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Spring Semester in Tokyo | Student Life
There is no typical student who attends the Law Program. Many students come because they are interested in taking international, comparative, and Asian law courses which are not available at most law schools. Some students want to learn how to establish careers in international law from professors who have global practices. A significant number of students have visited or lived in Japan and are returning to learn about Asian law and the Japanese legal community. Other students simply want to avail of their final opportunity to live, travel, and study abroad before beginning to practice law in the U.S. Whatever their motivation is, students who have attended report that the experience is extremely valuable.
You may attend the Program in the spring of your second or third year. Although Temple law students receive preference, space is available for students from other schools.
Spending a full semester abroad gives you time to explore Tokyo and the rest of Japan. In addition to a challenging academic experience, each year students participate in many extracurricular activities. Field trips are an integral part of the Law Program and reinforce the international law experience. The Law Program plans visits to:
- The Supreme Court of Japan
- The Fuchu Prison
To further enrich your exposure to Tokyo and Japan and enhance your understanding of Japanese culture, TUJ organizes several optional field trips and excursions each semester. These include half-day excursions to sites in and around Tokyo including museums, historical sites, sporting events, and cultural activities. During spring break or after the Program ends, students sometimes travel to other Asian countries.
We recognize that many students attend the Law Program hoping that it will enhance future employment prospects. Many also expect to work while here. Although we cannot guarantee that anyone will find a law-related job in Tokyo, the Law Program office does all it can to assist students in securing appropriate employment through our internship program.
The principal employers are Japanese law firms, American law firms, and corporations. In past years, one-half of the students who registered for the internship program worked with law firms and corporations or volunteered at public interest organizations such as Refugees International. University jobs, including faculty research assistant and writing center attendant, are occasionally available. Students are often concerned about whether they have sufficient language ability for employment in Japan. Ultimately, whether and to what degree Japanese language skill is required depends on the needs of the employer, which vary.
The ABA does not permit J.D. students to work more than 20 hours per week.