Cross-Boarder Teaching and Collaboration
Since the publication of Best Practices for Legal Education, the globalization of both legal education and law practice has exploded. Today’s lawyers increasingly serve border-crossing clients or clients who present with transnational legal issues. As law schools expand their international programs, and enroll increasing numbers of non-U.S. law students, law students transcend cultural and legal borders. As a result, they deepen their understanding of—and sharpen their critical perspective on—their own national systems. Similarly, U.S. law teachers are increasingly called to engage in border-crossing teaching and other academic pursuits. Best Practices did not address these issues. The primary aim of this chapter of Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Lexis 2015) is to identify best practices for law teachers engaged with non-U.S. or “international” learners who study or train in a U.S.-style learning environment, either in the United States or abroad.
This chapter also addresses collaboration of U.S. law teachers with their counterparts abroad in such areas as developing innovative teaching and clinical legal education, training and research. It identifies eight guiding principles that cut across types of international learning and then applies these principles to three specific contexts: 1) teaching international students in U.S. law school settings; 2) integrating international students in U.S.-based clinics; and 3) collaborating in legal education and reform efforts with law teachers abroad.