Law Quadrangle (formerly Law Quad Notes)


Prospective lawyers need to learn three things: First, legal doctrine, or what the law says; second, legal analysis, or how to reason about a legal issue; and third, legal practice, or how to apply legal doctrine and legal reasoning to the lawyers' tasks of advising clients, drafting legal documents, representing clients before tribunals and governmental agencies, negotiating for clients, and so on.

The following essay is based on talks delivered in Tokyo las February as part of the symposium "Inside the American Law School: Its Essence, Its Reality, and Its Potential in Japan."

Organized by Assistant Professor Mark D. West, who directs the Law Schools Japanese Legal Studies Program, in Cooperation with Japanese alumni of the Law School and Japanese bar learders, the symposium was the first of its kind. It was occasioned by Japan's regorganization of its legal education system to establish graduate law schools based on the United States model by April 2004.

As West explained for Law Quadrangle Notes(Spring 2002, page 4), the conference came at an important time for Japanese legal education: "The basic accreditation standards for law schools were announced at the end of 2001, and the details of the system - things like costs and funding, teaching methods, curriculum, the admissions process, and so on - will be filed in over the coming months. The conference is timed to give Japanese policymakers information about our system as they debate and draft these important rules."