Two weeks in Beijing and two weeks in Shanghai during the summer introduced Tulane law students to the Chinese legal system, took them to a Chinese law firm specializing in maritime law and gave them a chance to hear cases being argued in courts in both cities.
The first Tulane Law School Institute of Chinese Law and Business Transactions immersed a dozen students in issues about international trade, business and banking. But they also saw court disputes that might sound familiar: a car owner in Beijing suing a dealership for allegedly selling a lemon; an author in Shanghai suing the animators of a cartoon show on a claim of using intellectual property without attribution.
The program, led by Professor Joel Friedman, was conducted in partnership with the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing and Fudan University in Shanghai.
“I really enjoyed getting to experience a part of the world I was previously unfamiliar with and learn more about the people and their culture and how that influences their legal system,” said Peter Black, a Tulane 3L who is Senior Communications Editor for the Tulane Maritime Law Journal.
The students got to walk the Great Wall, visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City in Beijing and explore the Pudong financial district in Shanghai.
Black said he’s interested in maritime law and intellectual property, which made the China program a great fit. “Shanghai has one of the largest and busiest ports in the world, and intellectual property rights in China is an area I only see growing in importance in the future,” he said.
The city of Pudong, seen from the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai. (Photo credit: Peter F. Black, Class of 2014)
Professor Joel Friedman watches food preparation at the Tulane group’s favorite fried rice restaurant outside Fudan University in Shanghai. (Photo credit: Peter F. Black, Class of 2014)