Downloadable here is my review essay, for the Journal of Japanese Law, of a recent 16-chapter monograph on legal education in Asia. The monograph on ‘Legal Education in Asia‘ is a fitting commemoration of the teaching, research and formidable networking capacity of the late Professor Malcolm Smith – a leader in developing Asian and Japanese Law studies in Australia, Canada and world-wide. It should be read by academics, practitioners and policy-makers with an interest in legal education, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
The review essay focuses on legal education in the developed economies selected for the book.
It pays particular attention to Japan (with major postgraduate “Law School” reforms inaugurated from 2004), but also compares South Korea and Taiwan (sharing much modern legal history with Japan, but taking quite different paths in legal education reforms recently), as well as Singapore and Hong Kong (where commercial and vocational imperatives may be growing even more strongly).
The essay also extends the model proposed in the chapter by Anderson and Ryan – linking approaches to legal education to the question of who constitutes the primary “gatekeeper” to the legal profession (lawyers themselves, the state, universities, or the market) – to bring Australian developments into broader comparative perspective too.