This is a three-credit seminar, with weekly readings, a final presentation, and a final paper of between 10,000 and 12,000 words. It introduces students to the basic legal principles needed to conduct business in China, addressing key concerns a U.S. lawyer should raise in advising a client on doing business in a vastly different legal system—one with very different attitudes toward the rule of law, the role of the state, and the function of lawyers. It will consider the rapidly changing historical context in which the Chinese legal system has developed, and the associated risks, particularly under the Trump Administration.
Students will gain new perspectives on comparative law generally, and the unique features of the American and Chinese legal systems by extension. They will learn to apply provisions of various Chinese statutes and regulations to international business transactions. They will understand how multinational enterprises resolve commercial disputes in China, or with Chinese enterprises. There are no required classes, but an open mind and curiosity about China would help. A class in comparative law, or international law, is recommended.