Our US law students are hosted by Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL) in tropical Shenzhen, adjacent to Hong Kong. See STL’s website here. STL’s four-year graduate school combines a US-style Juris Doctor degree with a Chinese Juris Master degree. Its JD courses are taught in English by mostly American and other Western professors. Its faculty also includes visiting US professors and judges, most recently US Justice Samuel Alito. See here. Our two-week program occurs in late May, while STL remains in full academic session but before many US summer legal jobs begin.
In early 2016, as a complement to our longstanding DC Program for Chinese law students, we launched this China Program for US law students. From May 22–June 4, 2016, at the beginning of their summer break, two law students from the University of Virginia (UVA) met with Chinese lawyers, law professors, law students, and government officials, observed government and legal proceedings, and traveled around southern China. See photos here. We and our partners covered most/all of their costs except for their US-China airfare.
From May 21–June 3, 2017, four law students from Yale, UVA, and George Washington University (GWU) participated in our 2nd annual program. The two-week program included meetings with Chinese lawyers, law professors, law students, and government officials; observation of government and legal proceedings; and travel around southern China and Hong Kong, with a side trip to Shanghai. We and our partners provided a $1,000 stipend to each student and covered all program costs (including in-China travel), but students remained responsible for their own US-China airfare. See flyer for the 2017 program.
From May 20–June 2, 2018, four to six US law students will participate in our 3rd annual program. The two-week program will include meetings with Chinese lawyers, law professors, law students, and government officials; observation of government and legal proceedings; and travel around southern China and Hong Kong, with an expected side trip to Shanghai or Beijing. We and our partners will cover all program costs (including in-China travel) and provide a $2,000 stipend to each student to help with their US-China airfare and/or spending money. See flyer for the 2018 program. The selection process closed on January 10, 2018, with finalists chosen from Yale, UVA, Cornell, and GWU.
Any US law school may participate. To be eligible, students need only be US passport holders and have Mandarin fluency. Although English is the primary language of instruction at STL and is spoken fairly widely in Shenzhen, Mandarin fluency is essential for meaningful participation in this program. USAI will select students in cooperation with STL and participating US law schools.
This program is sponsored by China-United States Exchange Foundation, USAI, and USAI Senior Advisor J. Matthew Szymanski, who worked for Congress from 2001-2007, and lived and taught in China from 2007-2014. See the Founder’s Letter. Donations to USAI for this program are most welcome.
• Currently pursuing an American law degree
• Interest in Chinese law or US-China relations
• Strong verbal and written communication skills
• Demonstrated fluency in Mandarin
• US citizenship
• Current résumé (in English)
• Cover letter (in Mandarin)
• Two references
Application materials and inquiries should be directed to Mr. Szymanski at firstname.lastname@example.org.