Peking University School of Transnational Law celebrated the opening of its new “STL Building” with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, March 20, 2017. The event marked a major milestone for the STL community and introduced a new landmark on Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus (PKUSZ).
The 8,900 square meter STL Building was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), one of the world’s premier architectural firms, in cooperation with Shenzhen-based Huasen Architectural & Engineering Consultants Ltd.
Participants in the STL Building dedication ceremony included Professor Wu Yundong, Chancellor of PKUSZ, Philip McConnaughay, Dean of STL and Vice Chancellor of PKUSZ, Jeffrey Lehman, Founding Dean of STL and current Vice Chancellor of New York University’s Shanghai campus, and Jill Lerner, managing principal at (KPF). The ceremony was held in the main atrium of the STL Building and was attended by hundreds of STL students, faculty, and alumni, as well as scores of PKUSZ leaders, government officials, architects and contractors, community members and other distinguished guests.
In his welcome remarks, Dean McConnaughay observed that STL’s success was a combined effort of so many of the people present. “It is wonderful to see so many STL graduates, students and friends and former and present STL colleagues here today – so many people who have had so much to do with the establishment and success of STL,” said Dean McConnaughay. “It was clear from the outset that STL would require a building that gives expression to the importance and forward-looking character of our law school, while providing an environment in which we all can comfortably study, learn and interact,” he said.
Dean Lehman praised the commitment of Peking University and the City of Shenzhen to work together to envision a new kind of architectural home for STL’s pioneering style of legal education. “This is a building that, just like the law, looks completely different, depending on the perspective with which you approach it. It integrates many different architectural cultures into an original, creative new style. This style speaks to our shared future – our need to harmonize differences as we transcend boundaries,” said Lehman.
“The new building realizes our vision to successfully combine formal education with informal learning,” said Jill Lerner of KPF. “The building satisfies STL’s unique teaching and learning demands, where faculty and students engage not just in the classroom, but also in the hallways and common areas,” she said.
“In this new building, STL will make even greater strides on the path of success,” said Chancellor Wu, who mentioned several of STL’s groundbreaking achievements as evidence of the bright future STL enjoys.
The STL Building was completed in January 2017. Classes in the building commenced at the start of the spring semester on February 20, 2017.
Located immediately between the beautifully restored Dashahe River Parkway and the PKUSZ campus central plaza, the STL Building serves as the gateway for the PKUSZ campus. The centerpiece of the new building is a grand tiered atrium with spectacular outward views of the landscaped pathway running the length of the Dashahe River. Additional building features include one 100-person classroom that can be converted into a high-tech moot courtroom; three additional 100-person classrooms; an on-site law library equipped with the latest in digital research platforms; four 60-person classrooms; four 20-person classrooms; several intimate seminar rooms; legal clinic and student organizations suites; outdoor terraces and reading gardens; highly functional faculty and administrative offices; and abundant student study space. The building represents a place for intellectual discourse, friendships forged and memories made.
“STL is a school that trains legal minds, shapes personalities, and ultimately cultivates future leaders,” said 3L student Li Yidan. “The new building is a great home for STL. The open spaces encourage interactive learning and the abundant sunlight brings life to the black letter law.”
Wang Teng, a 4L student at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL), has been selected as a 2017-18 Schwarzman Scholar, an elite scholarship program for top graduate students.
Wang Teng is one of 129 Scholars chosen from around the world to earn a fully-funded scholarship to study at the new Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The one-year master’s degree program for Schwarzman Scholars “is designed to prepare its graduates to build stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world and to address the most pressing challenges of the 21st Century.” Each Scholar will earn a degree in global affairs with a focus in one of three areas: public policy, economics and business, or international studies.
As a Schwarzman Scholar, Wang Teng will focus his studies on public policy. Longer-term, he is interested in reforming the judicial system and improving social justice in China.
“It will be an exciting new journey. I greatly appreciate the wonderful platform STL provided me. Besides the unique curriculum with cutting-edge legal knowledge, my interest in improving and reforming China’s judicial system was inspired and enhanced during my study in STL,” said Wang Teng.
“Wang Teng’s well-earned recognition in the highly selective Schwarzman Scholars program reflects well on STL’s standing as a law school that graduates future leaders. The faculty is proud of Wang Teng’s achievement. We are confident he will excel as a Schwarzman Scholar, just as he has as a student at STL,” said Philip McConnaughay, dean of STL.
