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Outsourcing Law School? Chinese Law School Seeks ABA Accreditation

By Neetal Parekh on February 15, 2010 5:49 AM

The phone is ringing at the ABA headquarters, it's China calling.

The Peking University School of Transnational Law is looking to get the American Bar Association's (ABA) nod and stamp of approving recognition as the first ABA-accredited law school outside the United States.  Outsourcing, which has commonly become associated with call centers in Asia assisting North American and European customers on everything from connecting to DSL to changing a flight booking, could have a new avatar coming soon. One ending in Esq.

According to the ABA Journal, the ABA has clarified its accreditation standards, stating that there is no standing requirement that law schools looking to get ABA accreditation must necessarily be based in the U.S.

This doesn't just open the door, it potentially blows down the house. 

The interpretation of U.S. law and the U.S. Constitution may one day be studied, reviewed, and even challenged on a global stage by an all-world cast.  The Chinese law school seeking to be the first global player is headed by the former dean of the University of Michigan Law School, Jeffrey Lehman.  According to Lehman, "the processes of globalization have created the need for a new kind of lawyer, the 'transnational lawyer.'  This is especially true in China, [which is] experiencing the most rapid modernization of any nation in history." 

Should U.S. law firms and attorneys be wary of the potential onset of foreign-based U.S. attorneys? Or, is it a significant step towards international players defering to a common page of law and regulation regarding everything from commerce to human rights? 

The phone is still just ringing, let's see how the conversation plays out.

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