Chinese Law Dean Visits Oklahoma City University School of Law

Oklahoma City University School of Law will continue its groundbreaking partnership with one of China’s most prestigious law schools next week with a signing ceremony and a visit from Zuo Haicong, dean of Nankai University School of Law.

“China is America’s number one trade partner, and it’s crucial for our students to become familiar with legal and trade issues as our two nations continue to work together,” said OCU School of Law Dean Lawrence K. Hellman.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, Dean Zuo and Dean Hellman will sign an agreement to bring Nankai University School of Law students and faculty to OCU School of Law for the Summer 2008 Certificate in American Law Program. The signing ceremony is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. in Sarkeys Law Center on the OCU campus. News media outlets are invited to attend; please contact OCU School of Law if you plan on attending.

The Certificate in American Law Program, which brought Nankai University law students to the OCU campus in June 2007, includes four weeks of classes covering the role and regulation of lawyers in America, an introduction to legal research and writing in the United States, and an introduction to American trial practice.

“The program is unique because it combines classroom learning with an insider’s view of the legal system through trips to courts, law firms, and other legal and environmental institutions,” said Lee Peoples, director of international programs and associate director of the OCU Law Library, who oversees details of the exchange program.

The two schools began a partnership in 2005. Since then both institutions have sent delegations of students, faculty and administrators to expand the horizons of the legal profession in each country. Nankai University is based in Tianjin, a city of more than 11 million people and China’s third-largest metropolis.

Throughout the week, Zuo will also visit with students and faculty, observe the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in action, participate in a weeks’ worth of headliner events and meet with state leaders at the Capitol, including Chief Justice James Winchester of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Speaker of the House Lance Cargill and Secretary of State Susan Savage.

Dean Zuo’s visit coincides with the arrival of the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, who will hear arguments at OCU School of Law, and with its inaugural Jurist-in-Residence Program, featuring Judge Michael Daly Hawkins of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Dean Zuo will participate in each of these events, and he will meet with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court, who visits Oklahoma next week.