Through the Department of Law’s systematic and incremental curriculum, students learn to objectively analyze contemporary social problems and use a fair, logical thought process to work toward solution. These skills comprise what we call the “legal mind.” The Department offers over 140 classes, from small introductory classes to advanced seminars that explore cutting-edge fields. The flexible curriculum allows students to deepen their knowledge through self-directed learning, opening up a broad range of future career paths.
The Department of Law fosters individuals who are able to draw on a legal mind to forge their own path forward. Far from being limited to the legal profession, career options for graduates span abundant options from the civil service to business.
Selecting classes that fit one’s own interests and goals from the Department’s extensive offerings is not easy. To help students accomplish this task, we’ve prepared several model courses of study based on career paths ranging from the legal world to the private sector.
The Department’s 140-some class offerings include many in emerging fields such as consumer, intellectual property, adult guardianship, and environmental law.
The law is a field with no “right answers” that requires students to refer to many texts and legal precedents during their studies. To support them in this challenging endeavor, the Department has instituted a Special Teaching Assistant (TA) System. Young legal scholars serve as TAs permanently stationed at both the Shirokane and Yokohama campuses. These TAs provide detailed assistance on everything from class content and study methods to report and thesis writing.
Starting in their 3rd year, students are permitted to enroll in almost any advanced class throughout the Faculty. The emphasis is on student autonomy in this policy of permitting participation in classes outside the Department in which they are enrolled. By allowing students to take lectures and seminars in any subject they wish, the program encourages them to become proactive learners.
The Civil Servant Seminar brings in outside lecturers 2 to 3 times a week to support students in their preparation for civil servant exams. This makes attendance at a separate test preparation school unnecessary and helps students remain highly motivated throughout the challenging study process.
Students learn civil and criminal law — essential topics in the study of law — in small, discussion-oriented classes. In the Introductory Seminar of Law, they build academic literacy and establish a strong foundation in the study and research methods distinctive to the Department of Law.
Small group seminars in the second year are geared toward ensuring a strong grasp of essential legal subjects. During these years 1 and 2, students solidify their understanding of constitutional, civil, and criminal law.
The aim of the final 2 years is to attain more advanced legal knowledge and thinking skills. Students select from a wide range of classes while also engaging in in-depth discussion on specific themes through seminars and special lectures. In addition, they may enroll in classes on cutting-edge subjects that match their career interests, such as international corporate activity, consumer and environmental issues, and adult guardianship legislation.
Graduates of the Department of Law follow 4 basic career paths. The first is to proceed to a graduate law program with the aim of becoming a judge, public prosecutor, or lawyer. The second is to obtain certification as a judicial or administrative scrivener, tax accountant, social insurance consultant, or other such licensed professional and open a practice. The third is to pursue employment with a private-sector firm, and the fourth is to become a civil servant. Private-sector employers encompass a wide range of outstanding companies, including major publicly traded corporations, in sectors such as finance, securities, transportation, communication, and manufacturing. In addition, the Department has a higher number of graduates entering civil service than any other department in the university. Our students work at all levels of government including nation, prefectural, and municipal, while others serve as national tax examiners, court clerks, police officers, and fire fighters.