Wang Teng joined STL in 2013 and will graduate in July 2017 with a dual degree Common Law Juris Doctor (J.D.) and China Law Juris Master (J.M.). STL is the only law school in the world to offer a combined J.D./J.M. program of study. Wang Teng earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Xiamen University in 2011. He spent his senior year of college studying political science at American University in Washington D.C. as an exchange student; he spent part of his 3L year at STL as an exchange student at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law studying European Union law and international law. Among his many accomplishments, Wang Teng served as editor-in-chief of the Peking University Transnational Law Review, received the National Scholarship for graduate students, and interned at King & Wood Mallesons Beijing office.
The Schwarzman Scholars program, which recognizes academic excellence, leadership accomplishment, and significant promise to contribute to a deeper understanding across cultures, was founded and largely funded by Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of Blackstone, a global investment firm. Schwarzman contributed $100 million USD to establish the program and is overseeing a campaign to raise an additional $350 million USD from private sources to fully endow the program.
To view the full list of Schwarzman Scholars, please click here.
Professor Zhu Daming’s new Japanese to Chinese translation work, The Spirit of Corporate Law, was published by China Law Press in October, 2016. The author of the original work is Professor Hideki Kanda, an internationally renowned scholar of corporate law from the University of Tokyo.
The translated work is Professor Zhu’s latest contribution to the Japan Commercial and Financial Law Book Series, which he edits and translates. The Spirit of Corporate Law covers five chapters: the definition of corporate law, the structure of a stock company, a stock company’s fund procurement, corporate restructuring, and the future direction of corporate law.
Under Professor Zhu’s editorship, the Japan Commercial and Financial Law Book Series includes monograph and code translation aimed at advancing China’s knowledge of Japanese commercial and financial law. To date, three books in the Series have been published to great acclaim: Japan Corporate Law Explained, The Philosophy of Corporate Law and Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.
Professor Zhu earned his Ph.D. and LL.M. from Hitotsubashi University in Japan and is a prominent scholar of corporate law, with special focus on financial law and comparative commercial law. Earlier this year, he was appointed as a Director of the prestigious China Law Commercial Law Society. He is the author of over thirty scholarly articles and seven monographs and translated works. He teaches Chinese commercial legal system, mergers and acquisitions, and company law in STL’s cutting-edge J.M. curriculum.
Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) began the 2016-17 academic year welcoming 99 new students, including 90 J.D. and J.M. students, four LL.M. students (from Malaysia, Pakistan, Peru and Ethiopia) and five exchange students (from Germany, The Netherlands, Brazil, and the United States). The new J.D./J.M. class includes students from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States and Canada.
Dean Philip McConnaughay officially welcomed students to STL during orientation on August 14-16. “Your time at STL will provide you with a deep understanding of the law of China, America, and the EU, and with the superior analytical and advocacy skills essential to cross-cultural and transnational exchange. This is why STL graduates are in such high demand by China’s and the world’s leading law firms, government agencies, NGOs and companies. This also is why STL graduates are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dean McConnaughay in his welcome to new students.
The orientation program included discussions with faculty and upper-level students about academic and student life at STL and how to succeed in STL’s cutting edge and academically rigorous English-language J.D. and China law curriculums. Students also participated in small group case briefing exercises designed to help them analyze a judicial opinion, which is essential for success in STL’s interactive case study method of teaching.
On August 25 and 26, the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate Campus (PKUSZ) will hold its opening ceremony for all new graduate students. This year’s program will focus on team-building and leadership development, as well as on the campus’s efforts to deepen multidisciplinary relationships among the eight schools on PKU’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus: School of Electronic and Computer Engineering, School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, School of Environment and Energy, School of Urban Planning and Design, School of Advanced Materials, HSBS Business School, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Transnational Law.
United States Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito spent a full week in residence at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) this past week teaching a seminar on the U.S. Supreme Court to STL students and offering an extended and candid Q&A session for the entire STL community. Justice Alito was accompanied by Georgetown University Law Center Visiting Professor John Baker.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay said, “Justice Alito’s visit provided an extraordinary opportunity for STL students to spend extensive in-person time every day for an entire week with a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The seminar focused on the recent case of RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community [579 U.S. ___ (2016)], with STL students ultimately preparing and presenting moot oral arguments to Justice Alito, just as if they were appearing before the Supreme Court. The week was extraordinary and we are deeply grateful to Justice Alito for providing STL students with such a historic opportunity.”
