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News Posted on August 6, 2015

Chinese Law Students Expand Their Global Perspectives at UC Davis School of Law

Undergraduate and graduate students from China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), one of the top law schools in China, have completed three weeks studying the American legal system at UC Davis School of Law. The program, held this year from July 20-August 6, is the result of a very special relationship between the UC Davis School of Law and CUPL in Beijing.

For the past several years, prominent UC Davis School of Law faculty have visited CUPL to teach and share legal research and expertise with CUPL's faculty and students. CUPL faculty members and doctoral students have also visited King Hall in order to learn more about various aspects of law from an American point of view. The School of Law also established a student exchange program between the two schools, and a number of top students from CUPL join the UC Davis academic year LL.M. program each August.

Beth Greenwood, Associate Dean of International Programs, notes that "faculty members at UC Davis School of Law welcome the opportunity to expand our relationship with China University of Political Science and Law. Our UC Davis law students have enjoyed meeting Chinese law students from one of the world's most dynamic legal and economic environments."

Forty-two students (including six from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, CUPL'S partner in the program) came to UC Davis for this summer's course, along with four group leaders: Jian Liu, Deputy Director of Domestic Cooperation; Professor Jianqin Wang; and two administrative staff members. Students visited courts, law firms, and the California State Legislature during their stay, to further broaden their outlook.

Deputy Director Jian Liu believes this program offers an important opportunity for students: "There are many benefits to this program. It broadens students' horizons and provides more options for their futures. It's also important to experience American culture, and to do so in person."

Associate Dean Greenwood describes the curriculum in this way: "Students are introduced to the U.S. Constitution and other fundamentals of the common law system and focus on gaining first-hand experience in the Socratic method. They also learn to think more globally." In addition, participants enjoy local culture and travel to Lake Tahoe, the Napa Valley, and San Francisco.

Greenwood observes that as China has emerged as a global economic force, its political influence has grown. "Its legal system is undergoing many changes, and the UC Davis/China University of Political Science and Law program exposes participating students to new perspectives about the U.S. legal system, which helps them to understand and shape their own legal system in this period of transformation." This rigorous academic program for talented law students is intended to expand those international connections.

Deputy Director Liu believes "the most important skill the students learn in this program is how to brief and study a case in the American style. Also, the interactivity between professors and students challenges the students to engage deeply with the material." Deputy Director Liu also emphasizes the critical importance of the program's many academic field trips, noting that "seeing all the elements of the legislative and judicial systems close-up is very powerful. It is harder for students to have opportunities like this at home."

"Partnership programs like this one are essential in today's global legal landscape," says Associate Dean Greenwood. "It continues to be our honor and pleasure to collaborate with CUPL, and we look forward to welcoming next summer's group."

For more information about the Licensing Academy and other International Law Programs, please visit or contact Kate Asche at or 530-757-8569.