Touring the Halls of Power: Beijing LL.M. Students Visit U.S. Supreme Court, Meet Justice Ginsburg

On June 7, 2018, 44 Temple Beijing Master of Laws candidates had the rare opportunity to tour the United States Supreme Court and to meet Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  In their one-hour audience with her, Justice Ginsburg answered students’ questions on topics ranging from how politics affects the judiciary to her workout regimen to how she handled being a working mom in the 1960s.  The Justice met with Temple Beijing’s LL.M. students in the Supreme Court’s East Conference Room, where the portraits of the first eight Chief Justices are displayed.  Justice Ginsburg spoke briefly about each of the eight Chief Justices, drawing students’ attention to the red adorned robes donned by Chief Justice John Jay, and the switch to simple black robes some twenty years later with John Marshall as Chief Justice.  Ginsburg also made special mention of Belva Ann Lockwood, the first woman admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1879.  Justice Ginsburg praised President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to diversify the federal judiciary with his many appointments of women and minority Article III judges.

The Temple Beijing Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) program educates Chinese judges, prosecutors, government officials, law professors, and lawyers in U.S. and international law. This 15-month program, which operates in collaboration with Tsinghua University School of Law, was founded in 1998 and is the first foreign law degree granting program approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The eight-week summer program in Philadelphia affords Temple Beijing LL.M. students a front-row seat to the practice of American jurisprudence.  In addition to the day spent in Washington, D.C., this summer, students also toured Philadelphia’s City Hall, observed proceedings in federal and state courts, attended arbitration proceedings, and toured a local correctional facility.  These experiences complement their Masters coursework in Evidence, Legal Writing, and Trial Advocacy skills.

The students were accompanied to the Supreme Court by Dean Gregory Mandel, Assistant Deans Louis Thompson and Shyam Nair, Associate Professor of Law Sara Jacobson, and Practice Professor Marian Braccia.