The following are Hitotsubashi Law School’s three basic admission policies:
1. securing fairness, openness, and diversity
The law school system was established in Japan with the aim of shifting from an examination-based, knowledge-oriented education to the development of legal professionals via the process. In the current law school system, students learn the basics of law in a professional degree program, and after completing the three-year program (for two years for those who were recognized as having some background in law), they are regarded eligible to take the national bar examination. Those who pass the bar examination qualify to practice law after completing a one-year legal apprenticeship. The guiding principles for the establishment of law schools accept not only students of law from universities, but also people with different backgrounds.
Hitotsubashi Law School respects the guiding principles of the establishment of law schools and gives top priority to fairness and openness when selecting students. The law school calls for promising students around the country to apply, regardless of universities or faculties they graduated from or their majors. Admission decisions are made on the basis of the following qualities: whether or not the knowledge base each applicant has acquired can serve as a solid foundation on which to build a legal profession; whether or not the applicant is eager to become one of the members who help each other to improve at the law school; and whether or not the applicant’s final goal is not simply to pass the bar examination but to become a legal professional. We believe that such evaluation criteria will ensure diversity in our students and eventually in legal human resources of the future.
2. accepting people with a basic legal education and those who have diverse experience and knowledge
The law covers all parts of society and influences every person’s life. The fair administration of laws takes on increasing importance in this complicated modern society. On the other hand, targets of law, the justice that law is supposed to embody, and conflicts of interest all change with the times. In such a social context, it is natural that demand for people with accurate legal knowledge increases. However, what is most needed in the situation where unerring activities of legal professionals are required is not a wealth of current detailed knowledge, but rather basic knowledge and the ability to apply it that will and should be maintained for many years to come. In light of the fact that the area to be covered by law is extensive and that demand for specialization by legal professionals is expected to increase in this society where specialization is taking place rapidly, it seems essential for people with diverse experience and knowledge to acquire legal knowledge and skills.
Based on the above, Hitotsubashi Law School encourages people who have learned law with acute awareness of current legal issues and those who have not learned law in the past, but have accumulated knowledge and experience in their specialized fields to apply.
3. accepting adult applicants and applications from undergraduates
For faculties/departments other than law, the law school admits the number of students specified by the Guidelines for the Establishment of Professional Graduate Schools by accurately evaluating the applicants’ activity performance and academic achievements. The non-binding target for admission set by the Guidelines for the Establishment of Professional Graduate Schools is that adult students and students from other faculties shall account for 30% of the total number of students admitted. This is a criterion to realize the aforementioned two principles.
In an effort to embody the aforementioned second principle while giving due consideration to fairness as stated in the first principle, Hitotsubashi Law School makes every effort to accurately and appropriately evaluate the performance of adult applicants and the academic achievements of applicants from other faculties as a foundation on which to build studies for the legal profession.