Colloquium on Internationalizing Legal Education


Internationalizing Legal Education: Resources from NAFSA's 2012 Colloquium
May 29, 2012

NAFSA’s programs on internationalizing the professional disciplines are designed to serve as a catalyst for transforming curriculums and infusing global knowledge, awareness, and cross-cultural competence in coursework and co-curricular activities. NAFSA’s programs offer strategies, model practice, and resources for this work and build communities of practice among discipline faculty, deans, and other international education professionals.

The first colloquium on internationalizing legal education was held in Houston, Texas in May 2012. More than 50 participants from law schools and related organizations heard presentations on best strategies for internationalization; were provided specific examples of how to integrate global issues into their law school curriculum; and participated round table discussion.

Participants left with strategies for curriculum transformation to help build future lawyer’s capacity to grasp global and cross-cultural issues.

Presentation Materials

All links are to PDFsIcon PDF 16  

Colloquium Program
The program provides the schedule of events, session titles and descriptions, and the presenters' names and institutions.

Are Law Schools Developing Effective Global Practitioners?
This panel provided a vision of what skills employers are they looking for in a law graduates and posed the question of whether or not U.S law schools are providing it.

  • Maureen Watkins, JD, Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law provided a case study of how Pacific McGeorge undertook and implemented the integration of global issues in its law school curriculum.
  • Matthew J. Wilson, JD, Associate Professor of Law, University of Wyoming College of Law opened the panel by exploring ideas, initiatives, and programs that can enhance international education at the law school level.

The Curriculum: Educating Lawyers for Global Practice Today
Christopher A. Whytock, PhD, JD, Assistant Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California Irvine School of Law, provided a vision of what law schools are and should be doing to prepare graduates to work in the increasingly interconnected world of porous borders. He asked participants to think about the goals they have for internationalization, and in particular, what students should know and be able to do as lawyers and leaders in a globalized world.

Round Table Discussions: Participants were invited to choose a table based on the topic they wanted to discuss in a small group.

Law School Partnerships: Pathways for Internationalization
Panelists provided an overview of various models of study abroad, shared their successes and challenges, and the extent to which study abroad is integrated, supported and encouraged (or not) by law schools for their own students. Particular attention was paid to partner institutions and the impact they have on the internationalization of legal education.

  • Hans De Wulf, LLM, Professor of Law and Director, International Relations Office, Ghent University Law School focused on the massive impact the Erasmus programs (Erasmus Exchange and Erasmus Mundus) have had on European legal education
  • Adam Kolker, JD, Adjunct Professor of Law; Assistant Dean and Executive Director, Office of Transnational Programs, Georgetown Law presented on the global partnership administered by Georgetown Law that is The Center for Transnational Legal Studies. The program currently encompasses schools from about 20 countries on five continents
  • Eleanor W. Myers, JD, Associate Professor of Law, Temple University Beasley School of Law finished up the panel presenting on Temple Law School's Rule of Law program in China. The 15-month program, operates in collaboration with Tsinghua University School of Law, was the first foreign law degree granting program approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education

Building your Global Network: How, Why, and the Benefits
Theresa Kaiser, JD, Director of Study Abroad and International Exchange, American University Washington College of Law presented various strategies to help achieve your law school’s unique internationalization purposes and goals. The interactive session made participants think about what it means to internationalize legal education within the context of their specific institution.