About Doshisha Law School

From the Dean

Train legal professionals who think and act globally.

Since its founding, Doshisha University has aimed to cultivate students who are independent and self-motivated. In furtherance of this goal, Doshisha Law School has focused on enabling our expert faculty (which includes a number of leading scholars and practitioners) to devote themselves to training legal professionals with a global mindset and providing the best possible learning environment for our students. Today more than ever, a lawyer's knowledge must be broad as well as deep. Furthermore, the practice of law is increasingly international.
To respond to the needs of this modern, global environment we are developing introductory programs outside the regular curriculum to enhance the academic ability of our students and remain consistent with the requirements of the legal profession. In keeping with Doshisha’s long tradition as a leader in the study of international affairs, we are proud of the extensive range of foreign and comparative law courses that form a part of the Doshisha Law School curriculum. These classes provide our students with the tools necessary to compare and contrast the Japanese legal system with those of other countries.
In all we do, we aim to prepare our students to thrive in the evolving, complex, and global legal environment of the 21st century.

Recently, there has been significant debate over reforming the legal profession and the way they are trained. This debate has led to pressure for uniformity in national standards of evaluation and accreditation, pressure which is forcing an increasing degree of homogeneity upon Japanese law school education. With greater-than expected restrictions on the number of people allowed to pass the bar exam and the possibility of the original purpose of creating law schools being reconsidered, the entire Japanese law school system is about to enter a new stage of development.
In response to these developments we have added to our curriculum small-group lecture classes focused on legal writing. Through these classes we train students for the rigors of legal analysis and writing in a general civil practice. This training is based on experience in a variety of writing experiences including opinion and demand letters, pleadings, motions, and trial briefs. Through small-group class experiences like these, as well as frequent opportunities to interact with practicing lawyers, judges, and teachers, our curriculum integrates theory and practice. Students in our program learn to read and understand legal texts and to produce good legal writing.

Finally, notwithstanding the pressure towards uniformity focused on the Japanese bar exam, we are continuing our focus on international legal practice because we believe that in the long-term this will prove invaluable to graduates who will increasingly be expected to function in an international legal practice.

We believe that through this combination of elements our students will be able to make the best possible use of their law school experience and become capable of understanding and explaining Japanese law in its global context.

Taro Sogo
Professor of Law
Doshisha Law School
Taro Sogo