So in the last three months I have received a couple of emails from students in international law schools in China asking me about their job prospects. My responses have been anything but encouraging, to the point that I feel it would be wise for me to publicize my counsel.
Here is somewhat of a merger of the two emails:
I am ________________, a third year student of International law at ______________ University in China. I am a ___________ citizen and I will be graduating next year.
_______________ contacted me for an interview about “Going to school in China” and during our conversation, I mentioned that our university is not helping us find an internship. Moreover, we as foreigners are not allowed to practice law in China. That is why I couldn’t answer him when he asked me about my future plans. I frankly have no idea if my degree will be recognized abroad or where should I be doing my internship. He recommended your blog to me and also suggested I ask you for some advice.
I would be highly obliged if you could advice me on where I should look for an internship and how. Our university wants us to have an internship of minimum two months. I am also studying Chinese language along with my degree here. Our course is taught in English but they also give us Chinese classes. I can say my Chinese is good enough to carry out normal conversations with Chinese people.
It would be really helpful in to find a good job after my graduation if I can find an internship in an international law firm before my graduation.
Really looking forward to your suggestions!
Because one of the students had been referred to me by a China law professor/China lawyer I know, I felt some obligation to do some brief research regarding the situation and I found the following:
- There are international law schools (at least one anyway) in China that teach Chinese law to students from all over the world, with English as the language of instruction.
- These students believe that upon graduation they will be readily employable by “international law firms” seeking new lawyers knowledgable about Chinese law.
- The students who graduate from these law schools cannot sit for the China bar.
- As far as I know, the students who graduate from these law schools cannot sit for any bar in the United States either. In fact, near as I can tell (though I certainly may be wrong about this), these students cannot sit for the bar in any country in the world.
- If I am right about #4 (and nobody has yet told me I am wrong on this), this means that graduating from one of these law schools does not help you to become a lawyer.
- Even if graduates from one of these law schools can sit for the bar in some country somewhere, I can only imagine it will be extremely difficult for any of these graduates to get a good law job. These law schools do not have any reputation anywhere (as far as I know). I am an active and long time China attorney who has the additional benefit of people constantly contacting us because of this blog. Yet I did not even know of the existence of these schools (Again, I am aware of only one such school for certain, but I hear there are others) until only very recently.
What is going on here? Do I have my facts right? People, please help me (and anyone considering one of these China law schools) out here.This article was written by Dan Harris and published on China Law Blog. Original Post: http://www.chinalawblog.com/2016/11/china-international-law-schools.html