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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

Cross-border Legal Education is Growing

Cross-border legal education is growing. Global CLE and legal conferences exist, and some law schools, graduate schools and undergraduate schools (e.g Valparaiso) have for years had international exchange programs focused on China and Japan, or pre-law programs and "sister" school relationships for exchange programs. Now some legal educators are moving further down the path towards more fully developed cross-border legal educations. Some of the expansions are described in Karen Sloan’s National Law Journal article pasted below and online here.

"Washington University in St. Louis School of Law is looking Down Under for new student opportunities. It’s partnering with the University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law in Brisbane, Australia, to launch a new, four-year joint juris doctor and master of laws program. Under the program, American law students will spend three years at Washington University, where they will complete their J.D., then spend a fourth year at the University of Queensland, where they will get an LL.M. Australian students will spend three years at the University of Queensland, where they will obtain a bachelors of law before completing an LL.M at Washington University. "Our alliance with the University of Queensland will help prepare students from both universities for successful careers in an ever globalized world," said Washington University Law Dean Kent Syverud. "The TC Beirne School of Law is one of the elite law schools in Australia, with a global reputation for attracting the top students from Queensland and from across Australia." It’s not unusual for American law schools to partner with schools outside the United States for joint programs or research collaborations, though most schools of late have been forging relationships with institutions in Asia — most notably in China. Last month, law deans from nine U.S. schools met with 10 deans from Chinese law schools to discuss future collaborations and the joint promotion of the rule of law. Syverud said that the University of Queensland was an attractive partner because its "ambitious global vision of the law school and its faculty complements that of Washington University." In addition to the new joint degree program, Washington University and the University of Queensland law faculty and students will have opportunities for exchanges and research collaborations." Karen Sloan can be contacted at


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