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Visiting Chinese Scholars

One of the important factors behind Michigan Law's success as a center for the study of Chinese law is the large population of scholars from Greater China who visit Ann Arbor for advanced research, and are therefore available to interact with non-China-origin Michigan Law students. Indeed, for more than 100 years, Michigan Law has been a place where Chinese scholars, practitioners, and legislative drafters have encountered the American, European, and Japanese legal traditions as the Chinese world seeks to craft its own modern legal order, thereby enriching immeasurably the experience and scholarship of JD and LLM students.


Prof. Nicholas Howson with China People's University Vice President and Law School Dean Emeritus Wang Liming, Research Scholar '89-'90.

In the first four decades of the 20th century, Michigan Law stood as the primary destination of the best Chinese law graduates pursuing further study and research in the outside world. After the start of the PRC's "Reform and Opening to the Outside World" policy in 1979, Michigan Law once again became a major destination for China's top legal scholars. This traffic increased with the Ford Foundation-supported establishment of the Committee on Legal Education with China (CLEEC) in the early 1980s, a project led by Michigan Professor Emeritus Whitmore Gray in conjunction with faculty colleagues from the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard. Pre-eminent Chinese law scholars who studied at Michigan Law under CLEEC auspices include: Professor He Weifang of the Beijing University Law School; Grand Justice Wan E'xiang of the China Supreme People's Court; Wang Liming, Dean Emeritus of the China People's University School of Law and now Executive Vice President of China People's University; and Wuhan University School of Law Dean Emeritus Professor Zeng Lingliang.

With the end of CLEEC in the 1990s, Michigan continues to be a key destination for China's top law scholars. In the past five years, the Law School has welcomed the likes of: Tsinghua Law School Professor Zhu Ciyun (a key drafter of China's Company Law); East China University of Politics and Law Professor Li Xiuqing (Secretary General of the Chinese Foreign Legal History Association and editor-in-chief of East China University of Politics and Law Journal); Vice Dean of National Taiwan University Law School Sheng-lin Jan; East China University of Politics and Law President He Qinhua; Jiaotong University KoGuan Law School Dean Ji Weidong; and China People's University corporate law expert, Liu Junhai. In the 2010-11 academic year alone, the Law School welcomed six resident scholars, one resident SJD, and 11 LLMs from Greater China.

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