Globalization has created new challenges and opportunities for lawyers. Increasingly, legal professionals are called upon to advise their clients about how their actions in one country affect their business interests in another. In addition, the explosion of international litigation creates a demand for lawyers with cross-cultural and comparative law knowledge. In no field has this development been more prominent than in business and commercial law. And in this field no country has risen to prominence more rapidly in recent years than has China.
To address the growing demand for knowledge and expertise on business transactions with China, the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the Law School of the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing have created a semester-long Cooperative Program. Now in its fifth year, the Program excels in training lawyers in advanced subjects of business, commercial, and financial transactions so they can serve their future clients with distinction. Students are able to study in the heart of Beijing, learning about life in China while enhancing their range of expertise to include legal transactions with businesses entities and interests in China.
Law students from around the world are eligible to study in Beijing in the fall semester with students from the CUFE Law School and the University of Maryland. The Program cultivates a diverse learning environment in which the different cultural and legal backgrounds of the students and faculty enrich the study of comparative law, and is one of the few academic programs in China in which visiting students study in the same classroom with Chinese students.
All courses are conducted in English. The Program begins with foundational courses on the Chinese Legal System and Comparative Law, offering students an unparalleled opportunity to learn the basics of Chinese law and comparative research methodology from the Program’s renowned faculty. Thereafter, the focus shifts to business and commercial law, with courses such as Foreign Direct Investment in China, Chinese and International Arbitration, Law of Credit and Guarantee (U.S. and China), Select Topics in International Commercial Law, Comparative Government Procurement Law, and even a Business Law Trial Competition. The specific courses offered in a particular year will depend on student demand and professor availability. The Program offers a careful combination of professors with academic and real-world experience in order to provide both theoretical and practical perspectives on the subjects under study.
Off–campus housing is available, and site visits to legal institutions and points of interest are incorporated into the Program. Students may also study Mandarin Chinese as part of the Program (subject to additional costs), and internships in Beijing may be available. It is recommended that students have at least one year of academic training in law before entering the Program.
Students participating in the Cooperative Exchange Program will be subject to the same performance standards as apply for academic performance at Maryland Carey Law. The grading method for all courses is a cumulative final exam, with the exception of the Cooperative Research course and the Moot Court Competition (if offered). Students will receive credit for a particular course with a grade of C- or above. Grades assigned in those courses taught by faculty members of Maryland Carey Law will transfer and be reflected on student transcripts. Any credit or grade for any course taken in the program is subject to determination by the student's home school. Students who successfully complete 11 non–language credits during the Program also will receive a Certificate in Comparative Business Law from the Law School of the Central University of Finance and Economics.
Each year Maryland Carey Law may accept a small number of visiting students from other U.S. law schools to participate in the Program. Non-U.S. law students interested in participating in the program are invited to apply directly to CUFE Law School.
Anticipated Enrollment for 2012: The anticipated enrollment for the fall 2012 Cooperative Exchange Program is as follows: Approximately ten students from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (including possible visiting students from other law schools formally enrolled at Maryland Carey Law) and five students from law schools in other foreign countries. The foreign countries likely to be represented include Austria and possibly Mexico and the United Kingdom.
In 2011, in total six non-Chinese students participated in the Cooperative Exchange Program: five students from Maryland Carey Law (including one enrolled visiting student) and one student from the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria.
In 2010, in total ten non-Chinese students (all from U.S. law schools) participated in an earlier form of the fall program: Maryland Carey Law (4); Loyola University(LA) (3); Syracuse University (1); Southern Methodist University (1); University of Missouri, Kansas City (1)
No formal enrollment limits for non-Chinese students apply for any courses. Nonetheless, only ten students from Maryland Carey Law (including visiting students) may participate in the Cooperative Exchange Program each fall.