School of Law expands curriculum to Asia


MOU with Kyung Hee

Participants in the official signing ceremony at the law school of Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea.

It’s a short bridge from Akron to Asia in the eyes of faculty at The University of Akron School of Law. The opportunities for American lawyers in both of these countries abound. Sony, Samsung, Honda and Toyota are some of the world’s largest companies, making Asia a giant in the global economy. To help get Akron Law students across that bridge, an innovative international program has been designed and is now ready to hit the ground running.

After recent trips to Japan and South Korea, Dean Matthew J. Wilson signed a partnership agreement with Nagoya University in Japan on Sept. 15. This comes on the heels of Akron Law signing a cooperation agreement with Kyung Hee University in South Korea earlier in the year.


From left, Professor Akira Fujimoto from Nagoya University; Sarah M.R. Cravens, Asia Study Abroad program administrator, professor and assistant dean for global engagement; and Dean Matthew J. Wilson.

Now, these three institutions will combine forces to offer an innovative dual-country, tri-city study abroad experience for Akron Law students. The four-week Asia Study Abroad program is designed to provide law students with an educational experience that prepares them for international careers as well as the practice of law across political, legal and cultural boundaries. The innovative program is the only one of its kind among U.S. law schools that offers law courses in both Japan and South Korea.

Wilson says these countries are prime grounds for the program because of their influence on the world economy and integral role in Asia.

Legal training for global economy

“Not only do companies from Japan and South Korea have extensive ties to Ohio and the surrounding region, but local companies are increasingly finding themselves engaged in business in Asia,” asserts Wilson. “At Akron Law, we believe in providing our students with the practical training, hands-on experiences and education necessary to enable them to supply valuable legal services within the global economy. Through this new program, Akron Law will be training its students to handle the complexities and competitiveness of the world.”

A total of six credits worth of practical courses will be offered, including international negotiations, international contracting strategies, global issues in tort law and international commercial arbitration. The program is open to Akron Law students who have taken more than 18 credits. To enhance the international experience for Akron Law students, both Nagoya University in Japan and Kyung Hee University in Seoul will have some of their law students in the classes.

In addition to the course offerings, the program will include field trips to local legal institutions, guest lectures, social activities, and opportunities to interact with legal experts and practitioners in Japan and South Korea.

Drawing from more than 25 years of extensive international experience, Wilson has brought an enhanced international vision to the law school.

International experience invaluable

“Akron Law will continue to attract students interested in an international experience, become even more competitive in the international marketplace, and emerge as a center of international legal education both in Asia and the United States,” remarks Wilson.

Akron Law’s recent internationalization efforts have been noticeable. In addition to the new dean and new faculty with substantial international experience, the new two-year Juris Doctor Degree Program for students with a foreign law degree kicked off this fall.

The first Asia Study Abroad program takes place July 16-Aug. 14, 2016. The program’s administrator is Sarah M.R. Cravens, professor and assistant dean for global engagement. The Asia Study Abroad faculty are Cravens, Wilson and attorney David MacArthur in Seoul.

Media contact: Lisa Craig, 330-972-7429 or