Jones Day is endowing a law professorship at one of China’s top universities.
The international law firm announced Thursday it was donating RMB 5 million ($785,000) to Peking University to establish a Jones Day professorship of globalization and rule of law.
According to Professor Chen Xingliang, the chair of the academic committee of Peking University Law School, it is the first time an international firm has endowed a law professorship in China. The selection of a new professor will be decided upon by the university and Jones Day will participate upon the school’s request.
Peking University is often regarded as China’s most elite university, and many of the country’s top lawyers have studied there.
In a statement, Jones Day Beijing office head John Kao said: “As a global law firm with four offices in Greater China, and a substantial presence in the Asia-Pacific region, we take great pride in investing in the communities we operate in, helping to advance the rule of law, and further the development of legal education in China.”
The rule of law in China has been a much-discussed topic of late. Top Chinese government officials have insisted that they are promoting the rule of law in taking actions taken against former party official Bo Xilai. At the same time, political dissident and civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng, who recently left China for the United States, has strongly criticized the lack of rule of law in China, including in a New York Times op-ed this week.
It is not uncommon for large law firms to endow law professorships in the United States. Jones Day, which hails from Cleveland, has helped endow a chair at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis has endowed professorships at Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan, and Chicago law schools. Boston’s Ropes & Gray also has endowed a chair at Harvard.