BY SUSAN VOGEL | PHOTOS BY PHILIP JIMENEZ
For 30 years, Santa Clara Law has partnered with top Japanese attorneys and scholars to train U.S. law students in the intricacies of the Japanese legal system and culture.
“He looked at me as if I’d put a dead fish on the table,” said Philip Jimenez, Santa Clara Law professor and director of its summer abroad program in Tokyo, of a lunch meeting with a Japanese law professor.
The two of them had made a rainy day trip to a shrine in Nikko the previous day, and both had left their umbrellas on the train. On his way to lunch the next day, Jimenez bought his friend an inexpensive fold-up umbrella, thinking it would be a considerate and practical gift.
Upon arriving at the restaurant he placed the umbrella on the table. Oddly, “the professor was very cold to me during lunch,” says Jimenez. Bewildered, he later told a Japanese colleague about it. He learned that in Japan, the value of the gift expresses your esteem for the recipient. Jimenez says now, “I might as well have given him a dead fish.”
Jimenez, who has directed Santa Clara Law summer programs in Asia over 31 summers, has many stories of the surprises that he and the students have experienced while learning about cultures that are completely different from that of the United States, says Jimenez.
Cultural knowledge is one of the benefits of studying in Asia. Students also learn the basics of substantive law and legal systems, international law and IP law, and get a taste for working in a law firm or corporation that does business in Asia. Jimenez believes experience in Asian cultures can also change a student’s way of thinking, giving them a broader perspective on the world.
Three decades in Asia
In 1977, Santa Clara Law Dean George Alexander established the Tokyo summer program in conjunction with Notre Dame Law School. Jimenez took over as director in 1979.
Over the next eight years, as Asia’s role in world trade grew, Jimenez assisted with the establishment of summer programs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh City, and Cambodia.
Tokyo remains the most popular of the programs in Asia, with approximately 20 students attending each year.
Jimenez says he was instantly captivated by Japan. The Japanese culture reminds him of his father’s family in Aguascalientes, Mexico. “Very formal, very kind, and very considerate,” he says, adding that he continues to be impressed by “the integrity of the Japanese people, their civility, respect, and formality.”
ASIA REUNION—JULY 3-6, 2011
Jimenez expects the same respect from Santa Clara’s summer students. He is very protective of the relationships that have been built in Japan—relationships crucial to the program’s future.
The program attracts students to Santa Clara Law. Third year student Dan Albert, who has lived in Japan and hopes to practice law there, says, “One of Santa Clara’s greatest draws for me was the summer program in Tokyo.”
Jimenez and Marcus Kosins, the on-site program director and an alumnus of the program, make sure that students properly represent the university. Third-year student Alexis Dunlap, a 2010 summer student, says that students arrive at the Asia Center of Japan, where they live and attend classes, “very well prepared.” They have been educated on Japanese customs, including that only bare feet or socks are allowed to tread upon tatami, which are the woven mats that cover some floors. Male students are forewarned that they are required to wear dress shirts and ties to all off-site visits and internships and women must wear business attire.
Each year, says Jimenez, a male student asks, “I have shoulder length hair; do I have to cut it?” His answer: “Yes.” Once the retort came, “But this is America!” “No it isn’t,” Jimenez said.
Kosins, says Jimenez, is one of the keys to the success of the program. An attorney with an immigration practice in Tokyo, he gives students his cell phone number and invites them to call him day or night. “He is completely dedicated to the program,” says Jimenez. “He has a deep understanding of the culture—his wife is Japanese—is well connected, and understands the need to establish a good network.”
The finest law faculty in Japan
During the first three weeks, students take a four-unit class, Doing Business in Japan, taught by three of Japan’s most celebrated legal scholars. “These professors,” says Jimenez, “are the finest law faculty in Japan. Not only are they all prominent scholars but they are very much involved in current legal issues and practices.”
The first week, Yasuhei Taniguchi, professor emeritus at Kyoto University, provides an introduction to the Japanese legal system. Professor Taniguchi was president of the WTO dispute resolution body and currently is of counsel at Matsuo & Kosugi, one of Japan’s most prominent law firms.
