STL Graduate Among Forbes China “Top 30 Under 30”

董少灵Dong Shaoling, a 2016 graduate of Peking University School of Transnational Law, has been named to the Forbes China “Top 30 Under 30” in Media, Marketing and Advertising for 2017.   The ranking is part of Forbes China’s listing of “300 Top Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Leaders Under Age 30.” (Click here for the ranking.)

Dong Shaoling is the CEO of Shenzhen ZhongbeiMingyi Tech Co., Ltd, which provides innovative IT services and solutions.  One of its most popular products, RabbitPre, an HTML5 online tool and application generator, already has more than eight million registered corporate users, including Alibaba and China Mobile.

Click here for an interview (in Chinese) with Dong Shaoling about his reasons for choosing to study law at Peking University School of Transnational Law and about his successful business.

STL Welcomes New Students from Throughout China and Around the World

DSC03493_meitu_7Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) began the 2017-2018 academic year welcoming new students from China and abroad. The new class includes 115 students in STL’s dual degree J.D/J.M curriculum, along with several LL.M. and exchange students from a variety of countries, including the United States, Uganda, South Korea, Indonesia, Sweden, Chile, Germany, Argentina, and several others.

Dean Philip McConnaughay officially welcomed students to STL during orientation on August 13-15. “STL’s innovative curriculum blends the study of China Law and Common Law in ways designed to equip students for the practice of law in a world in which different legal traditions increasingly interact, creating challenges that only the best transnational lawyers will be able to resolve. You will emerge from your study at STL with the superior analytical and advocacy skills essential to cross-cultural and transnational exchange.  You will be leaders in this new legal landscape, just like the STL classes before you.”

Dean McConnaughay also moderated a faculty panel on intellectual engagement with Professors Danya Reda, Norman Ho and Nicholas Frayn, during which professors answered questions from students and offered advice about how to succeed in STL’s academically rigorous program of study.

The orientation program for new students also included introductions to STL’s academic rules and policies, student services and career resources, a library tour, and an exchange session with upper-level students about adjusting to the study life at STL.  New students also attended a class on how to read and analyze a judicial opinion that included a case briefing exercise.

On August 29-31, the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (“PKUSZ”) will host its orientation for new graduate students.  This year’s program will focus on leadership development.  PKUSZ is home to eight elite graduate schools: the School of Electronic and Computer Engineering; the School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology; the School of Environment and Energy; the School of Urban Planning and Design; the School of Advanced Materials; the HSBC Business School; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Transnational Law.

Peking University Celebrates Opening of STL Building

IMG_4592_meitu_9Peking 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.”


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Teaches at STL

IMG_2995United 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.

Celebrating the Class of 2017

286A4088_meitu_1On Saturday morning, July 1, 2017, the STL community celebrated the sixth Commencement Ceremony of Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (STL).  The ceremony recognized the excellence of STL’s 86 J.D./J.M. graduates.

Dean Philip McConnaughay began the ceremony with a brief address to the graduates.  You decided to attend STL because of its promise:  A unique introduction to the legal systems of the West, to the law of China, and to transnational law.  A unique and especially demanding interactive method of instruction.  And an English language curriculum. But no one really knew the outcome of all of this in 2013.  You had to decide based on your vision, and on your confidence that you could contribute to making the promise of STL a reality.  And that’s exactly what you have done, ” said Dean McConnaughay.

“All of you are now members of an elite group of lawyers prepared to understand and practice the law of China, the law of the United States, the law of the United Kingdom, the law of the European Union, and whatever laws, rules and practices eventually emerge from the meeting and modification of all of these.  You are true transnational lawyers.  Congratulations on your graduation and on all of your extraordinary achievements.  You make us very proud,” continued Dean McConnaughay.


This year’s commencement was held in the Moot Courtroom in the new STL Building.  During the ceremony, graduates and their families heard from STL’s Founding Dean and current Executive Vice Chancellor of NYU’s Shanghai campus, Jeffrey Lehman; Peking University Law Professor Ge Yunsong; The Honorable Xi Xiangyang, a senior judge of the Supreme People’s Court First Circuit; and graduating student Li Mengshi.

