For more information about PKU-STL’s 2018 J.D./J.M Admissions, please click here.
Peking 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.
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.
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.”
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.
On September 18, STL Professor Mao Shaowei, a scholar of Chinese civil law and a leader in the reform of Chinese legal education, spoke to students about innovations in STL’s China law curriculum and the unique advantages of STL’s dual degree China law (J.M.) and Common Law (J.D.) program of study. Click here for an account (in Chinese) of Professor Mao’s lecture.
STL Professor Ray Campbell was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Shenzhen In-House Legal Summit organized by Asian Legal Business (ALB) on September 7. His keynote address, “Technology and the Changing Face of Legal Services,” focused on the changing nature of the legal services marketplace in light of technological and economic innovations.
ALB’s annual In-House Legal Summit brings together leading academics, senior corporate counsel, business leaders, and private practitioners for discussions about critically important legal and business issues affecting in-house counsel. In addition to Professor Campbell’s keynote address, topics covered this year included risk management, M&A financing, competition and intellectual property, among others.
Dean McConnaughay Presents at University of California Irvine/Australian National University Research Symposium
Dean Philip McConnaughay presented an invited paper at “The Globalization of Legal Education: A Critical Study” symposium hosted by the University of California Irvine’s Center on Globalization, Law and Society and Australian National University, September 8-9 in Irvine, California. Dean McConnaughay’s paper, “China and the Globalization of Legal Education: A Look into the Future,” examines the influence of legal developments in China’s Pearl River Delta and Belt and Road countries on global legal services and on STL’s program of legal education.
The symposium gathered leading international scholars for discussions ranging from global hierarchies in the cross-border movement of students to innovations in legal education in Asia and South America. In addition to scholars from University of California, Irvine and Australian National University, participants were from Northwestern University, University of Toronto, NYU, University of Copenhagen, Funacao Getulio Vargas, Washington University, Universidad Diego Portales and Utrecht University.
The Times Higher Education (“THE”) has ranked Peking University the 27th best university in the world in the prestigious “World University Rankings.” This rank is two places higher than last year. THE’s annual “World University Rankings” evaluates all research-intensive universities in the world across several performance indicators, including research quality, knowledge transfer, teaching, and international outlook.
Peking University or “Beida,” as it is commonly known in China, is China’s first and most renowned comprehensive research university with campuses in Beijing and Shenzhen. The University boasts academic programs and faculty that are among the best in the world. For more information about Peking University, click here.
On September 1, STL hosted Dr. Henry Chang-Yu Lee, the renowned forensic scientist, for a public lecture and Q&A on “Using Forensic Evidence to Solve Crimes 用科学证据破案.” Dr. Lee spoke to a standing room only crowd of students and professors from STL and other schools at the Peking University Shenzhen Graduate Campus. The lecture was moderated by STL Distinguished Professor from Practice, Dr. Thomas Yunlong Man, a scholar of comparative evidence.
Dr. Lee is the Director of the Forensic Research and Training Center at the Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science, and Distinguished Chaired Professor in Forensic Science at the University of New Haven. Formerly, he was the Commissioner of Public Safety for the State of Connecticut (United States) and then Chief Emeritus for the Connecticut State Police. From 1978 to 2000, he was the Chief Criminologist and Director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Laboratory.
Dr. Lee has served as an expert witness in such high profile cases as the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the JonBenet Ramsey kidnapping and murder investigation, and dozens of others. His Chinese hometown, Rugao in Jiangsu Province, has honored Dr. Lee by establishing a museum of forensic science in his name.
Dr. Lee earned his Master’s and Ph.D. in biochemistry from New York University, and his B.S. in forensic science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.