Hitotsubashi Law School aims to develop legal professionals with the following three qualities: (1) legal professionals who are familiar with business legal affairs, (2) legal professionals with an international perspective, and (3) legal professionals with an acute sensitivity to human rights issues. In an effort to achieve this educational objective, Hitotsubashi Law School has instituted the following curriculum so students can develop into legal professionals who embody the School’s educational principles after acquiring solid basic knowledge and an understanding of the law and the ability and creativity to apply the basic knowledge to solve legal issues in the real world.
For the first year, which targets students without any academic background in law, the following five courses are offered to firmly establish a foundation for further study: Constitution, Civil Law, Code of Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, and Code of Criminal Procedure. In addition to these five courses, an introductory seminar, where instructions on how to access legal information and how to read precedents and literature are given to students studying law for the first time, and comparative legal institutionalism, where short-sighted studies of law are compared, are offered. Through these courses, students acquire basic knowledge and learn the legal mindset and proper approaches to legal debate.
After the second year, the knowledge acquired in the five courses offered in the first year is confirmed in light of practice as legal professionals, and then the ability to apply the knowledge to solve real problems is developed through problem-oriented tasks, the Socratic method, and the case method. For administrative law and commercial law, students will learn these laws efficiently and dimensionally by building on the basic knowledge they acquired in the first year. In addition, a variety of electives are offered to help build a solid foundation for future activities as leading legal professionals.
Based on these basic studies, students take many courses related to legal practice after the second year. While the externship in the second year is intended to enhance student awareness of the legal profession and motivation for study, civil and criminal mock trials are held in the third year as an effective means not only for the experience of legal practice, but also for the consolidation of basic knowledge acquired in the past two years. After completing these programs, students further build practical skills through practical courses, such as the Basics of Civil Trials, Legal Ethics, Basics of Civil Legal Affairs, and Introduction to Criminal Practice, after the second semester of the second year.
In the third year, we offer an advanced seminar where specific topics are researched in depth in small groups from a multilateral and practical perspective, and a class in basic legal research, where students, who wish to become researchers, receive guidance for basic research and write research papers. Through the two programs, we intend to enrich our legal education and meet diverse needs of students.
Hitotsubashi Law School offers a wide variety of courses so that students can develop diverse interests and acquire practical skills useful for their future legal practice. The following are some unique examples of courses and subjects that represent the educational principles of the law school:
The Business Law Course is offered in the third year. This course targets students who have a particular interest in enterprise and business legal affairs and aims to develop high-level expertise through topics, such as practical business law. The course meets once a week on the Chiyoda Campus, where classes are given according to a practical curriculum based on the current business situation.
In an effort to nurture an international perspective in students, we offer Comparative Legal Institutionalism and Reading Literature on Foreign Law. Full-time teachers include a qualified lawyer from Australia and a businessperson familiar with legal affairs and management in a local subsidiary of a Japanese trading company in England. Through classes led by these teachers, students acquire the legal mind required by international society and pragmatic law. Moreover, foreign visiting professors invited by the Graduate School of Law also provide educational cooperation and participate in the educational programs of the law school. In the legal clinic (human rights clinic) of the advanced seminar course, students learn about human rights in society in the 21st century through the relationship between real society/practice and existing laws.