New & Noteworthy

China Summer Abroad 2011

Nanjing University

2011 marked Whittier Law School’s sixth summer at Nanjing University. Nanjing is located in Eastern China on the Yangtze River and is the capital city of the Jiangsu Province. Nanjing is the former Chinese capital of 10 dynasties and is historically, culturally, and geographically appealing because of its proximity to Shanghai and Beijing. Every year, the program includes a weekend trip to Beijing with a guided tour of the most popular sites: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and Olympic Village.

Forbidden City

Whittier Law School’s 2011 China Summer Abroad Program offered a host of classes related to business law and children’s rights. Unlike many typical law school classes, these classes were multidisciplinary and students received instruction both inside and outside the classroom. Inside the classroom students received instruction from Whittier Law School professors, and each course also included topical presentations by professors from Nanjing University and practitioners in the field. Outside the classroom, students visited legal institutions and law firms to enhance their educational experience. Class visits included a trip to the Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center in Beijing (BCLARC), the Shanghai offices of O’Melveny & Myers, and the Nanjing offices of the Beijing Yingke Law Firm where partner Wei (Henry) Tang brought in representatives from Offshore Incorporations Limited (OIL) who gave the group a presentation on the use of offshore companies in Chinese business transaction.

Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and
Research Center

Founded in 1999 and led by Executive Director, Wendy Zhang, BCLARC was the first NGO in China to specialize in Children’s Rights. Since its inception, BCLARC has played a major role in promoting child welfare in China through both direct representation of clients and research-based initiatives to promote change in the Chinese child welfare system. Upon arrival at the facility, the group was given a presentation on the history, mission, and accomplishments of the organization followed by a tour of BCLARC’s offices, client intake area, and conference rooms. It is our hope that this visit will be the beginning of a lasting cooperative relationship between BCLARC and Whittier China Summer Abroad and Center for Children’s Rights.

Student Experience

Daniel Cheung, a 2L at Whittier Law School completed an externship at Yingke Law Firm during the China Program:

Yingke Law Firm

“What an amazing experience. Those words sum up my externship at Beijing Yingke Law Firm and Study Abroad in Nanjing, China. Having never been to China before, I was a little unsure what to expect but open to what the experience could offer me. After spending nearly two months there, I now affirm that this summer surpassed my expectations. I had one of the most complete, exciting, and rewarding summers of my life.

Externing at Beijing Yingke Law Firm in Nanjing was a fantastic opportunity. Headquartered in Beijing, Yingke Law is a rapidly expanding, international firm with over 3,000 lawyers, most of whom are in Beijing and Shanghai. I worked in the Nanjing office, which has about thirty lawyers. Yingke currently has two international branches and is in the process of opening branches in Los Angeles and New York, among other locations, in the near future. Although the ability to communicate in Mandarin was a prerequisite for my internship, there are opportunities for those who cannot communicate in Mandarin as well.

Great Wall of China

Lawyer Tang was a pleasure to work with. He gave me work according to my interests. If I had been interested in criminal law, IP, or event planning for the 2014 Youth Olympics, I’m sure I would have been able to do related work. Together with other lawyers at the firm, I revised and drafted business contracts. I was able to interview and be the liaison for clients. The amount of input I had in the processes was surprising and rewarding. Aside from work, the collegial environment at the Nanjing branch earned me friends, a weekend excursion with the firm, and some hilarious memories. Best of all, thanks to this experience, Lawyer Tang offered me a job at the Los Angeles branch as soon as I pass the Bar Exam.

After a month of speaking almost only Mandarin at the firm, I happy when my classmates arrived for the Nanjing program. The Nanjing Summer Abroad Program offers an open and relaxed atmosphere for students who want to balance learning and traveling. This combined emphasis rewards students with a stimulating experience not found in law school classrooms.

My experience at Yingke Law and the Nanjing Summer Abroad Program were equally rewarding. I came back to the U.S. with a deeper understanding of China and unforgettable memories. It was the perfect get-away from a rigorous first year and it left me invigorated to finish my second year of law school. I strongly encourage all 1L and 2L students to participate at Whittier Law Schools’ Study Abroad Program(s). Maybe I’ll be seeing you this next summer.”