Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Internationalization of Legal Education--Globalization or Americanization? The View From Spain

The internationalization of legal education continues to gain momentum.  Once a hodgepodge of efforts--harmonization based efforts in Europe, comparative law efforts from the United States and Japan, and development based efforts from Asia, Africa and Latin America--the focus of efforts now have increasingly stressed an internationalization of both curricular efforts in home faculties, and institutional arrangements within a growing network of participating institutions.  While there is much focus on the efforts of American institutions to participate (and perhaps to seek to dominate) the framing and implementation of these efforts, there are equally important developments outside the United States.

I was recently privileged to have been asked to participate in one such effort led by Spanish legal experts, the Congreso Sobra la internacionalización de la educación superior de derecho

The conference was hosted in Toledo, Spain, by the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha facultad de ciecias jurídicas y sociales, and organized by D. Pedro José Carrasco Parrilla, profesor titular and decano of the faculty of juridical and social sciences at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha and Da. Eva Andrés Aucejo profesora titula at the Universitat de Barcelona.  Professor Andres Aucejo is also the director and president of the Revista de Educación y Derecho (the Education and Law Review), an exciting new journal devoted to issues of internationalization of legal education.    

Professor Andres Aucejo has written about the journal--"Acerca de la Revista de Educación y Derecho/Education and Law Review" Revista de Educación y Derecho/Education and Law Review 0:11-20 (2009). The program of the one day conference is described here:

Many of the conference papers have been published.  They may be accessed here.  They include:

Nicolás Zambrana Tévar, La globalización de las Facultades de Derecho: el Global Law Program de la Universidad de Navarra [Universidad de Navarra];

Thomas Eger y  Alessio M. Pacces, The European Master in Law and Economics: A Program with a Focus on the Economics of the Europeanization and Internationalization of the Law [University of Hamburg] [Erasmus University, Rotterdam].

Joana Abrisketa Uriarte y Cristina Churruca Muguruza, El Máster Europeo Con- junto en Acción Internacional Humanitaria: un máster basado en competencias [Univer- sidad de Deusto].

Manuel Bermejo Castrillo, y Pilar Otero González, Hacia una formación jurídica sin fronteras. El reto de la implantación de titulaciones conjuntas de dimensión internacional [Universidad Carlos III de Madrid].
 Additional aticles of interst included:  Educación Superior en Derecho sin fronteras: “Transnational Legal Studies: Word Wide Study. Higher Education for international students and international Instructors”, by Gianmaria Ajani, Professor of University of Torino. Dean of the Faculty of Law. Univer- sity of Torino, y “The Master of Laws in International Economic Law and Policy (IELPO LLM.): a global master”, by Xavier Fernández, Profesor Titular de Derecho Internacio- nal Público. Universitat de Barcelona. 

There were many noteworthy presentations; I mention three in particular.  The first was that of César Arjona Sebastiá, who serves  as Profesor titular in the Department of Public Law at ESADE in Barcelona.  He spoke of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies and its innovative structure, pedagogy and approach to legal internationalization.  The Center for Transnational Legal Studies provides model for networked education, in which a number of law faculties from across the globe come together in a place not connected to any of them for the purpose of bringing selected numbers of each of their students and faculty together for instruction in a curriculum liberated from the structures of any of the domestic legal orders of any of the participating schools.  It suggests a form of internationalization that is built through cooperative projects among a number of diverse institutions.  But it has its complications--from cost to administration, to devoting the time and energy necessary to avoid deviating from the internationalizing mission of the program. Yet it evidences the possibility a useful pedagogy beyond the domestic legal order of any predominant state. There is now enough law beyond the state, and which affects actors in transactions across borders, to support a course of study and serve as a basis for training useful to lawyers. Yet this is not an endeavor for the fainthearted, or for institutions with inadequate resources to support such efforts.  Arjona Sebastià is the author of  “Transnational Law as an Excuse. How Teaching Law Without the State Makes Legal Education Better”, in C. Menkel-Meadow & F. Werro (eds.), Teaching Transnational Law, Ashgate (forthcoming, 2011).

The second was the presentation by Mónica NavarroProfesora Titular y Adjunta a la Vicedecana de Relaciones Internacionales y de Investigación de la Universidad de Barcelona, entitled "El programa de doble titulación de la Universidad de Barcelona con la Nova Sourteastern University." The presentation provided an analysis and description of emerging double degree programs, in this case leading to the possibility of acquiring law degrees (and consequently providing the necessary basis for seeking licensing as a lawyer) in multiple national jurisdictions.  Professor Navarro suggested both the complexity and value of double degree programs.  Beyond issues of coordination, the principle difficulty is one of language and students' sense of the availability of value in a double degree.  Yet it also provides a mechanism for making it easier for students to take advantage of market opportunities across borders.  When done correctly, it can also serve as a bridge for faculty interaction, exchange and research possibilities.

The last was the presentation of  Miguel Gómez Jene, Profesor titular y vicedecano de Ralaciones Internacionales, Institucionalesy Metodología at UNED, the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.  Profesor Gómez Jene suggested the possibilities of distance education in the context of the internationalization of legal education.  What made the presentation particularly interesting was both the language of instruction and the growth of the market for this type of education delivery.  Professor Gómez Jena noted that English had become the lingua franca of supra national legal studies--so that distance learning courses offered by this Spanish university abroad tended to be offered to non-Spanish audiences in English.  He also described the substantial growth in interest in distance education.  The distance learning efforts now reaches 160,000 students, covering 26 field options, and involving 10,000 instructors.  The UNED option offers the possibility of internationalization without the cost associated with on-the-ground programs that may be limited to only the most well endowed institutions.   It is likely that internationalization will at least be supplemented, if not spearheaded, through the use of technology, especially for those financially unable to create live programs. 
My presentation, "Global Law Schools on the U.S. Model," touched on two substantially irreconcilable approaches to internationalization that are emerging in the United States.  The first focuses on globalizing the law school curriculum through internationalization.  The second consists of more recent efforts to globalize the law school curriculum by internationalizing the conventional U.S. curriculum.   The presentation spoke to an emerging current of nationalist globalization.  I focused specifically on American efforts to permit accreditation of foreign law schools for the awarding of U.S. J.D.‘s in the context of the main themes of the current discussion about the globalization of thew legal profession.  My main thesis will be this:  The global legal education community, led by the Europeans, has been constructing a vision of globalization of legal education that has as its basis the idea of harmonization and convergence of different systems and the development of a new institutional model grounded in harmonized global  trends in law. The United States appears to be taking two approaches to this development.  On the one hand, some institutions are participating in educational internationalization.  But American institutions are also working against this general trend by positing a form of globalization that has as its foundation the idea that national legal education can go global without globalizing the law taught. In place of harmonization and globalization of law, the Americans a model grounded in extraterritorial competition for socialization in the laws of the domestic legal order of dominant states. 

I have included below the introductory materials from my PowerPoint presentation in English and Spanish.  The PowerPoints may be accessed here in ENGLISH, and ESPAÑOL

No comments: