Law schools from around the world have joined forces to create what they say is the first formal, international network geared toward spurring legal teaching and research collaborations.

Administrators for the 17 founding members of the Law Schools Global League convened last month to officially form the group and stage a symposium on the globalization of the law at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

The Tilburg University Law School spearheaded the initiative, along with the GV Direito São Paulo in Brazil. Northwestern University School of Law is the only member from the United States; also represented are law schools in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Russia and other countries.

“What this league promises is a constructive medium for exploring projects that are of significant value to our law students practicing in an increasingly global environment,” said Northwestern dean Daniel Rodriguez.

Law schools traditionally have focused squarely on teaching their national law, but that emphasis is beginning to shift. The international consortium is intended to help law schools broaden that focus more easily.

Rodriguez said that the symposium highlighted many different approaches to legal education.

“Vigorous discussion at the meeting was focused on myriad forms of information delivery, comparative emphases on teaching and scholarship, different economic models of legal education and competing frameworks of bench-bar relations,” he said. “In short, we saw in action the pluralism of legal education.”

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