Globalizing Legal Education
Pacific McGeorge is at the forefront of a burgeoning movement to prepare 21st Century students to practice law in a world that has become increasingly global. Under a dramatic new initiative by Pacific McGeorge faculty, gone are the days when law students only encountered international or comparative law isolated elective courses. Instead, all students have exposure to such global issues throughout their core courses.
The philosophy behind this initiative may be best summarized by Justice Stephen G. Breyer's statement that "This world we live in is a world where it is out of date to teach foreign law in a course called Foreign Law."
The Pacific McGeorge Global Center began its Globalizing the Curriculum initiative by leading a workshop on globalizing legal education in 2006. At the workshop, professors from thirty-one law schools in the United States and Canada met to discuss how to introduce international, transnational, and comparative law issues into the core curriculum. The workshop report summarizes the discussions and recommendations for next steps in globalizing the law school curriculum nationwide.
Global Issues Book Series
The national movement to globalize legal education is at the core of Pacific McGeorge’s legal education philosophy. Through West Publishing, an innovative, 25-volume “Global Issues” casebook series was developed to introduce comparative, international and transnational law content into the core curriculum at law schools across the country. Distinguished Professor Franklin Gevurtz conceived the series and serves as editor combining the scholarship of Pacific McGeorge faculty and authors across the country to offer comprehensive, multi-volume books to: introduce international, transnational and comparative law issues into basic law school courses; familiarize law school graduates with the growing impact of non-domestic sources of law; and prepare law school graduates for the growth of transnational legal transactions and disputes. Many law schools use "Global Issues" books in their courses.
Global Lawyering Skills
The pioneering Global Lawyering Skills (GLS) program integrates international and comparative law into a comprehensive research and writing program, requiring students to use international as well as domestic sources to solve client problems. This approach to globalizing law school curriculum led to a recent article in the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute citing GLS as the most significant integration of international and comparative law in a legal writing program to date. Students gain intercultural legal competence through completion of the two-year GLS program, which is required of all Pacific McGeorge graduates.
Additional Surveys & Analysis
The Pacific McGeorge Global Center surveyed our fellow law schools about the internationalization of law school faculty teaching and scholarship. The results of these surveys were shared and discussed at our AALS International breakfast meetings. The Global Center also surveyed our faculty and students to measure the extent of our school’s impact on globalizing the law school curriculum. The survey results are available below.
- Pacific McGeorge/ASIL Survey of Law Schools Regarding Globalizing Legal Education (pdf)
- Pacific McGeorge/ASIL Survey of Law Schools Regarding Assessment of Student Outcomes from International Programs (pdf)
- Pacific McGeorge Student and Faculty Survey Regarding Teaching International Issues In Required Classes (pdf)
- Pacific McGeorge Survey on Experiential, Bilingual & Intercultural International Programs (pdf)
- Pacific McGeorge Survey on Internationalizing Faculty Teaching and Scholarship (pdf)
- Pacific McGeorge Survey on Changes in International Law Curriculum as a Result of Economic Challenges Facing the Legal Profession (pdf)