Dean Lehman’s remarks included a thought-provoking discussion about Give and Take, a book written by Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dean Lehman said,

[t]he book talks about different ways that people interact with each other.  Sometimes they behave as what Grant calls “takers” (people who like to get more than they give).  Sometimes they behave as “givers” (people who give more than they get).  And sometimes they behave as “matchers” (people who try to preserve a fair, reciprocal balance).  … According to Grant, the research suggests that the least successful people are disproportionately givers.  They are unsuccessful because they get taken advantage of by takers.  And yet the research also shows that the most successful people are also givers!  How can that be?

According to Grant, these successful givers tend to be people who ask a lot of questions before they speak, who ask others for advice, who listen carefully and reflect on what others say, and who speak tentatively rather than aggressively.  They are successful because other people like them, admire them, trust them, and end up helping them to be successful. … I believe that, by nurturing within you the transnational lawyer’s ability to see issues from other people’s perspectives, STL has done an amazing job of preparing you to be successful givers.


Ge Yunsong, Professor of Law at Peking University (Beijing) and Distinguished Visiting Professor at STL, was invited by STL graduates to provide the faculty address.  His remarks touched on the stages of development in China’s efforts to build a legal civilization.  He stressed the fundamental role of advanced legal education in achieving this.  He cited STL’s innovative program as having great potential for legal education in China and worldwide:  “[STL] is a school full of promise, not only in China, but also worldwide.  The unique legal education model created by STL is innovative.  STL is like a laboratory for legal education.  I believe it has already achieved success, and I believe an even better future is yet to come, with lots of hard work and contributions from you all.”

“Dear students, you are about to leave school and are ready to work in different fields.  But please keep this in mind … [T]he little effort that we make every day is part of the Chinese legal undertaking, a part of the new legal civilization.  Though our contribution might seem to be little, we should always work honestly to accelerate the development of a Chinese new legal system,”  concluded Professor Ge.


Judge Xi began his remarks by telling the gradates that they were in an “enviable” position because they had been “able to enjoy the most unique legal education in the world.”  “Promoting the rule of law should be the responsibility and goal of every law school graduate and even of every member of society.”  He offered many examples of seemingly small contributions having major impact on the development of the rule of law.


Like the classes before them, the Class of 2017 is pursuing positions in leading multinational and top-tier Chinese law firms (e.g., Fangda, Kirkland & Ellis, King & Wood Mallesons, Cooley, Paul Weiss), the legal departments of leading multinational and Chinese corporations and financial institutions (e.g., Xiaomi, China Union Pay, China International Capital Corporation Limited), government agencies (e.g., Ministry of Finance, Shanxi and Hebei Provincial Governments), SOEs (e.g., National Development Bank, China Agriculture Bank) and advanced degrees (e.g., Harvard University, Tsinghua University).  A few graduates have even started their own businesses.

Li Mengshi, who provided the address on behalf of the graduates, spoke of the transformation that she and her classmates experienced in their four years at STL, recounting all of the fun and pressures that bonded their friendships.


The Class of 2017 expressed their commitment to STL and their fellow students by establishing a scholarship fund that will recognize outstanding student achievement while at STL.  Dean McConnaughay described the gesture as a generous gift for a worthy purpose that he hoped would establish a precedent for future STL classes.


Congratulations, STL Class of 2017!

Top University Students Experience STL’s Innovative Academic Program

13The Summer Honors Program (“SHP”) at Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) is an opportunity for outstanding college students from China and around the world to spend a week in residence experiencing the academic and daily life in China’s most innovative law school setting.  On July 30 through August 5, 2017, STL hosted 112 students from China’s most prestigious universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua, Fudan, Sun Yat-Sen and Wuhan, among others, as well as students from top international universities, such as Northwestern, Toronto and McGill.

Throughout the 7-day program, students were introduced to STL’s cutting edge English-language J.D. and China law J.M. curriculums.  Students experienced actual law school classes taught by STL’s distinguished multinational faculty, participated in case briefing exercises and moot court arguments, and met with current STL students and alumni to discuss life at STL and the rewarding and diverse career opportunities that await STL graduates.  Students also traveled to Hong Kong for two days, observing proceedings at the Hong Kong High Court and visiting the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. One of the highlights of the week was a visit to Huawei, which included a tour of their facilities and an explanation of emerging technologies.  Students also heard from Huawei legal experts about data privacy issues and other transnational legal issues that confront multinational companies like Huawei.

