"This isn’t just about research. It’s about research with a real-world impact. It’s about changing people’s behaviors and how they’ll participate in the legal profession 10, 20, and 50 years from now."
Professor of Law and Val Nolan Faculty Fellow;
Director, Center on the Global Legal Profession
As globalization breaks down the barriers of international businesses, economies, and cultures, the IU Maurer School of Law's Center on the Global Legal Profession is forging relationships that defy borders, while becoming a home base for the development of the international skills needed by the lawyers of tomorrow.
Learn more about the Center:
The Center's work focuses on the role of lawyers in a global society, the business of lawyering, and the organizational context housing legal practice. This work benefits its three constituent groups -- students, scholars, and practitioners -- in several important ways.
The Center exposes Indiana Law students to globalization by offering internships in dynamic international markets. Every year, Indiana Law's Milton Stewart Fellows participate in summer internships with law firms, corporations, and non-governmental organizations in India, Brazil, and South Korea. The Law School collaborates with significant global universities, including India's Jindal Global Law School, Peking University School of Transnational Law, and São Paulo's Fundação Getulio Vargas, on initiatives that enrich the student experience.
Students also benefit from the Center's empirical research. Indiana Law uses data from the Center to inform an innovative first-year course on the legal profession. Building on this data, legal ethics, and the law of lawyering, the course immerses students in a variety of practice settings and educates them on the competencies they must develop to succeed in their professional lives.
In the legal profession course, students wrestle with realistic problems that force them to apply the rules of professional responsibility and to comprehend how economics, workplace pressures, and organizational incentives affect lawyers. Working in teams, students present or enact their solutions and are critiqued by the instructors and their fellow students. Twice during the semester, students engage in formal reviews of the performance of their teams, their team mates, and themselves. The goal is to prepare students for the ethical and professional challenges they will soon face.
The Center's research hones -- but also embodies -- one of Indiana Law's traditional strengths: an empirical and law-and-society based approach for studying how law can and should effect social change. This is reflected in the Center's faculty's research on human rights, corporate social responsibility, global legal education, income and job satisfaction in the legal profession, access to justice, the political values of lawyers, and the role law firms play in this era of globalization.
Although the approach to these topics is firmly from a scholarly perspective, the Center's faculty also aspires to develop ways that their research can have actual, real-life impact through interactions with lawyers, judges, policy-officials, non-governmental organizations, and claimants. This objective is accomplished in a variety of ways: through rigorous on-the-ground field work, dissemination of findings in the popular media, bringing in enriching speakers from outside the university, and hosting of conferences and symposia. The Center collaborates with the school's Center for Law, Society, and Culture on many of these research initiatives and activities.
The Center assists current attorneys with navigating the complexities of international legal issues and equips students with the tools they need to be successful lawyers in a globally based environment.
For example, consider a law firm that represents a company with branches scattered throughout the United States, China, India, and Brazil. While the firm’s American-based attorneys are well versed in how the legal process unfolds domestically, their knowledge in the international legal systems may lag behind. That knowledge gap results in inefficiencies that cost businesses time and money. The Center's research provides firms with data to help close that gap.
Indiana Law's Center on the Global Legal Profession is the first organization to look at the global legal industry as a whole from a big-picture perspective. Recognizing the trends from the profession over the last several decades and outlining models of where it is likely heading, the center is molding the way the attorneys of the present and future practice their trade.
The Center's faculty brings together a diverse array of scholars with expertise on the legal profession throughout the world. They are:
The Center's work is best exemplified by its recent accomplishments. Here are a few:
Find a complete listing of the Center's activities at its website.