Oklahoma City Law School Looks to Expand Partnerships in China

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 31, 2013

CONTACT:
Brook Arbeitman
Director of Marketing and Communications
Oklahoma City University School of Law
(405) 208-6300
bbarbeitman@okcu.edu

Law Schools Sign Proclamation to Advance Educational Partnerships for Chinese Students in U.S.

 (OKLAHOMA CITY – January 31, 2013) – Oklahoma City University School of Law recently hosted representatives from Hunan University School of Law on its campus, as the two institutions explore future partnerships. This visit is a direct result of a recent law school trip to China that aimed to promote the programs Oklahoma City University School of Law offers specifically to Chinese students and faculty.

Hunan University’s Professor QU Maohui, Party Secretary and Associate Dean, and Mr. HUANG Shan, Assistant Dean, joined Oklahoma City University School of Law Dean Valerie K. Couch for tea and a planning session for future exchange programs between the two schools.

“We are excited to add Hunan University to the group of prestigious Chinese law schools involved in our international programs,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch. “We share with them a commitment to building innovative, sophisticated programs that help our students succeed in a dynamic global economy. It is a joy to welcome our visitors. And they quickly become our friends, returning home with a new vision of the wonderful educational opportunities and cultural experiences we offer to the world here in Oklahoma City.”

The law school’s programs for Chinese lawyers, students and faculty began under hte direction of former dean Lawrence K. Hellman, who saw an opportunity for Chinese and American law students to receive a well-rounded, global view of the law through international partnerships.

“This is an important step forward in our ongoing efforts to build partnerships with Chinese law schools and legal institutions that enrich the learning and career opportunities for our students,” said Dean Emeritus Lawrence K. Hellman. “The agreement that was signed promises to keep Oklahoma City University School of Law engaged in the development of legal education and legal institutions in China, the world’s second largest economy.”

Dean Couch and Professor Qu signed a proclamation acknowledging the intention by each institution to further pursue five options for continuing education. The first is the four-week Certificate in American Law Program offered each summer. Currently, four Chinese law schools send students and a professor or administrator to Oklahoma City University School of Law to receive an extensive background on the American legal system. They attend classes at the law school, visit local law firms, participate in a mock trial, as well as sample Oklahoma culture during their stay on campus.

The law school also has a Visiting Scholars Program in which participating faculty from China spend six to twelve months at the School of Law advancing their scholarship. Since 2009, the law school has hosted more than ten visiting scholars, all but one from China. The Chinese scholars are fully funded by the China Scholarship Council under the Ministry of Education. After completing their stay in the U.S., the professor return to their institution of higher education to write articles or books on their area of scholarship. Many are promoted based on their participation in the program.

The Visiting Students Program is an opportunity for highly qualified Chinese students to take courses for one semester as visiting students at Oklahoma City University School of Law. The students receive credit for their studies at their home university while at OCU.

The law school has also invited Hunan University to participate in the Sino-American International Comparative Law Conference taking place on campus in May 2013. The inaugural symposium took place in June 2011 in Tianjin, China. Participating schools included Oklahoma City University School of Law, Nankai University School of Law, Beijing Normal University and Zhuhai School of Government and Law.

Finally, Oklahoma City University School of Law is preparing to offer an LL.M. in American Law beginning in the fall of 2014. This program is under development, but it is expected this Masters degree will be of value to Chinese lawyers, professors and graduate students.

Hunan University is joining a number of other Chinese Universities already in partnership with the law school to develop strong international exchange.

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