3L student Li Yidan said of her seminar experience, “To be able to spend five days with Justice Alito and Professor Baker is something beyond imagination. None of us would have expected to have this opportunity; but STL made it happen and it is the most honorable and exciting moment of my life…. The 5 minutes before Justice Alito speaking as an appellate attorney before the Supreme Court cast a spell on me. I gave a roadmap, carefully unfolded my first argument, watched every look on his face to adjust every sentence I said, and neatly answered the first question he asked. The 5-minute argument brought together everything STL has been teaching me — the analytical reasoning skills I develop in rounds and rounds of Socratic questioning, the English language skills I acquire in legal writing classes, and the argumentative skills I learn in participating in moot court competition.”
3L seminar student Zhu Liusheng said, “It was an amazing experience to argue before Justice Alito. I have listened to many Supreme Court oral arguments on audio, but this was the first time to have one of the Justices in front of me asking me questions. There was a moment that I even felt like I was in the U.S. Supreme Court! Justice Alito asked me very probing questions that went to the core of the legal issues, which opened a window for me to see how Justice Alito thinks. I am truly grateful for this wonderful educational opportunity.”
1L student Hu Yue asked Justice Alito a question during the community-wide Q&A. She said of her experience, “It was my great honor and a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to and even talk to Justice Alito in person. For me it is an extremely unique experience to ask Justice Alito a question and have Justice Alito kindly reply to me with patience, which is a great inspiration for my law studying and career planning.”
2L student Qin Shijie said, “I was extremely excited to be picked out of the large, enthusiastic crowd and become the first one on such an extraordinary occasion to raise questions to Justice Alito. As he responded to me in such a thoughtful and gracious manner, with almost every word he articulated carved in my mind, I couldn’t help recalling the past year of burying myself in the casebooks, where I was frequently intrigued by the complexity and beauty of those novel legal questions. And now, a real Justice is standing in front of me, and speaking to me.”
4L seminar student Yu Yadian said, “Before law school, when I had almost zero knowledge about the Supreme Court of the United States, and just started to read The Nine, if someone had told me that one day I would argue a case in front of Justice Alito, and be grilled by his hard questions, I would definitely think that person is crazy. This experience will constantly remind me of how privileged I am as a law student, and reassure me in my future career — I argued my first Supreme Court case while I was still in law school, nothing should ever terrify me!”
4L seminar student Pei Yiliang said, “Everyone in the seminar was impressed by the humility and candidness of Justice Alito. Our discussions spanned a wide variety of topics and the experience has forged a bond between us.”
Justice Alito also met during his visit with former Vice President of Peking University and current Vice Chair of the Peking University Council, Professor Hai Wen, with Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School Chancellor, Professor Wu Yundong, and with members of STL’s faculty.
2016 marks Justice Alito’s 10th year on the United States Supreme Court. He took his seat January 31, 2006, following his nomination by United States President George W. Bush and confirmation by the United States Senate. Justice Alito served previously as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and as an official of the United States Department of Justice.
Twenty-six students from STL recently took part in a two-day intensive trial advocacy program designed to introduce them to trial techniques and strategies and sharpen their advocacy skills. The May 10-11 program was held in the new STL Building and was organized by STL Associate Clinical Professor of Law Nicholas Frayn, an experienced criminal defense lawyer who previously worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York City. Professor Frayn was joined by Ye-Ting Woo and Evan Williams, two U.S. federal prosecutors with substantial trial experience in criminal and civil matters, and STL Lecturer in Law Shama Farooq, also an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The program afforded students an unparalleled opportunity to develop and fine-tune their advocacy skills before their peers in an atmosphere where experienced trial lawyers were readily available to provide feedback and advice.
“This program offered me a great opportunity to benefit from the experience and expertise of skilled trial lawyers. Throughout the program, we participated in preparing and delivering opening statements, direct examination, cross examination and closing statements. We also learned the importance of story telling in the courtroom, which I’ve come to learn is really an art,” said Zhu Dianmeng, a 1L student who participated in the trial advocacy program.
STL is a leader in teaching lawyering skills. The law school’s J.D./JM. curriculum is rich with courses and programs offering real world practice experience.
Following up on their visit to Harvard University Law School in January for the LawWithoutWalls (“LWOW”) Kickoff, STL students Li Yidan (3L) and Wang Wei (2L) joined their teammates from top law and business schools around the world to present their team projects at the LWOW “ConPosium” at the University of Miami, April 22-23, 2017.
During the two-day ConPosium, STL students and their teams showcased their innovative projects to the LWOW community before a panel of multidisciplinary judges, who assessed the substance, viability and creativity of each project. Li Yidan’s team, which included students from Germany and France, favorably impressed the judges. Their project on using artificial intelligence (“AI”) applications to streamline the work of in-house lawyers in reviewing low-risk and repetitive documents earned top billing and recognition as “Winner of Creativity.”
