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At first glance, the new visiting professor at Hastings College of the Law seems like an ordinary blue-jean wearing San Franciscan, a professor of the people. After all, he has a common American name — John Jackson. He teaches core law school subjects like Evidence and Criminal Law. Most strikingly of all, the guy is from Queens. After a few minutes of listening to the visiting professor’s accent, it is pretty easy to tell that Jackson is in fact from Queens University, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. When he arrived in San Francisco in July, he began making the most of his American experience by absorbing the culture (with trips to Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, and Yosemite) and having summer fun with his family. With the start of the fall semester, Jackson’s family returned to Ireland, but Jackson remained in San Francisco to teach Hastings students about American law with a foreign twist. After he finished practicing law, Jackson taught at and then spent three years serving as the dean of Queens University. He is currently spending the first half of a year long sabbatical teaching at Hastings and the remainder doing research about recently implemented changes in the Ireland criminal prosecution system. He has taught in the United Kingdom and at the Swiss Comparative Law Institute, but really wanted to teach in the United States. Hastings made Jackson’s short list after he was first acquainted with the school when he attended an Evidence conference organized by Professor Roger Park in 1997. Jackson felt that “the Hastings faculty was great.” In fact, he enjoyed the Hastings faculty so much that he is now living in a cottage in Professor Beatrice Moulton’s yard. After the Peace Agreement in Northern Ireland was reached, Jackson was appointed to a criminal justice group that published a report suggesting improvements that could be made to Ireland’s criminal justice system. The report looked comparatively at other nations’ criminal justice systems, including the United States. “The appointment of judges is different in the United States as are the prosecution systems; the prosecutors in the U.S. have a greater, almost supervisory role in investigations. In Ireland, the police are the investigators and the prosecutors, whereas lawyers have no involvement in investigations.” Jackson has already noticed some differences between American law school and school back home. The majority of the students at Queens University are undergraduates, so the student body at Hastings is mature in comparison. The style of teaching is not Socratic in the United Kingdom; instead, the professors lecture in large groups and the students have smaller discussion sections. Further, the diversity of ethnic and geographic backgrounds of the Hastings student body is vastly different from Northern Ireland’s solely Irish core of law students. Jackson says he hopes that his experience at Hastings will not only be beneficial for him, but that his “comparative approaches and different perspective” will provide a unique aspect to his students’ law school experience.

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