When law firms are eyeing the ‘emerging markets’ with greater diligence than their home markets, can law schools be far behind? In a sweeping gesture of investing in the eastern future, the University of Chicago School of Law is hosting a two-week course for 75 professors, postdoctoral fellows and legal scholars and graduate students from China. The program, titled “Property Rights and Private Law” is intended to introduce the western law and economics concepts into China’s legal education system. Apparently, it would help Chinese scholars to create their own support network and understand the concepts in a better fashion. Scholars are being invited from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
The program is being organized by the Chicago Law School’s Institute for Law and Economics. Joseph Burton, the executive director of the institute said, “We want to see law and economics given more prominence in China.” According to Burton, theories of law and economics are relatively unknown in the Chinese part of the world and the Asian Law and Economics Association still lacks a foothold.
Some of the most prominent faculty members of Chicago Law School, including Judge Richard Posner, Eric Posner, and former deans like Saule Levmore, Douglas Baird and Ronald Coase would be lecturing the invited Chinese scholars. The summer program, scheduled to start on July 9 would be in four areas of law: economics of contract law, economic analysis of remedies, property and public choices, and property and capital markets.
Burton told the media, “It will look and feel like being in a pretty advanced law-and-economics course at the University of Chicago … The only difference is there won’t be exams.”
According to records, the Chicago Law School has already received more than 300 applications from Chinese scholars aspiring to participate in the program. While international exchanges are common at the Chicago Law School, the magnitude of this program is far greater than ordinary events.
The institute is also planning to hold similar programs each summer targeted at the emerging markets including India, Brazil and Mexico.