Law School First-Years To See Japan's System

The Pacific, the United States, Europe--who will take the lead in the next century? A delegation of six first-year Harvard Law School students will pose that question in Tokyo later this month.

The students--who will be the guests of Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hisashi Owada, the University of Tokyo, the U.S. Embassy and top Tokyo law firms--will spend a week discussing such topics as trade relations, mutual defense and the nation's role in the Pacific rim, organizers said.

Delegation coordinator Anita Ramasastry '88 said one aim of the trip is to "set up ties between professionals in different countries that promote good relations between the countries." She said the "underlying concept [is] that if people from many countries get together it promotes international peace."

Delegates said they also plan to "lay the groundwork" for the Law School's first International Conference next year on "International Law after the Cold War."

Students praised the program for providing them with a chance to enact the internationalization of the University's curricula being promoted by President Derek C. Bok.

"Although international courses are sure to expand under [Law School Dean Robert C. Clark] because international law is a fast growing field, as the world becomes more interdependent, this is one way of augmenting the in-class experience with real-life opportunities," said Martin Elling, head of the delegation. And Barbara Manning called the trip a "great opportunity to see, first-hand, how law firms there run."

Elling said he hoped the experience would encourage students to seek jobs abroad with the help of Harvard's overseas placement office, the largest of its kind.

Last year, a delegation from the Law School traveled to Brussels as official guest of the European Community.

George Smith, Paula Ford '88 and Dean George-falvy are also members of the delegation.