The School of Law strengthens the “individual”
The current slogan of Meiji University—a university that strengthens the “individual” —carries over the founding principles of the Meiji Law School, namely, rights, liberty, independence and self-government. From its establishment in 1881 to today, Meiji University School of Law has been sending out into the world, outstanding graduates with diverse skills and talents. Meiji University was also one of the first schools to train and cultivate female legal professionals. In 1929 when the door to legal education was still closed to women, Meiji University established the Women’s Department and produced Japan’s first female legal professionals. This is one indication of Meiji University’s tradition of strengthening the “individual,” not being bound by conventional notions.
Legal education under the new bar exam
In the wake of Japan’s judicial system reforms, Meiji University established its new Law School in 2004. Ever since the new bar examination began to be held in 2006, Meiji University has been ranked among the top 6 nationwide universities each year in terms of the number of successful applicants. As a result, Meiji University has continued to produce a large number of legal professionals.
Under the new bar exam setup, the School of Law promotes multilayered legal education in collaboration with Law School. It also introduced a five-course system consisting of the Pre-Law School Course, the Public Service Law Course, the Business Law Course, the Law and Information Course, and the International Relations Law Course, to train professionals who can instantly meet the needs of contemporary society where legal compliance is being sought.
An “international” School of Law
Numerous non-Japanese students, mostly from the Asian region, are currently enrolled in the School of Law.
Beginning in 2011, the university will expand the number of applicants accepted in the entrance examination for overseas students. Going forward, we expect to see an increase in the number of overseas students who will enroll in the School of Law.
The School of Law also offers the Meiji University Law in Japan Program, which is a program for accepting overseas students on a short-term basis. The program is open to foreign nationals considering studying law in Japan in the future, as well as foreign nationals who, although are interested in Japanese law, are not fluent in the Japanese language.
The Law in Japan Program teaches, in English, Japan’s judicial and social systems over an intensive two-week period, including field trips to the Diet, prison, and other related institutions. Participants come from a variety of countries, mainly from the United States and Europe; such as the UK, France, Belgium, Italy and Germany.
The program has prompted some participants to request receiving further legal education at Meiji University. It is therefore attracting interest as a program that serves as a bridge between universities and foreign nationals who wish to pursue full-fledged legal studies in Japan.
Needless to say, the School of Law put emphasis on international education to its current students. In addition to the numerous foreign language classes being offered, numbers of specialized subjects are being taught in English.
There is also a four-week summer program called the Cambridge Summer Law Program in which students study British law at the University of Cambridge in England. The program aims to nurture individuals who are capable of engaging in law-related work in English in the future.