Temple Times Online Edition
    APRIL 27, 2006
NewsEventsArchivesPhotosStaffLinksTemple Home

International law programs ranked in U.S. News’ top 20

Last month, the James E. Beasley School of Law made an historic debut in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings in its annual review America’s Best Graduate Schools: Temple Law’s programs in international law were ranked 20th best in the nation.

Along with Temple Law’s two perennially top-ranked specialties of trial advocacy (ranked second, up from third last year) and legal writing (ranked third, up from fifth last year), the entrance of international law makes Temple one of the few law schools in the nation to boast top-ranking programs in three different specialties.

For Robert J. Reinstein, dean of the Law School and Temple’s vice president for international programs, the ranking was the culmination of a quest to create a third center of excellence in an area he considers “critical” for today’s law students.

“Globalization is changing the legal profession,” Reinstein said. “For our students to be effective lawyers in the 21st century, they have to be exposed to the global environment in which they’ll be practicing. Take intellectual property law: The United States has had to change its laws in order to make them more consistent with intellectual property laws in other countries.

That’s just one example why it’s important to understand other cultures and other legal systems.”

Reinstein said he believes that three factors have attracted the national spotlight to the international law at Temple: top-notch faculty, innovative programs abroad and an outstanding institute promoting scholarship in international law.

Temple’s excellent international law faculty has been supplemented by the recruitment of prominent faculty specialists. For example, Duncan B. Hollis, a widely published expert on the international law of treaties, recently joined Temple Law from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to arrive next year are Peter J. Spiro, a nationally recognized and frequently cited expert in public international law, immigration law and foreign policy from the University of Georgia School of Law (where he is an associate dean and holds a named chair); and Jaya Ramji-Nogales from Georgetown University Law Center, who recently published a book on attempts to bring the Khmer Rouge to justice for genocide in Cambodia.

Temple Law’s trendsetting programs abroad include the law program at Temple University Japan, the first of its kind run by any American law school in Asia; groundbreaking Rule of Laws programs in China that are influencing the Chinese legal system by educating Chinese lawyers, judges, government officials and legal scholars; study-abroad programs for Temple Law students in Beijing and Rome; and exchange programs in Ireland and Israel.

Reinstein also praises the Institute for International Law and Public Policy, an interdisciplinary institute fostering scholarship, dialogue and international legal exchange, for “bringing a lot of prestigious speakers and important conferences” to Temple. “Since its establishment four years ago, the institute has created a lot of intellectual excitement and visibility,” Reinstein said.

Although Reinstein said U.S. News’ ranking system has its flaws, he’s grateful that international law at Temple is getting the national recognition it deserves — and he’s committed to pushing the specialty to even greater heights.

“There are two gigantic forces that are operating on higher education right now in the U.S. and everywhere else in the world: Technology, of course, is one — and globalization is the other,” Reinstein said. “Temple Law and Temple University need to be at the cutting edge of both.”

- By Hillel J. Hoffmann

More grad school rankings
The high rankings of law school specialties such as trial advocacy, legal writing and international law weren’t the only pieces of good news to emerge from U.S. News & World Report’s latest annual rankings of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

• The Beasley School of Law’s overall ranking improved from 65th to 58th.

• The ranking of The Fox School of Business and Management’s M.B.A. program rose from 60th to 58th.

• The Business School specialty of international business improved from 20th to 18th.