Since 1994, our Law Program in Japan has offered law students a unique opportunity to participate in a study-abroad experience that prepares the next generation of lawyers to practice in the global marketplace. In addition to studying Asian, international, and comparative law with an outstanding faculty composed of American and Japanese-educated professors, students are daily immersed in Japanese culture.  Interacting with peers from Japan and elsewhere promotes cultural understanding and provides students with long-term professional contacts. Living in Japan helps students to appreciate the vagaries of cultural differences and to develop skills that enable true cross-cultural cooperation. Ours is the only ABA-approved semester abroad program located in Asia.  J.D. students might also be able to take advantage of the opportunity to apply credits earned in Tokyo towards Temple’s LL.M. in Transnational Law.

In 2015, 11 students from Temple Law School and 11 students from other U.S. law schools attended the program.

Program Requirements

J.D. students wishing to attend the Semester in Japan Program must have completed their first year of study and be in good academic and disciplinary standing at an ABA-approved law school. Transnational LL.M. students may attend the program only in the spring semester.

J.D. students are encouraged to take Introduction to Japanese Law, but they are free to choose among the courses offered.  To ensure they meet all the requirements for their degree, we strongly recommend that J.D. students consult with the academic advisor and dean of students in their home law schools when selecting courses

The Curriculum

The curriculum consists of standard law courses and specialty courses focusing on international, comparative, and Asian legal studies. The specialty courses provide an in-depth understanding of the cultural underpinnings of Japanese and Asian law and expose students to current issues in transnational law and practice. Small class sizes offer students an opportunity to interact often with the faculty and other students. All classes are taught in English. In addition, we offer a non-credit Japanese Language course.

Course Offerings for Spring 2016 (tentative)

  • Business Planning for International Transactions (3 credits)
  • Comparative Criminal Law Writing Seminar (3 credits)
  • Comparative Employment Law Writing Seminar (3 credits)
  • Current Issues in Japanese Law (2 credits)*
  • East-West Negotiation (3 credits: Limited Enrollment)
  • International Contract Drafting (3 credits)
  • International Law (3 credits)
  • International Taxation (2 credits)
  • Introduction to Japanese Law (3 credits)
  • Professional Responsibility (3 credits)
  • U.S. Domestic Law Course (TBD)

* Course taught in Japanese

Course Descriptions Spring 2016

The spring-2016 Course Schedule will appear in mid-fall 2015. Most classes will start at 18:30 Monday through Thursday.

Academic Calendar – Spring 2016

  • January 8 (Friday) Orientation (mandatory)
  • January 11 (Monday) First day of classes
  • Feb. 29 – March 4 (Monday – Friday) Spring Break
  • April 15 (Friday) Last day of classes
  • April 18 (Monday) First day of exams
  • April 30 (Saturday) Last day of exams

Japanese Language Instruction

To enroll in our program, students do not need to know any Japanese.  As even a little familiarity with the language may enhance understanding of the culture, we arrange Japanese language instruction at the University for $390.  We offer two courses: an intensive “survival” course for students who have had little or no exposure to the Japanese language; and a beginner level course.  The survival course meets for 90 minutes, 5 times a week for the first 3 weeks of the semester.  The beginner course meets for 180 minutes, 3 times a week for 4 weeks, commencing in the 4th week of the semester. Japanese Language Course Description Temple law students may also audit, at no charge, an introductory Japanese language course on Temple’s Philadelphia campus before leaving for Japan.  As seats are limited, students must register in advance. Temple law students may not take Japanese for credit toward the J.D. degree.

Attendance & Grading Policy

Class Attendance:  Students must attend a minimum of 80% of the regularly scheduled class hours in a course to be considered in regular attendance. Faculty members may impose more stringent attendance requirements for a particular course by giving enrolled students reasonable advance notice of their specific attendance policies.

Grading:  Faculty are encouraged to use a target mean grade of 3.05 in all exam courses, with a range of grades such that at least 20% of grades are A- or above and at least 20% of grades are C+ or below. A mean of 3.00 to 3.10 complies with this policy. The target mean does not apply to writing seminars and guided research projects, but Faculty are urged to use a range of grades that reflect a range of performance in such courses.

A student’s home school determines whether to accept any credit or grade from any course taken in the program.

Accreditation

Temple University School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). The semester in Japan is accredited by the ABA. Temple University Japan is designated as a foreign university under Japanese law.