For Students

The Center for Chinese Legal Studies actively works to build a vibrant community of students who reflect the center’s commitment to excellence. The student body active in the center in a given year consists of more than 70 students from greater China and American law students who are proficient in Chinese and who plan to pursue careers involving China.

The center’s programs and courses are open to all Columbia Law School students. However, each year the law school admits a core group of J.D. students who are especially interested in Chinese law. These represent the next generation of the most promising Chinese legal scholars.

Another important part of the Chinese law student community are the LL.M. students. Many LL.M. students are already practitioners of law in greater China. They are public interest lawyers, judges, or attorneys in highly regarded Chinese firms. They  take classes alongside J.D. students.

These practitioners from greater China along with the visiting scholars enhance the academic environment by bringing a ‘real world’ knowledge to the classroom. The students, scholars, and practitioners remain in residence with each other for a long time, and allows them learn from one another and to make lifelong connections.

To further aid the formation of a strong social network, the Center also works with the student group, the Society for Chinese Law, to create social events or to organize career panels.

As a student of Chinese law you can also expect that in a given year, the Center will bring in a dozen or more practicing attorneys and researchers as speakers as part of the event series. Or these experts may act as adjunct professors for innovative courses that address current trends in the field. All told, throughout the three years of a J.D. program, a student of Chinese law can expect to meet and learn from dozens of the leading experts and practitioners of the Chinese legal profession.

The center assists students through networking opportunities independently and in conjunction with Career Services to find internships with firms in greater China.

Thanks to the generous support of the Oldham Fellowship and other funds, the center is also able to offer funding for public interest and government work, and research in greater China.