Recently, the Opening Ceremony for the 2019 “Belt and Road Economic Law Student Practice Center” Project was held on Changning campus. In attendance at the ceremony were Chen Jingying, the Vice President of ECUPL, Ji Nuo, the President of the Shanghai Bar Association, Lu Yinong, the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Bureau of Justice of Jing’an District, Shanghai, and other guests including representatives of the 11 law firms that formed the off-campus practice base and 22 international students hailing from 12 countries. The ceremony was presided over by Xia Fei, the Director of the International Exchange Center.
Chen Jingying welcomed the guests and expressed sincere gratitude to the Jing’an District Bureau of Justice and the Shanghai Bar Association for their strong support in the cultivation of ECUPL international students. She pointed out that as the “Oriental Pearl of Legal Education,” ECUPL has always been the first choice for international students to study Chinese law in China. In 2014, ECUPL became the organizer of the “Scholarship of Youth of Excellence Scheme of China”. Of over 700 higher education institutions offering law education programs in China, we were one of two institutions to be awarded this honor. She continued, saying that so far they have made plentiful achievements while running the university. Since last year, with the help of various cooperative partners, the university has innovated its training methods and introduced a system granting students double tutors inside and outside the university, providing a channel and building a platform to allow foreign students to learn more about China’s legal system, legal culture and business practice.
Lu Yinong and Ji Nuo fully affirmed the significance of the project. They said they looked forward to having in-depth exchanges with legal elites from all over the world, and sincerely hoped that the practice base project could build a bridge for exchange and cooperation between China and the countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, becoming an innovation platform for Chinese and foreign law experts. Lu Yinong said that, from the perspective of judicial administrations, if we want to expand foreign legal services’ vision of globalization, and enhance their competitive edge on the world stage, it is necessary to organize these practice base projects meticulously. He hopes that the internship program will be able to effectively combine this global perspective with the social responsibility; that the quality of teaching will be steadily improved; and that all parties will strive for cultural intercommunication based on the exchange of professional knowledge.
Ji Nuo said that Shanghai’s openness and inclusiveness, high-quality business environment and distinctive “Shanghai Style” will serve to boost the rapid development of Shanghai’s law industry in the new era. He hoped that the internship program will serve as a cornerstone to further promote the globalization of Shanghai’s foreign legal service industry, and grow into a high-quality platform for mutual learning, the cultivation of foreign law experts, and foreign law research and communication. After a preliminary registration and selection process, the off-campus practice base includes 11 law firms with strong foreign business, from a pool of 253 firms in Jing’an District with a total of more than 4,400 lawyers. These 11 firms became the practice units of the project, and the university invited their foreign law experts, skilled in the international legal business and English communication, to serve as one-to-one guidance tutors. They will strictly control the project’s quality and make full preparations across every aspect of the practical training.
Kumar Paurush from India expressed his gratitude to ECUPL and the various cooperative partners on behalf of all 2018 students. He said that studying at ECUPL has been an important experience that could change his life, and that the teachers at ECUPL have a truly vast collection of knowledge. The careful work that the School of International Cultural Exchange has carried out for the students has given them a taste of what it’s like to work with China. Through previous study in the university, the students have gained a relatively comprehensive understanding of China’s economic and trade legal system, and they are looking forward to entering the top law firms in China in the next six weeks to learn and experience the current situation of China’s legal practice firsthand.
After the opening ceremony, the guidance tutors from each law firm interacted with the international students on the program, and took a photo with all the leaders and guests.
The “Belt and Road Economic Law Student Practice Center” Project officially began in September 2017, aiming to innovate the law student training model through university and law firm cooperation, and to deepen our international students’ knowledge of Chinese legal practice, so as to build bridges of mutual understanding and communication, cultivate international legal experts, and serve the advancement and development of “the Belt and Road Initiative.”