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A group of law deans from the U.S. and China are teaming up to examine how to improve legal education in both countries, and how law schools can be leveraged to improve the rule of law. Ten deans from Chinese law schools and nine deans from U.S. law schools met in Beijing in June for a two-day summit, and formed a joint committee to find ways to collaborate. The goal is to promote the integrity of the legal profession, according to a formal statement adopted by the committee. A working group of five deans from each country will look for ways to foster “multilateral exchanges between law schools, and to explore new initiatives that focus on substantial areas of law such as public health, the environment, and leadership,” according to a written statement issued by the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Penn law dean Michael Fitts organized the U.S. contingent at the urging of Jon Huntsman, who was the U.S. ambassador to China at the time. “This was an incredibly valuable set of meetings,” Fitts said. “All of our country’s law schools have engaged in various efforts at globalization in one form or another with many countries, including China, but the size and speed of economic and legal change in China of late tests all of our experiences and thinking.” Joining Fitts in the effort are: University of Michigan Law School Dean Evan Caminker; University of California, Berkeley School of Law Dean Christopher Edley; Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law Dean JoAnne Epps; Stanford Law School Dean Larry Kramer; University of Virginia School of Law Dean Paul Mahoney; Yale Law School Dean Robert Post; University of Chicago Law School Dean Michael Schill; and Georgetown University Law Center Dean William Treanor. “The summit was an important first step,” said Wang Zhenmin, dean of Tsinghua Law School. “We look forward to building on this foundation to strengthen legal education and exchange between the United States and China as well as the rule of law and the legal profession.”

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