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Beyond Colonization–Globalization and the Establishment of Programs of U.S. Legal Education Abroad by Indigenous Institutions


This Article will look at globalization in the context of higher education and, in particular, higher legal education. The objective will be to think about the ways in which non-U.S.-based law schools are now offering American-style legal education to supply the U.S. legal market or produce U.S.-trained lawyers in the home-state market or for other legal markets outside the United States. Specifically, this Article will first discuss the history of higher education as a national project and more recent trends and efforts to globalize higher education. The conceptual framework is informed by cosmopolitan, imperial, or national aspirations. Starting from a definition of legal education globalization, this Article considers the history of legal education as a national and international project. It then examines recent efforts to globalize legal education as an exercise in American cosmopolitanism, internationalism, and nationalism. The Article will then critically assess arguments that, in light of certain characteristics of legal systems and legal education, globalization of legal education may implicate notions of cultural imperialism, in whatever form it takes. It then turns to an examination of one of the more interesting manifestations of globalization abroad — nationalist globalization in the form of developing American law schools outside the United States by non-U.S. educational entities — by concentrating on two examples, one from Spain and the other from China. Finally, after discussing the ways in which the globalization of American legal education may affect recipient cultures, this Article will take the reverse perspective and hypothesize on how the American legal education system may be affected by the same exportation.