Internationalizing Legal Education: Resources from NAFSA's 2014 Colloquium


Pathways to Global Competence in Legal Education

Deans, faculty members, senior international officers, and program directors from schools of law met at the NAFSA 2014 Colloquium on Internationalizing Legal Education to discuss strategies for incorporating global perspectives into legal education. Experts in the field presented and discussed best practices in internationalized law education programs, and explored strategies and techniques to internationalize the law school including the use of distance technology. They also discussed with the participants the challenges and benefits of having international students on campus and the need to create opportunities for meaningful interaction with domestic students.

Presentation Materials

Colloquium Program (150kb Adobe PDF)
The colloquium was held in San Diego in May 2014. More than 40 participants from legal education programs and organizations heard presentations and participated in discussions and networking opportunities. The program provides the schedule of events, session titles and descriptions, and the presenters' names and institutions.

Introduction and Overview of the Program
Adelaide Ferguson, Global Education and Development Consultant, offered an overview of the program and the colloquium goals.

Capitalizing on Our Global Assets: Developing the Global Competence of All Law Students (250kb Adobe PDF )
Carole Silver, Northwestern University School of Law, presented on the challenges of integrating international students on U.S. campuses. Her data showed a lack of interaction between international and domestic students in law schools. Carole discussed the idea of developing meaningful interaction between these groups of students and that creating such interactions require intentional strategies for change. She concluded that it is crucial to study the effect of efforts to structure meaningful interaction in law schools in order to provide opportunities to monitor and improve the learning environment with regard to globalization for all law students.

Getting Real About Globalization and Legal Education:  Potential and Perspectives for the U.S. (440kb Adobe PDF )
Reprinted with the permission of the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University, published in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, 24 STAN L. & POL'Y REV. 457 (2013).

Concurrent Sessions

Effective and Creative Use of Distance Technology to Internationalize the Domestic Law School Classroom
Michele DeStefano, University of Miami School of Law, an expert in distance learning and the law, demonstrated how effective distance-learning tools are to promote real learning in law schools. She brings people together to collaborate on a business law project providing an international real-world experience.

Perspectives on Legal Education from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the United States
Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, Dean Emerita at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, facilitated a panel discussion on trends in legal education from four regions, and offered a U.S. approach to legal education. Faculty members from law schools in China, Norway, and Mexico provided information on their home institutions, and discussed national and regional perspectives on legal education .

The panelists from abroad were:

Challenges and Opportunities with NonTraditional Clinical Models (600kb Adobe PDF)
Andrea A. Ramos, Southwestern Law School, provided an overview of Live Client Clinics with a focus on the benefits to domestic and international students. It included a discussion of casework, community work, teaching cultural competency, and the importance of collaboration between student partners. 

Internationalization of Teaching and Learning
Khary D. Hornsby, University of Minnesota Law School, discussed how the concentration of international students in U.S. law schools has steadily increased over the past few years. Using the changing demographics of the U.S. legal education landscape as a backdrop, his presentation provided the opportunity for an interactive discussion of goals and strategies for real and relevant internationalization of teaching and learning within the law school curriculum.  

Making the Most of Pre- and Post–Study Abroad/Intercultural Competency
Theresa Kaiser (325kb Adobe PDF), American University Washington College of Law, and Lori Reynolds, Peking University, covered challenges of efforts to increase students' intercultural competency as well as examples of how students are developing these competencies through study abroad and other academic opportunities. Participants discussed the need for law graduates to be prepared for transnational legal practices and to work with diverse clients and colleagues. Study abroad experiences can help students better understand different cultures in general and legal cultures in particular.

Use of Distance Technology to Internationalize the Domestic Law School Classroom
Michele DeStefano, University of Miami School of Law, held a short version of her morning session on how effective distance-learning tools are to promote real learning in law schools.

Welcoming and Maximizing the Benefits of International Students in U.S. Law Schools: A Practical Guide
George E. Edwards, Robert H. McKinney School of Law, discussed techniques that any school can use to integrate international students into the classroom, making a richer learning experience for all. 

Wrap Up
Adelaide Ferguson, Global Education and Development Consultant, summarized the day by pointing out that the Colloquium on Internationalizing Legal Education has become what was hoped for—a forum for legal educators, including deans, professors, and administrators from all over the world, to share ideas and best practices and connect with potential partners.


NAFSA thanks the Law School Admission Council (LSAC®) for their generous support of this event.