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Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Debbie O'Leary
IU School of Law-Bloomington

Last modified: Thursday, August 24, 2006

Agreement with leading Chinese law school to foster exchanges, examination of American ‘rule of law’

Aug. 24, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington has entered into an agreement with Fudan University of Shanghai, China, that will allow for regular exchanges of students and faculty and a continuing examination of American rule of law, school officials announced today (Aug. 24).

The agreement is intended to foster teaching and learning collaborations between law faculty and students from IU and those from Fudan University's School of Law. Additionally, the two law schools have jointly applied for a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide for additional students from Fudan University to study at IU and to develop a new Center for Comparative Legal Culture. The center will provide a forum for studying how U.S. legal culture supports the rule of law, a principle based on the idea that every citizen is equally protected by law and that limits must be placed on government.

"This agreement presents a huge benefit for our students, especially when you consider what's been happening around the world politically, economically and commercially," said IU School of Law-Bloomington Dean Lauren Robel. "It allows our students to get to know, on a regular basis, their counterparts in China, many of whom already have advanced degrees and possess a great deal of experience practicing law or serving as judges. It also is an opportunity for those students who come to us from China to study a legal culture that is mature in the support of law."

In recent weeks, IU has enhanced its existing relationships and developed new relationships with some of China's top universities. Last month IU and Tsinghua University in Beijing announced the creation of a cooperative research program that will focus on student exchanges, and expanding and improving worldwide use of the Internet for scientific research. The program is expected to attract some of China's top science and information technology students to Indianapolis and Bloomington for advanced study.

Robel said the law school expects to increase its presence in China in future years, adding that the school's history of awarding degrees to students from mainland China dates back to 1949. Robel visited China on behalf of the law school last April. Kenneth Dau-Schmidt, a nationally recognized teacher and scholar on labor and employment law, and Assistant Dean for International Programs Lesley Davis also recently traveled to Fudan University in preparation for the agreement.

Founded in 1929, Fudan University's School of Law consists of four departments -- law, international economic law, international politics and sociology -- that offer programs for master's and doctoral degrees. The school specializes in research in international politics, political science and demography, and it acts as a think tank to the government.

The IU School of Law-Bloomington was founded in 1842. The school's more than 650 students are from 44 different states, 200 different undergraduate schools and 15 foreign countries, and its graduates have gone on to become accomplished public servants throughout the nation and the world.

To speak to Robel, contact Ryan Piurek, IU Media Relations, 812-855-5393 or, or Debbie O'Leary, IU School of Law-Bloomington, 812-855-2426 or

For more about the IU School of Law-Bloomington, visit