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Visiting Scholars Program Workshop

Thursday, April 18, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

All are invited to attend this month’s Visiting Scholars Program (VSP) workshop on Thursday, April 18th from 1 pm to 2:30 pm in room 115.  

Shigeo Miyagawa, a visiting scholar from Waseda University in Japan, will present his research titled “Integration of Education, Public Service and Reform: Clinical Legal Education Making Law Students Ready for Social Change” (see abstract below).  

The discussants will be:


Clinical legal education was introduced in Japan in 2004 when Japan started the postgraduate professional law school system modeled after American law schools. It was the first time to require a university degree to be eligible to take the national bar examination. The clinical legal education in Japan has much emphasis on the student education rather than the public service because of its origin in the newly established law school system. The American counterpart has the dual goals of education and public service due to the origin of the student activism in the 1960s. The balance between the two varies from school to school in the US and Japan as well.

UC Berkeley Law’s tradition of clinical legal education add another characteristic to its program. It is reform. When students get involved in real cases with live clients, it necessarily leads to changing the status quo rather than merely solving issues of clients. I participated in the Policy Advocacy Clinic taught by Professor Jeff Selbin and Supervising Attorney Stephanie Campos-Bui in the fall semester 2018. One of the policy agenda in the Clinic was the repeal of juvenile fees system. The system charges families with juvenile wrong-doers with fees to be used for their rehabilitation. Yet, such families tend to be low-income and unable to pay the fees. Juvenile fees make family relationship strenuous to cause more juvenile delinquencies. Through long-term involvement in community-problem solving, the Policy Advocacy Clinic identified the juvenile fees system as a cause of problems and tackled with it to repeal the system. This type of clinical activities is bottom-up, problem-based, and client-driven, aiming at social reforms. It is not top-down, abstract, detached policy proposals by think-tank research groups.

At Waseda Law School, the Immigration and Refugee Law Clinic pays much attention to what and how much students can learn from their clinical experience, namely the education. At the same time, the Clinic pays as much attention to the quality of legal services to clients. Because there are many similarly situated clients such as those applying for refugee recognition by the Ministry of Justice, we can identify similar issues like the extent to which they are singled out for individual persecution. Once such issues are identified, students can get involved in searching for reform in the administrative and legislative process in addition to filing lawsuits.

The policy advocacy for reform may seem to be beyond the purview of legal education, particularly to the eye of Japanese law professors who are so much concerned with instructions, namely to get students ready to pass the bar examination. Yet, the ethos of social science research and education is to get things better by finding problems and analyzing them, not to maintain the status quo. The pedagogy of policy advocacy clinic can get students involved in learning, public service, and reform in the bottom-up, problem-based, and client-driven manner.


Thursday, April 18, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


115 Law Building


Farrah Fanara

Events are wheelchair accessible. For disability-related accommodations, contact the organizer of the event. Advance notice is kindly requested.

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