Washington and Lee law professor Jim Moliterno traveled to China recently to discuss the U.S. legal system and legal education reform with faculty and students at Zhejiang University Guanghua Law School in Hangzhou, China. While there, he also met with lawyers, judges and prosecutors in Hangzhou and Chengdu to discuss lawyer ethics reforms.
Prof. Moliterno said that the lecture at the law school was mainly for advanced law students who are interested in the history of the American legal profession. The meeting with law school officials was led by the Deputy Party Chairman for the law school. He outlined measures they are taking, experiments with more interactive teaching and even experiential education. He asked many questions about U.S. legal education reforms and about W&L’s innovative third-year curriculum. Also present was the dean of their undergraduate law students, dean of their graduate law studies and the Youth Party Secretary for the law school. Moliterno noted that the Chinese law school has a traditional dean structure that is complimented by Communist Party officials who are assigned to every university faculty department.
Prof. Moliterno’s meetings with lawyers, judges and prosecutors are part of a project he is working on with a Chinese colleague, Assistant Professor Lan Rongjie. They are working on a paper that compares the attorney-client privilege in criminal cases in China and the US. One of the lawyers present at the meeting expressed interest in starting a university-based discussion among defense lawyers and prosecutors about a range of issues surrounding a major public corruption case that is currently in litigation in Hangzhou. Prof. Moliterno expects to be involved in some way with that project.