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Message from the Dean

Philip J. McConnaughay

When I joined STL in 2013, it was because I considered STL “the most exciting development in the world today.”  The same is true nearly a decade later. 

STL is located where all of the world’s great legal and commercial traditions meet – China Law, both modern and traditional; Western Law, both Common and Civil; Religious and Customary Law, both Islamic and indigenous.  These different traditions are interacting in our world of multinational exchange to create new and different transnational practices and policies that consider and accommodate the often fundamentally different expectations of each.  And this is occurring nowhere more than in Shenzhen.

Shenzhen is the hub of China’s Greater Bay Area, the gateway of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and one of the most multinational business communities in the world.  Shenzhen also is known worldwide as “China’s most innovative city,” a world-leading center of information technology, biotechnology and international finance.

These characteristics are why when I am asked where STL is located, I often reply, “in the future.” 

As a student, I believe you will find no law school more welcoming and collegial than STL and no academic program more rigorous and demanding.  STL’s signature style of teaching – highly interactive classes in which your professors question you, day after day, about the actual cases you read  – results in lawyers who possess (i) exceptional analytical skills, (ii) the ability to see all sides of a transaction or dispute, (iii) the ability to advocate effectively, both orally and in writing, and (iv) the ability to devise creative solutions to complex problems.

And these attributes are precisely why leading law firms, corporations, government offices, international organizations and elite universities, in both China and worldwide, value STL graduates so highly.  Just take a look at our Career Services Office reports to see where STL graduates are working or pursuing Ph.Ds.

If you feel capable and ready to experience STL’s unique and demanding program, I and my faculty and administrative colleagues look forward to welcoming you!

Philip J. McConnaughay
Dean, Peking University School of Transnational Law