims to be the first foreign law school to be accredited by the American Bar Association, which would enable its graduates to take U.S state bar examinations. Nearly all states limit applications for the bar exam to those who hold a degree from an ABA-accredited law school.
No other overseas law school is accredited by the ABA, but that’s because none has ever sought ABA accreditation and, importantly, the ABA’s standards don’t limit accreditation to schools within the U.S.
The new school, Peking University School of Transnational Law, is entirely separate from Peking University’s law school and takes American legal education as its model — a three-year graduate J.D. program, taught in English by a predominantly American faculty teaching U.S. law.
The founding dean, Jeffrey Lehman, seen in our illustration, was previously president of Cornell University and dean of the University of Michigan Law School.
The school is aiming to supply lawyers to international firms working in China.
Dean Lehman says that while the school aspires to gain ABA accreditation, it’s a very tough process that can’t even be started until the school’s second year of operation, and there’s no guarantee that the school will be accredited.
He said, covering his rear as all good lawyers should, ‘We are not in any position to make any representation to anyone that we will be approved by the American Bar Association prior to the graduation of any students entering now. All we can say is that we are determined to devote all necessary resources, and to do all that is required, to present a program of legal education that will qualify for approval by the ABA.’
At a fair guess it will all go smoothly.
Source: Wall Street Journal