NEW ORLEANS — Tulane University Law School Dean David Meyer recently returned from Beijing, where he joined university deans from Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore and China as featured guests at the Global Legal Education at a Crossroads conference last month.
Sponsored by Tsinghua University Law School and the China Law Society, the conference focused on what law schools need to be doing to prepare new lawyers for the global practice of law.
“Law practice is becoming increasingly globalized,” Meyer recently told the Louisiana Record. “You can see this most obviously in the emergence of transnational mega-firms like Norton Rose Fulbright, but also even in small-town practice, where practitioners are more likely to encounter business and individual clients with legal issues touching more than one legal system.”
On the issue of similarities and differences within international legal communities, Meyer said, “It was striking to see how law schools and the legal profession spanning the world are grappling with precisely the same pressures and challenges right now.”
Meyer maintains that it is necessary for the U.S. to stay a primary collaborator in the advancement of international law.
“Our future success demands that we build understanding and competency across traditional boundaries, both professional and cultural,” he said.
Tulane is at the forefront of more innovative thinking regarding international law.
“We feel fortunate to be at the leading edge of this transformation through the strength of our comparative law tradition, our integrated study of both the civil and common law, and our early leadership of clinical education," Meyer said.
This most recent conference in China is particularly of interest because it celebrates the 20th anniversary of Tsinghua University Law School’s re-opening after its closing during the Cultural Revolution.
“The rebirth of one of China’s finest law schools reflects a much broader effort in China to build a stronger, credible rule of law,” Meyer said. “The stakes of this project, for China and the rest of the world, are enormous and it creates a unique opportunity for American legal education to play a leadership role. The relationship between China and the United States will profoundly influence future prospects for peace, stability, democracy and prosperity around the world, and there is an opportunity now to make a difference in how that develops.”