“In the course of LWOW, I talked with numerous experts and scientists in the field, which helped me to understand the relationship between law and technology, ” said LiYidan of her LWOW experience. “As we learn important skills in legal analysis, research and interpretation during law school, we also should focus on the technological innovation that is happening in the legal profession,” she added.
2L student Wang Wei participated in LWOWx, LWOW’s on-line counterpart program that teams up students and professionals from around the globe to develop cutting-edge solutions to law, business, and technology-based problems. Wang Wei’s LWOWx team won the on-line competition and earned a fully-fundedtrip to join the ConPosium in Miami.
“The problem our team addressed was combatting adolescent cyberbullying. The first issue we had to overcome was the logistical challenge of being a single team spread across multiple time zones. Our team was very supportive of each other and exhibited mutual understanding and tolerance, which was one of the keys to our success,” said Wang Wei.
“I am very thankful to STL for giving me this amazing opportunity. In addition to learning new legal and business concepts, I also acquired many new transferable skills, such as shooting videos, marketing strategies, and the importance of engaging with the broader world, ” added Wang Wei.
LawWithoutWalls is a project run by the University of Miami that teams 100 students from 30 of the world’s leading law and business schools with academic, business, entrepreneur, and legal mentors to tackle cutting edge issues at the intersection of law, business and technology. STL is the only school in Asia to participate in this unique cross-disciplinary, cross-border program.
On April 28, STL hosted Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, the Founding Vice Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University and Founding Dean of Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Soniapt, India. Professor Kumar delivered a public lecture on “Corruption and Good Governance in India: Establishment of a Rule of Law Society,” which was followed by a Q&A with STL students and faculty. During his visit, Professor Kumar and STL dean Philip McConnaughay signed an Agreement of Friendship and Cooperation between JGLS and STL aimed at strengthening research and student exchange opportunities between the schools.
Professor Kumar was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, where he obtained his Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) degree; a Landon Gammon Fellow at the Harvard Law School, where he obtained his Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree, and a James Souverine Gallo Memorial Scholar at Harvard University. He was awarded a Doctor of Legal Science (S.J.D.) by the University of Hong Kong. He also obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from the University of Delhi, India, and a Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) degree from Loyola College of the University of Madras, India.
JGLS offers a multi-disciplinary legal education with a view to producing world-class legal professionals, scholars, and public servants. It is the first global law school in India.
STL is the only law school in China – and the only law school in the world – to offer a full post-baccalaureate Common Law Juris Doctor (J.D.) curriculum alongside a complete China law Juris Master (J.M.) curriculum, thereby preparing STL graduates for the mixture of Common Law, civil law, and Chinese legal traditions increasingly characteristic of the global economy.
STL Dean Philip McConnaughay was a keynote speaker at the 29th Shenzhen Legal Forum/2017 Global Intelligence Forum on “International Legal Talent Cultivation under the Background of Innovation,” on April 15, 2017 in Shenzhen. The Forum was sponsored by the Shenzhen Legal Society, the Shenzhen Bureau of Justice, and Benchmark Chambers International.
Dean McConnaughay’s remarks concerned, “Educating Legal Talents for a Globalized Age: Lessons from Shenzhen,” which he delivered to an audience of over 300 legal professionals. He spoke about the importance of a Chinese legal professional equipped to serve a sophisticated economy based on technological innovation, financial services and internationalization and that is capable of competing head-to-head with dominant British and American multinational law firms.
Shenzhen and the Greater Pear River Delta are at the forefront of transnational exchange and legal and commercial developments here likely will preview similar developments throughout China and throughout the world.
Other keynote speakers and panelists included Director General Zhou Yuansheng of the Department of Lawyers and Notarization, PRC Ministry of Justice, Executive Vice President of Renmin University, renowned Professor Wang Liming, and Professor Gao Xiqing, the principal architect of China’s capital markets regulatory system.
STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence Susan Finder, STL Assistant Dean Chen Keru, and STL Director of Development and Career Services Zhang Chenli also attended the Forum.
The 2017 Global Intelligence Forum is intended to promote the development of the legal infrastructure necessary for sustained economic growth and innovation in Shenzhen and the Greater Pearl River Delta.
Please click here to read Dean McConnaughay’s keynote speech, which was posted on WeChat by Benchmark Chambers International.
Times Higher Education (“THE”) ranked Peking University second among 300 institutions from 24 Asian countries in THE’s Asia University Rankings 2017.