During the second week, Mitsuo Matsushita, professor emeritus at Tokyo University, who was present at the founding of the WTO , teaches students International Trade. Professor Matsushita is of counsel at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu.
Students spend their final week of class studying Japanese intellectual property law with Teruo Doi, professor emeritus at Waseda University and a top IP scholar who has published more than 20 books in the field of intellectual property. Professor Doi also takes students on a tour of the Japanese Diet (legislature) and the Patent and Trademark Office. He is currently of counsel at Kashiwagi Sogo Law Offices.
“Among the things the students learn,” says Jimenez, “is that in Japan, in a contract there is no need for consideration. You can sue on the basis of only a promise. That demonstrates the impact of culture on the legal system.”
The professors, confirms Alexis Dunlap, are impressive. “Their stories are definitely the highlight of classes,” she says.
Albert knew of all three by reputation before entering the program, as their careers have been marked by some rather wellknown exploits.
“For example,” says Albert, “some years ago Mr. Matsushita was a negotiator for Japan during trade talks between Japan and other nations regarding opening up Japan’s hard liquor market. He is known for bringing bottles of shochu [distilled potato spirits] to one meeting to make the point that shochu—at 25% alcohol—was not a ‘like product’ with vodka. Unfortunately, other members of this and other negotiation teams began to drink the shochu and, as Professor Matsushita famously pointed out, ‘Once you drink too much, all alcohol becomes a like product.’”
Another outstanding teacher in the program is Yoshiyuki Inaba, a practicing attorney of immense experience, and the “I” in TMI Associates, one of Japan’s top three patent firms. Students can take his optional evening course, Japanese Patents and Trademarks, during their internship.
Internships at top firms
During the last week of June, students receive their internship placements in Japanese law firms and corporations, including many specializing in intellectual property and in international transactional work.
For many students, the internship is the high point of the program. Albert, who has a master’s degree in Japanese Studies from the University of Washington, hopes his internship with a Japanese law firm will build contacts and lead to work with either an American or Japanese firm.
After several weeks in the internship, Jimenez says, he sees a transformation in the students. In meetings with the Japanese firms, the student intern will come to the office, pause, and bow.
The internships can also transform students’ careers and lives. Scott Shipman ’99, Associate General Counsel and Global Privacy Leader for eBay, says that without his internship at Honda, “It’s hard to say where I would be. The internship was unbelievable,” he says. “As a native English speaker—the default language for their contracts was English—and aspiring lawyer, they brought me in on negotiations with huge multinational companies. For me it sparked two real big interests—the love of in-house practice and of IP law, which became a passion. When I came back, I took every IP and high tech class I could take. That was the origin of my career.”
Christian Jacobson attended the program in 1979. His internship convinced him that he wanted to live in Japan, where he taught English for five years after college. “It confirmed to me that there wasChristian Jacobson attended the program in 1979. His internship convinced him that he wanted to live in Japan, where he taught English for five years after college. “It confirmed to me tha a practice to be done [in Japan] and set my focus on the fact that I probably would be coming to Japan after law school.” A student at McGeorge School of Law, he accepted a position in a Japanese firm after graduation and has been in Japan ever since. He currently is of counsel at Bingham McCutchen, handling international commercial, corporate, and financial matters.
A lasting impact
Most students, says Jimenez, describe their experience in Japan as life-changing. “The Asian experience,” he reflects, “shows another side of life, another human dimension. Because of the Confucian culture, it’s completely different. It changes peoples’ lives because it broadens their horizons. In their legal practice and beyond, they can incorporate the Asian style and manner of thinking, which enables them to, as we say, ‘think outside the box.’”
After 34 years, Santa Clara remains the only U.S. law school with a summer program in Tokyo.
“The fact that our program has been able to continue all these years,” says Jacobson, “speaks volumes about its efficacy and the energy and dedication of Professor Jimenez!”
Jimenez credits the program’s success to Santa Clara Law faculty and administration, the Japanese professors, and Kosins. “The program,” says Jimenez, “has always enjoyed the support of our deans beginning with George Alexander, of the Center for Global Law and Policy, and of the faculty, including Bob Peterson, Howard Anawalt, Richard Rykoff, and Jiri Toman — whose old European elegance the Japanese love,” says Jimenez.
