Hitotsubashi ICS

Business Law Student Exchange Program


The Graduate School of Law, Department of Business Law (“HBL”) offers a Business Law Student Exchange Program as part of its Global Business Law Program. This student exchange program provides a limited number of foreign law students, i.e. students from law schools outside Japan that enter into exchange program agreements with ICS and a few independent students, with an opportunity to study business law for one semester at ICS in Tokyo, Japan.

"I greatly enjoyed my experience in the Hitotsubashi business law program. The courses were well curated and my classmates were smart and diverse, representing the legal systems of at least seven different countries. Listening to and engaging with these global perspectives during class discussions focused on international business law topics was, for me, truly an invaluable and unique experience."

Justin Sha
UC Hastings College of Law

Key Features of the Business Law Student Exchange Program

 

Overview

Hitotsubashi’s exchange program was a great break from the usual studying and examination style back in Singapore.

Instead of written exams, we had to write papers and give presentations on topics of our choice. As someone who learns better and more intuitively when learning about topics I'm personally interested in, this allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the subjects covered in class but on my own terms. It might seem daunting to have to write so many papers but be rest assured that you'll be able to handle it - we all did, and still had a great time.

The field trips were well-thought out and provided a greater understanding of different aspects of Japan's corporate/ legal systems. These were places we probably wouldn't have gone to (or had the chance to go to) if the school didn't plan for them.

Emelia Kwa
Singapore Management University

This one-semester (September-December) program focuses on Japanese, Asian, and international business law taught in English by regular ICS faculty and select adjunct faculty at our convenient, downtown Tokyo campus. No Japanese language is required, but both Japanese language courses and business law courses taught in Japanese are also available for interested students.

Hitotsubashi’s exchange program was a great break from the usual studying and examination style back in Singapore.

Instead of written exams, we had to write papers and give presentations on topics of our choice. As someone who learns better and more intuitively when learning about topics I'm personally interested in, this allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the subjects covered in class but on my own terms. It might seem daunting to have to write so many papers but be rest assured that you'll be able to handle it - we all did, and still had a great time.

The field trips were well-thought out and provided a greater understanding of different aspects of Japan's corporate/ legal systems. These were places we probably wouldn't have gone to (or had the chance to go to) if the school didn't plan for them.

Emelia Kwa
Singapore Management University

Small Classes

Classes are intentionally kept small; generally 10-20 students from the outstanding law schools that are our exchange program partners, and Japanese students in the Global Business Law Program. The student/faculty ratio is about 10:1. Classes are taught in the late afternoon and evening, allowing students time for internships and other activities and enhancing opportunities to interact with Japanese graduate students, most of whom are working professionals. The small student body and small classes will enable intensive in-class interaction and close relationships between students and faculty.

Pan-Asian Environment

The exchange program reflects the increasingly close economic, educational, and cultural linkages between Japan and other Asian countries. In addition to everyday interaction with students from throughout Asia, interested students may have the opportunity to take courses on Legal Aspects of Doing Business in Asia and Business Negotiation in Asia. Students can also pursue independent study under the supervision of faculty who are expert on Asian business law.

Far from a semester confined to the books, the curriculum at Hitotsubashi was most enlightening in exposing students to Japanese legal practice and culture as a whole. Coupled with field trips to places of legal significance, link-ups with firms for internships and the international nature of the courses, the exchange programme was, to me, unforgettable.

Chun Wai Poon
Singapore Management University

Combining Practice and Theory; Outstanding Faculty

ICS is a professional graduate school and our focus is on combining practice with theory. Many of our faculty have substantial work experience in the private sector. Our regular faculty and select adjunct faculty will teach the course offerings in the Business Law Student

The program was outstandingly well organized and gives the participants a great opportunity to learn more about Japanese law, also in comparison with other jurisdictions, from a theoretical as well as a practical point of view. In particular, the internship gave me the unique opportunity to observe the work of Japanese attorneys in my field of interest. I strongly recommend this program to anyone who is interested in Japanese law and the Japanese culture. It was an unforgettable experience for me!

Svenja Schenck
Goethe University Frankfurt

Exchange Program. (See Faculty)

Special Lectures

There are occasional special lectures relating to Japanese and international business law by prominent scholars and practitioners.

Internships

As part of the Legal Practice in Japan course, part-time internships are arranged for students at leading law firms or corporations in Tokyo. Students are asked their preference of Japanese law firm, foreign law firm or corporate legal department, and every effort is made to meet student preferences in making the internship placement. Many of our students think that their internship experience is extremely valuable and a critical component of the “hands-on” approach of our program.

The Hitotsubashi exchange gave me a unique chance to understand so much more than the black letter framework of Japan’s legal system. I was immersed in the socio-cultural context of the law and had the opportunity to compare Japanese law and business practices to other countries. I also really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake an internship with a law firm in Tokyo, which provided an amazing window into the working life of Japanese and foreign lawyers.

If you are keen on a Japanese legal career, or if you would like to bring legal insights back to your home country, the Hitotsubashi exchange is the perfect way to experience life and the law in Japan.

Alice Kennedy
Melbourne Law School

Field Trips

Group visits will be arranged to various legal and business institutions. Past visits have included the National Diet of Japan, the Supreme Court, the Japan Patent Office, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, the Financial Services Agency, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Exchange Agreements and Admission of Students

Law schools that have entered into exchange agreements with ICS are generally able to send students to participate in the Business Law Student Exchange Program each fall. Each law school will select and nominate up to two students for admission to ICS. Those nominations will normally be honored so long as the necessary documentation is received by March 31. ICS also sends students to the partner law schools in accordance with the terms of the particular exchange agreement. ICS accepts a limited number of independent students into its Business Law Student Exchange Program.

Academic Calendar and Course Credit

Students will arrive in Tokyo in early September. Following orientation, classes begin in mid-September and conclude in mid-December (for the tentative schedule for fall 2018). Classroom hours and instruction will normally be sufficient for exchange students to obtain credit toward graduation from their home institutions in accordance with the policies and procedures of each institution.

Housing Assistance

Finding housing in Tokyo can be challenging and expensive. In the past, however, international students have been able to find suitable accommodations either on their own or with the support of ICS. ICS can provide information on housing in late May or June. A limited number of Hitotsubashi dormitory rooms may also be available.

For academic information on the Business Law Student Exchange Program, contact

Professor Vicki Beyer
Program Director
Hitotsubashi University
Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy
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