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STL is unique in the world in offering a dual degree program that includes a full China law J.M. curriculum along with a full common law J.D. curriculum. Even though the courses of each curriculum address similar subjects, the content of a course in one curriculum is largely distinct from the counterpart course in the other, reflecting the national, territorial scope of most law making. At STL, nonetheless, we consider our two curriculums as a unified whole, looking for similarities, synergies and overlaps across both China law and American common law that help prepare lawyers for multinational transactions and disputes in the context of advanced economies based on technological innovation and services. Our goal is to create value from the combination of our two degrees that exceeds the value of their acquisition independently of one another.

The law school’s mission is to contribute to the growth of a Chinese legal profession capable of (i) supplying the sophisticated legal services and leadership essential to the advanced, internationalized economy emerging in China, (ii) contending with the mix of legal systems increasingly characteristic of China’s international economic engagements, and (iii) competing ably and successfully with the foreign-based law firms that currently dominate multinational legal services.

The key to STL’s success is a distinguished multinational faculty using a methods of instruction conventional in Common Law education but still unique in China: serious, reflective study of actual cases (“case study method”) accompanied by intensely interactive class sessions in which professors question and challenge students, day after day, about the cases they read (“Socratic method”). STL students emerge from this program of study with the professional skills that make for great lawyers, jurists and leaders: rigorous analytical thinking, the ability to see all sides of an issue, the ability to solve complex problems creatively, and the ability to persuade.