Japanese professors and attorneys who have provided crucial assistance and support over the years, says Jimenez, include Professors Yutaka Tajima, Akio Shimizu, Zenichi Shishido, and Toru Kitagawa, and Shigeo Ohshima, Esq., and Kenneth Mazzer, an American lawyer who was Marcus Kosins’ predecessor.
“Long-term commitment in Japan is important,” says Jimenez, “because it demonstrates your sincerity. It establishes your legitimacy.” Over the years, as Santa Clara Law has put great effort and resources into the program, it has gained the support of top Japanese professors and members of the legal community. The key, according to Jimenez, is “you have to treat everyone with the greatest respect.”
Thanks to the reputation the program has earned in Asia, Santa Clara Law has been able to expand its summer program into Seoul, Korea, where students from the Tokyo program have been interning in law firms for the past ten years. “This year three of our students are interning at the top three Korean law firms, Kim and Chang; Bae, Kim and Lee; and Barun Law Offices,” says Jimenez.
Jimenez believes the lessons he has learned from Japan have changed the way he teaches and how he approaches his personal life. He learned from the Japanese that the Paper Chase model of teaching through intimidation is not effective. “The only thing that works is mutual respect,” he says.
In personal relations, he has learned, “It’s much easier to make a friend than an enemy.” And now he makes sure that he does not slap dead fish onto the tables of his friends.
SUSAN VOGEL is a frequent contributor to Santa Clara Law.
Gerald E. Moore ’97 funds International Human Rights Scholarships
It was August 1994, and the first-year Civil Procedure class sat expectantly and nervously as Professor Philip Jimenez looked down his glasses at his class roster. Gerald E. Moore’s name stood out, and he was the first student to be called on. The case was Pennoyer v. Neff. Moore says he never quite recovered from the hour-long grilling that day, going on to take virtually every class taught by Jimenez over the next few years. He studied the materials thoroughly, engaging and challenging Jimenez over the application of the cases. A lasting friendship grew between Jimenez and Moore.
Moore has led a successful law career, first with Bank of America, then as general counsel and vice president of Worldwide Asset Management, and eventually as the founder of a highly successful firm engaging in debt management. Since graduation Moore has funded many opportunities for law students to study abroad. In recent years, the Gerald E. Moore International Human Rights Scholarship has enabled many students of international human rights law to gain academic and experiential skills overseas.
The Moore Scholarship, now in its fifth year, enabled two students to study and intern overseas in the summer of 2010. The generous scholarship provides round-trip airfare plus tuition and a substantial stipend for the first-place recipient, and roundtrip airfare for the second-place recipient.
This summer’s first-place winner, Charles Bracewell ’12, completed an academic program in Singapore and then moved on to intern at the U.N.-supported Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, where he worked on such issues as sentencing practices in international criminal tribunals, and operating procedures for an international tribunal where an accused person or detainee dies in custody. Bracewell’s commitment to human rights work dates back to 2006 when he taught children of Karenni refugees from Burma. Bracewell writes, “My experiences in Mae Hong Son—a province in Thailand bordering Burma—were life-changing. The refugees I met there were remarkable. From Buray, the ex-rebel soldier and land mine victim with whom I would often go fishing, to Kyaw, the multilingual founder of the school, each of these people inspired me in a different way and exposed me to issues facing refugee communities. My interest in international law stems from my desire to make a contribution to communities such as those I found in Mae Hong Son.”
This summer’s second-place scholarship winner, Sharan Dhanoa ’12, completed her academic work in Singapore followed by an internship in India. Dhanoa has spent the last ten years working in non-profit agencies, including substantial involvement in Kolkota, India, where she worked to provide technical and life skills to women and girls at risk of being or already forced into prostitution. Dhanoa says, “While conducting research, it became clear that the gaps in legislation and the legal loopholes lead into a brick wall with regard to prosecuting traffickers and protecting victims. The legal relations between countries also play a major role in the lack of enforcement against trafficking and human rights. Hopefully, by working in international law, I will be able to play a more active role in filling those legal gaps and unifying the fight against trafficking.”
Moore’s continuing generosity enables students of international law such as Bracewell and Dhanoa to further their goals and passions while raising social consciousness and bringing justice to the international community.