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New dual-degree LL.M. program improves global mobility and literacy for lawyers


International mobility and overseas experience have become invaluable assets for legal professionals embarking on a global career. In an effort to bring innovation and collaboration to a globalized legal education in the 21st century, the University of Washington School of Law and Keio University Law School announce a new dual-degree LL.M. program.

"This is an innovation in legal education in both United States and Japan," says Kellye Y. Testy, dean of the UW School of Law. "The program is our response to a 21st century challenge--in a more globalized world, the very best lawyers are expected to be competent in different cultures, legal systems and languages. Our dual-degree program offers exactly that training."

"We are delighted to launch this new program with the University of Washington," said Naoya Katayama, Dean of Keio University School of Law. "We hope that the opportunities for UW LL.M. students to study at Keio in Tokyo, and for Keio LL.M. students to join the UW School of Law's seven specialized LL.M. programs in Seattle, will prove to be extremely attractive for our students and invaluable preparation for their careers.

Building on the existing partnership between Keio University and the University of Washington through the Asian Law Center, the dual-degree program allows graduate students to obtain an LL.M. degree from both institutions in one year. Students accepted into the program will spend one semester in Japan at Keio and two quarters in Seattle at UW.

"For many years, UW and Keio have been working together in teaching and research, so it is a natural development to partner with them on a dual degree," says Donsheng Zang, associate professor of law and director of the Asian Law Center at UW.

"Our collaboration enables us to bring better quality and content to our teaching, it enriches our curriculum and students' experience in higher learning, and it prepares them better to handle challenges from the real world," Zang adds.

The University of Washington is one of the world's preeminent public universities, and the UW School of Law, founded in 1885, is devoted to serving and educating students to be leaders for the global common good. Its Asian Law Center's teaching, research and public policy work on Asia and developing economies is one of the areas of excellence at UW Law.

Keio University is the leading educational institution in Japan, and its law school, established in 2004 with the founding principles of internationalism, multidisciplinarism and pioneerism, has come to occupy a position as one of Japan's top law schools.

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