The Globalisation of Legal Education & making friends around the world

I like to follow bicycle racing.  We’re about half-way through Le Tour de France.  One of my favorite teams is team CSC (now CSC-Saxo Bank) and its rider Frank Schleck is just 1 second behind the overall leader at the moment.  Schleck is from Luxembourg and he rides on a Canadian bicycle for the Danish team CSC, which is sponsored by an American computer company.

What made me think of this is an article being written by Simon Chesterman, “. . . an Australian educated in Europe working for an American law school based in Asia, . . . “

Chesterman directs the NYU School of Law and National University of Singapore Dual Degree Programme, known informally as NYU@NUS.

In his paper, The Globalisation of Legal Education“  (Singapore Journal of Legal Studies, Forthcoming), Chesterman explains how “law has moved from internationalisation to transnationalisation, and then to globalisation in the space of about a generation each.”

Due to these changes, “. . . faculties will seek ways to ensure that their graduates are both intellectually and culturally flexible, capable of adapting not merely to new laws but to new jurisdictions.  Comparative and international subjects will receive greater emphasis, with comparative and international perspectives also being introduced to a wider range of subjects.”

Chesterman counsels that “at least some international experience will increasingly be seen as essential to the practice of law at the upper echelons . . . “

His abstract:

This article examines the evolution of legal education as it has moved through international, transnational, and now global paradigms. It explores these paradigms by reference to practice, pedagogy, and research. Internationalisation saw the world as an archipelago of jurisdictions, with a small number of lawyers involved in mediating disputes between jurisdictions or determining which jurisdiction applied; transnationalisation saw the world as a patchwork, with greater need for familiarity across jurisdictions and hence a growth in exchanges and collaborations; globalisation is now seeing the world as a web in more ways than one, with lawyers needing to be comfortable in multiple jurisdictions.

Source:  LSN Legal Education Vol. 5 No. 26,  07/16/2008

Which brings me back to bicycling.  Our alumnus and former international student Markus Wagner is currently on a bicycling odyssey, pedaling from the Black Forest of Germany to the Yellow Sea of China, and spending time with several law school classmates who are sprinkled through the region he is covering.

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