[photopress:MBA_Nanning.jpg,full,alignright]Brandt Goldstein, a visiting associate professor at New York Law School and author of the book, Storming the Court, is on a Ford Foundation travel grant speaking at several Chinese universities.
He writes that he is at Guangxi University in Nanning ‘where more than 70 Chinese law professors have gathered for a conference on clinical legal education. ‘Like much else in China, legal pedagogy is hurrying into the modern era.
‘Clinical legal education – student representation of real clients under faculty supervision – didn’t exist in China a decade ago. There are now over eighty clinical programs in Chinese law schools.
‘An undergraduate degree is enough to become a lawyer in China, though many opt for graduate study in law because it offers greater career opportunities.
‘In either case, the big hurdle remains the bar examination, which has just a 7% passage rate.’
‘The Guangxi conference, focused as it was on clinical courses, had a distinctly public-interest edge. There was talk of fighting for justice and representing the poor against the powerful. A number of the clinics, for instance, represent unskilled workers in suits against companies for back wages. But plenty of students also plan to enter the private sector. One young woman said she wanted a career that combined law and business; another student told me he hoped to buy a BMW.
‘After the conference, I joined a graduate student for a walk through Guangxi’s colossal modern campus. Evidence of the new China was everywhere. New Volkswagens and Hondas were parked along the streets. Every student seemed to have a cell phone. And typical American college gear – jeans, T-shirts – was the norm.
‘Beyond the campus gates there were wide thoroughfares lined with palm trees and a proliferation of skyscrapers, lit at night in candy-colored neon. Almost all of them have been built in the last decade or so. Whether it’s legal education or office towers and high-rise apartment buildings, China continues to change – and fast.’
Source: Wall Street Journal