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J. Matthew Szymanski Rule of Law Program for U.S. Students

Tim and Annie meet with ROL Alumnus David Zhou

2016 Program

In early 2016, as a complement to our nine-year-old program for Chinese law students in the US, we started a reciprocal program for US law students in China. For two weeks (May 21–June 4), at the beginning of their summer break, two students from the University of Virginia School of Law stayed on the campus of Peking University’s School of Transnational Law in southern China. They 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 air fare.

Chinese Host

Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL) is located in tropical Shenzhen, adjacent to Hong Kong. See http://stl.pku.edu.cn. STL’s 4-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, mostly recently US Justice Samuel Alito. See http://stl.pku.edu.cn/news-and-events/u-s-supreme-court-justice-teaches-at-stl. Our US student program occurs before STL’s summer break, while STL remains in full academic session.

2017 Program

The 2nd Annual Program is scheduled for four students from May 21–June 3, 2017, at the start of US summer break. It will be hosted again by STL on its Shenzhen campus. The two-week program again 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 a possible side trip to Beijing or Shanghai. Again, we and our partners plan to cover all costs except for US-China air fare. See flyer for the 2017 program.

U.S. Participants

Any US law school may join UVA for the 2017 program, until four students (total) have been selected. Please note that participating students need 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. Any US law student with sufficient Mandarin fluency is eligible to apply. Each participating law school will select students in cooperation with USAI.


• Currently pursuing an American law degree

• Interest in Chinese law or US-China relations

• Strong verbal and written communication skills

• Demonstrated fluency in Mandarin

• U.S. citizenship required

Application Requirements

• Current resume

• Cover letter (in Mandarin)

• Two references

Please submit these materials via email to joycelyn.su@usasiainstitute.org.

For more information on our nine-year-old program for Chinese law students in the US, please click here. For all other inquiries, please contact :

Mary Sue Bissell

USAI Vice President and Executive Director
E-mail : mary.sue.bissell@usasiainstitute.org
Phone: 202-544-3181

Joycelyn Su

USAI Program Director
E-mail : joycelyn.su@usasiainstitute.org
Phone: 202-544-3181