Studying law means to become someone that actively supports civil society, one who has an active conscience, and a sense of social responsibility grounded with legal knowledge and reasoning. The Department of Law offers a rich selection of more than 140 law-related subjects. The department develops personnel, who utilize their specialist knowledge of the law to contribute to society, with a finely-honed ability to judge right from wrong and an understanding of the fundamental significance of studying law.
The Department of Law not only trains people that aim to pass the bar exam, but also legal practitioners in the broader sense, who have a sense of ethics and reasoning ability based on knowledge of the law. Graduates contribute in a broad range of areas as public servants and in private enterprise.
Introductory classes in the first year are held in small groups of around 40 students. Personalized, interactive education conducted in stages, starting with the basics, ensures that students acquire a solid foundation of knowledge.
The Department offers over 140 specialized subjects. Students are able to study cutting-edge fields that are currently attracting attention, such as consumer law, intellectual property law, adult guardianship law, and environmental law.
Law is not a discipline where there is only one correct conclusion, so it is necessary to refer to many texts and precedents. Therefore, the Department of Law has set up a “special teaching assistant (TA) system” to assist students with their studies. Young researchers working as TAs are permanently stationed at both the Shirokane and Yokohama campuses. TAs provide detailed support to students with regard to everything from questions about class content and study methods through to how to write reports and a graduation thesis.
From the third year there are almost no barriers to students studying specialized subjects within the department. Students can freely choose classes and seminars from the curriculums of three departments, which leads to more proactive learning.
Specialized subjects include unique ones that allow students to experience the practice of law in the real world. Students come to understand law through experience, such as at seminars that visit wineries in order to research law as it relates to the production, sale, and import of wine, or at seminars in which students hold mock trials every time they meet up.
The Department conducts “Public Service Seminars,” where students attend public service examination workshops that are run by visiting professional lecturers two or three times per week. The seminars allow students to prepare for the exams on campus in a highly motivated fashion, without the need to attend an outside institution.
Students engage in interactive classes concerning civil law and criminal law, which are key disciplines. Students also build a foundation for specialized study and research with the Department of Law’s small group seminar-style class, “Foundation Seminar in Law.”
In their second year, students participate in small group seminars with the aim of ensuring complete mastery of basic law subjects. The Department aims to deepen students’ understanding of basic subjects studied in first and second year, focusing on constitutional law, civil law, and criminal law.
Students further improve their legal knowledge and legal reasoning abilities. Students participate in individual seminars, special lecture courses, and seminar courses concerning public law, civil law, and criminal law, engaging in deeper discussions about their individual themes. In addition, students are able to study the cutting edge areas of law, such as international corporate activities, consumer issues, environmental issues, and adult guardianship frameworks, according to their chosen career path.
Graduate career paths can be broadly divided into four types: (1) Those that progress to graduate school with the aim of entering the legal profession (judges, prosecutors, and lawyers); (2) Those that start a business as a judicial scrivener, tax accountant, administrative scrivener, or a labor and social security attorney, etc., having obtained the relevant qualifications; (3) Those that find employment in private enterprise; and (4) those that enter public service. Graduates that enter the private sector have an excellent record working in a variety of influential companies listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, in fields such as finance, securities, transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing. Also, the rate of acceptance into the public service is the highest among all faculties and departments, and the Department produces many public servants, including national public servants, high-ranking local public servants at metropolitan and prefectural government offices, special national taxation officers, court clerks, police officers, fire fighters, etc.