“SHP was a very fulfilling experience.  From the J.D. and J.M. classes to the moot court, I now have a better understanding of law and STL’s approach to legal studies,” remarked Liang Sisheng, an SHP student from Sun Yat-sen University.

Li Ziyu, a student from China Foreign Affairs University, shared the same impression: “The interactive J.D. and J.M. classes taught by top faculty have imparted the best civil law and American law education to me.  The activities in SHP helped me to fall in love with STL, to learn commitment and calmness, and to look forward to my next encounter, if fortunate,” she said.

STL’s SHP program was established in 2009.  Many current STL students and alumni participated in SHP before enrolling in STL.

For more information about SHP 2018, please contact


Professor Kang Gives Invited Presentation at Oxford

STL Professor Sang Yop Kang, was invited by corporate law and governance scholars at the University of Oxford to make a presentation at their May 2017 conference on “The Law and Finance of Related Party Transactions.”  Professor Kang presented his draft article, Related Party Transaction Regulations in China, which will be included in a forthcoming book published by conference organizers.

The conference was invitation only and included a select group of leading scholars from world-renowned law schools, such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, and Oxford.  Conference participants will re-convene in October 2017 in Frankfurt, Germany to continue their research collaborations and finalize their draft articles.

RPT Authors Workshop (1)

Interview with Professor Finder about China’s Move Toward a Digital Court System

STL Distinguished Scholar in Residence, Susan Finder, a leading expert on China’s judicial system, recently was interviewed by Lexis PSL about the reasons behind China’s move toward an “intelligent court system”.  The text of the interview is available here.

Professor Finder is the author of the Supreme People’s Court Monitor, a widely read blog focused on issues related to the People’s Supreme Court and Chinese judicial reform.

STL Students Visit International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C.

Four 3L students spending their summer break in the United States spent July 21 visiting the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”) in Washington D.C.  The visit was arranged by senior IMF official David Vannier, who visited and lectured last year at STL.  The visit included meetings with Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Jianhai Lin, Secretary General of the IMF, and Yan Liu, Assistant General Counsel in the IMF’s Legal Department.


The STL students participating in the visit were Hu Yue, Kou Shangyangzi, Sun Dongyu and Zhu Liusheng.  “It was quite an informative and rewarding experience,” said Zhu Liusheng.  “We were especially fortunate to have an opportunity to meet the top-level Chinese IMF executives, who shared their insights on the IMF’s role in the global economy,” he added.

David Vannier, who helped organize and facilitate the visit, works in the IMF’s Managing Director Office and is intimately familiar with the operations of the IMF.  He visited STL last year in March and provided several lectures on the IMF and the IMF’s relationship to other international institutions.

Professor Kang Wins Tsinghua China Law Review Award for Excellence in Research

Professor Sang Yop Kang, a prominent scholar of corporate law and governance, was honored by Tsinghua University’s Law Review with the “Tsinghua China Law Award for Excellence in Academic Research of 2017.”  The award was made in recognition of Professor Kang’s article, The Independent Director System in China: Weakness, Dilemmas, and Potential Silver Linings, published in the current issue of the Tsinghua China Law Review (Volume 9, Issue 2 (2017)).  The editors of the Tsinghua China Law Review offered the following introduction to Professor Kang’s article:

In The Independent Director System in China: Weaknesses, Dilemmas, and Potential Silver Linings, Professor Sang Yop Kang … critically analyzes the weaknesses of the independent director system in China, especially under the pressure of controlling shareholder ownership.  Nonetheless, Prof. Kang believes that the system brings positive effects to Chinese corporate economy and offers an ingenious perspective to consider the Confucian tradition as a worthy resource of a “truly pluralist theory”. 

Professor Kang is the author of many leading articles related to corporate law and governance.  He teaches courses on corporate governance from the global perspective, economic analysis of corporate law, corporate and financial markets, and East Asian economic structures in STL’s Juris Doctor curriculum.

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Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School,
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