Thank you for being here. Appreciate that you have no objections by English. I use English for our talk, because if I speak in Chinese, it will be very funny but not useful for me.
Professor Chen asked me to address three topics which I would do in a very complicated way. So the title of my presentation today is to talk about the nature of Academic legal research in the US, this is the word I miss only with. And now this is my eleven fare teaching as a law professor, so teaching now for twelve teaching year. And also talk about the book I recently published and use it as an example to introduce the way which academic in the United States research law. I also thought it was a nice opportunity to talk about to talk about the usual or distinctive aspects of the American system of the UN education. Many of you know about the United states’ system. I will talk about the school I familiar with in Yale Law School.
2. Distinctive Features of U.S. Legal Academy
First I will talk about what I think is some unusual or distinctive or features of the American education. Then I will talk about a little bit about the education and background of the most American legal academics or most American law professors. And this will be as a way to introduce you as a way in which American legal scholars are trained and help you understand the nature of the type of research. As a hope it will be interesting to you. As an example I think is typical, hopefully excellent, example of the American legal research and I use the book that recently published. And I will go through the book to allow you to understand both the type of work I’ve been doing but to get insides against the nature of how American legal scholars to typically go about conducting legal research.
Couple of things in American system education I think is worth high letting before we talk about this.
The one thing that I think people out side American system don’t fully appreciate is that in the traditional American there were no law schools. Lawyers in American were originally trained as practices. They didn’t go to school, they just worked for a lawyer and the lawyer taught them. And later in the American history that law school stated. But law in America for many people was not something that was part of a university. So for many lawyers in America, you become a lawyer but you didn’t come to University. So most American famous lawyer like Abraham Lincoln was a very good lawyer. He never went to law school. He never went to university but he was very very good lawyer. Now was a very traditional type of American lawyer. Only in the last hundred years, perhaps, the system changed. So that lawyers in American all go to universities. The reason why that is interesting is because therefore the nature of our school is a little bit different from the school in Europe. We are traditionally the lawyer that for England. The United States traditional law faculties historically were just lawyers. Lawyers who would working on the side, taught law students. So the study was interesting that very few American professor of law hold PhDs and almost none of them hold PhDs in law. So it will be very unusual for American professor to hold a PhD in law. This is why American students always surprised by foreign students who come to America saying, “Oh, I’m studying in PhD”. Americans ask “why?” ”What are you doing?”. Because the number of law professor holding PhDs in law is zero. But many of them hold PhDs in other subjects, like history, economics or philosophy. But that’s not part of their training to be a law professor. So I think it comes out in American tradition of lawyers not being part of university have been private lawyers, who would also teach at the university. And I will talk about why that maters in something. The other thing interesting, which I think is most different from Europe, is that most American law professors in law legal academics have experiencing the practice of attorneys. So many of them would work before they join the faculty in law school. In many other countries, you (should) have been a researcher that you come to faculty. Just use my self as an example, it was just like I worked as an attorney for two years in New York city. In any other form, I worked every day all the time, hundred hours a week. But it was a very good experience and it was very uncommon for law professor to have that kind of practical experience.
The other thing that is unusual for American professor system is that American law professors write articles which are published in law journals. I prefer this one the Yale law journal. But what’s true about these journals is that it’s completely controlled by students. So there is no professors to let this articles to published at these journals. There is no other countries in the world have this system, which the students select which articles will be published in the academic journals. So in a sense, students of the schools have influence on the academic research in America. Because this publications are controlled by students. This is true for American major journal. There are some of them are controlled by professors but most of them are controlled by students. The most to make us to think about is the way which my book and research that I’ve done should be understood.
3. Typical Education and Background of U.S. Legal Academics
Finally, there is focus on the three law schools. Probably almost clear majority of law professors in American could graduate in three law schools. That is Harvard, and Stanford. These schools, in some degree, are thought training law professors as well. Yale law school sees itself as an academic school, as a school that would produce future law professors. However which is also interesting in Yale, Harvard, and Stanford is that most of the students become practicing lawyers not professors. And the education you get there is the same. If you going to be a law professor or you going to be a lawyer, it is no difference in the class you take or the training you get. So even these schools are dominate in legal academic law professor world in America, actually most of their students go on business of law. The most of my friends of law school are lawyer or government officials. These school do have creative system to try to train their student a little bit more legal academic research and they try to affect or influence the way that legal academic research in America is done. Five of my college have the same academic background I do, which they went to Yale college first and they stayed there to go to Yale law school. And the variation is some of them went to Harvard first and they went to Yale. So the legal academic has been constricted among these three law schools. So the work is to let you understand American law professors. They tended to come from the same law schools.
So this is my first part, just to introduce the background of the professor in law school. They typically do not hold PhDs in Law. A law professor has the same training of a law professor and a law professor first will have experience as a practical attorney. And many of them graduate from Harvard, Yale, Stanford law schools.
4. Scholarship: Taming Globalization
How does this affect scholarship?
Then I will have the opportunity to talk about my research, the book Taming Globalization. It came out two years ago now. Which is interesting about the book is that a nice example of the American encourages the law professor to talk about the law problems, as well as engaged in academic theory. The theory we deal with is actually often in other field outside the law field. I hope you could have some questions about it.