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WLS is a graduate school that prepares students to become legal professionals armed with a global perspective and the knowledge to practice anywhere in the world. After completion of the three-year programs, students are granted the degree of Juris Doctor qualifying them to sit the new National Law Examination, which starts in 2006. At the same time, we encourage our students to strengthen their critical, creative and analytical thinking skills to deal with legal issues. We will train future judges, prosecutors and attorneys, as well as government officials and legal officers in international organizations, corporate counsels and other types of lawyers to make our world a better place.
WLS is not only open to those who studied law as undergraduate students, but also to those who majored in those disciplines and who have work experience in other fields. Credits will be granted to people who previously majored in law, but the large majority of students will have to spend three years studying at the law school.
We aim to create a community of potential leaders in different fields of law. We expect our graduates to reorganize the legal services that have not yet met the needs of the public. Our curriculums enable 300 unique individuals to influence and learn from one another and also assist students to find their personal areas of specialization in the field of law.
Basic legal subjects such as Contract, Torts, Criminal Law, Human Rights, Civil and Criminal Procedures are the foundation of legal studies at WLS provided to law students in the first year and part of the second year of their studies. These subjects provide excellent opportunities to allow students to concentrate on learning a substantial amount of basic information about law. The role of a law school is to educate professionals who can apply systematic legal knowledge to real life problems, not just to the questions in the National Law Examination. A legal case in the real world cannot be solved using only piece-meal legal knowledge of related subjects. A substantial amount of systematic understanding of the law is required. In this school, the most important goal is to acquire the basics and learning skills. Students must complete 26 course credits before they enroll in the second year program.
Whether a student wishes to practice as an international business lawyer, work for the less privileged in society, become a specialist in the field of corporate governance or intellectual property, work for the government, or settle disputes between countries, one of the nine different workshops that we provide in the third year of study will address their aims. Waseda Law School allows students to plan their careers as they study their fields of specialization. Students can freely choose classes covering a range of specific subjects from a variety of courses that are found in few other law schools in this country. This is only possible at WLS with the aid of 144 distinguished faculty members. Legal professionals always confront the question of“what makes up the law?” We provide classes in jurisprudence, law and other related disciplines to improve students’ ability to envision how the“law” has developed throughout the course of history, or in international
Waseda Law school admits 270 students a year. About 120 students are admitted to three years standard program and about 150 are admitted to two years shorten program. The WLS admission process is designed to identify students who can use their talents in the world outside the school. We encourage people of different ages, genders, nationalities and backgrounds to apply. Our mission is to educate legal professionals who can carry on the pride and the tradition of Tomon Hoso—the community of Waseda graduate legal professionals, and also searches for justice beyond the limits of culture, regions, or disciplines.
Admission decisions are made on the basis of scores on the Japanese LSAT(administered by the Japan Law Foundation),undergraduate GPA, work experience(if any), and short essay writing test. Those who want to study in two years program must take legal writing test in place of short essay.
WLS has tied up with law schools in foreign countries to provide our students with opportunities to study abroad and prepare for the globalization of legal services. At this point, our partner law schools include Columbia University, Cornell University, Duke University, University of Illinois, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, University of Washington in the U.S., York University in Canada, National Taiwan University, the Judges and Prosecutors Training Institute in Taiwan, Bucerius University in Germany. We are aiming to grow partnerships with other comparable law schools, legal training and research institutes around the world. Students at WLS are fortunate to have the opportunity to broaden their perspectives by interacting with exchange students from foreign institutions.
WLS courses are mainly designed for Japanese students who will pursue a professional career as a practicing lawyer. Exchange students from our partner schools abroad may find the content of these courses too specialized for their purposes of legal study. Almost all WLS courses are taught in Japanese. Given the fact that some exchange students wish to take a few courses conducted in English, WLS offers four courses in English during the fall semester. These coursed currently include Modern Japanese Law, Japanese Legal Culture, International Trade Law and Comparative Finance Law.
The instructor of each of these courses accommodates the needs of exchange students using methods such as including special written examinations, oral examinations, or a research paper of approximately 20 double-spaced pages for two credits. Either Japanese or English may be used. If an exchange student wishes o write a substantial research paper of more than 40 double-spaced pages for an additional two credits, they may take the "Special Study on Japanese Law: Supervised Research Paper". This arrangement may be made through his or her faculty adviser with the consent of a supervising faculty member.
WLS will send official transcripts to the home institution for fall semester courses by the end of February, and for spring semester courses by the end of August.
We ally not only with foreign institutions but also with other law schools in Japan. For example, there are cross-listed classes between WLS, Keio Law School and Sophia University law school, enabling students from both law schools to study in the specialist areas that each school is renowned for. We aim to raise increase students' motivation by making the best classes in the country available to them.