Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) invites applications and nominations for Dean of the law school, to assume office on August 1, 2018. STL offers China’s only Common Law Juris Doctor program and the world’s only Common Law J.D./China law Juris Master dual degree program. STL also offers an LL.M. for international students with a first degree in law. STL admitted its first students in 2008.
Peking University (“PKU”) is commonly regarded as China’s leading university and as one of the world’s great research universities. STL is located on PKU’s Shenzhen Graduate School Campus, which includes PKU’s HSBC Business School, School of Electronic and Computer Engineering, School of Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, School of Advanced Materials, School of Environment and Energy, School of Urban Planning and Design, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences. PKU’s Shenzhen Campus is part of a larger “University Town” that includes the Shenzhen campuses of Tsinghua University and Harbin Institute of Technology, two of China’s other leading research universities. STL occupies a new state-of-the-art Kohn Pederson Fox-designed law school building.
Shenzhen is renowned as China’s “Silicon Valley,” home to information and biotechnology start-ups and such innovative giants as Tencent, Huawei, BGI, BYD, and DJI Drones. Just forty years ago Shenzhen was a small fishing and farming community; today it is a city of almost 20 million. The April 2017 The Economist declared Shenzhen “one of the world’s most innovative cities,” noting that Shenzhen alone accounts for more high quality international patents than either Great Britain or France, and that Shenzhen alone is responsible for nearly 50 percent of the international patents filed from China annually. The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO’s) Global Innovation Index (GII) announced in June 2017 that Shenzhen-Hong Kong has surpassed California’s Silicon Valley.
Together, Shenzhen and Hong Kong form the hub of the world’s most populous metropolitan area, China’s Pearl River Delta, where Chinese and Western legal and commercial traditions are meeting and merging in ways likely to preview future legal developments throughout China and the rest of the world as China’s global economic influence grows.
STL’s founding dean was Jeffrey Lehman, a former president of Cornell University and dean of the University of Michigan Law School, who has served since 2012 as the Founding Vice Chancellor of NYU Shanghai. Lehman was succeeded by Philip McConnaughay, a former dean of Penn State University’s Schools of Law and International Affairs, professor of law at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and partner of Morrison & Foerster, who is stepping down in July 2018 after a sustained period of significant growth for the law school. STL’s multinational resident and visiting faculty includes world-renowned scholars and practitioners.
STL’s success has been remarkable. It arguably is the most selective law school in China, with students either scoring in the top percentile on China’s demanding graduate school entrance exam, or earning exemption from the exam based on exceptional academic performance in their graduating class at one of China’s top-tier universities. All STL students are proficient in English, even though most have never traveled outside of China and many are from impoverished rural communities. STL’s integrated dual degree program is leading the reform of legal education throughout China and advancing the internationalization of legal education worldwide. STL’s China law curriculum includes case study and interactive classes; its J.D. curriculum includes China and other non-Western law components in anticipation of changes in legal and commercial practices worldwide as China’s global economic influence grows. STL offers innovative clinical and experiential learning opportunities, a linguist-directed English language support program, China’s first student-run Public Interest Law Foundation (“PILF”), and U.S. bar exam eligibility in certain major jurisdictions for STL graduates. Placement of STL graduates is nearly 100 percent upon graduation, with most working in world-leading law firms, companies, NGOs and highly selective government offices. Graduates pursuing advanced degrees are being admitted to Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Oxford and Sciences Po.
Ideal candidates for Dean will be established scholars with international reputations eligible for tenured appointment as a full professor at one of the world’s leading research universities. They will have an unwavering commitment to the highest levels of academic excellence; superior leadership, administrative and interpersonal skills; and, a record of innovation in legal education.
Nominations and expressions of interest should be sent to: Professor XU Xinzhong, chair of the Search Committee, at email@example.com.
Candidates should include a letter expressing interest and a curriculum vitae. The Search Committee will ask for references only after a preliminary screening of candidates. Confidentiality will be maintained in the search process; references will be contacted only with the explicit consent of the applicant. Nominations and applications will be accepted until a new Dean is selected, but interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials before March 10, 2018, to ensure full consideration.