As a professional graduate school, the Department of the Juris Doctor Program (Law School) aims primarily to cultivate people who will become legal professionals (judges, prosecutors, and lawyers) in the future. By providing a new type of legal education that embodies a bridge between theory and practice for people of diverse backgrounds, we aim to nurture legal professionals who can contribute to society from a broad perspective, can think legally from multiple perspectives, and are truly sought after by society.
Even if they do not practice law, the program aims to nurture legal professionals as “Juris Doctors” who will be active in various fields, such as international organizations, public service, and corporate legal departments. Many of our graduates have gone on to become lawyers, judges, prosecutors, corporate lawyers, and other legal professionals in a broad swathe of fields.
The curriculum consists of five categories: Basic Legal Subjects, Basic Legal Practice Subjects, Fundamental Law and Adjacent Subjects, Advanced and Developing Subjects, and Research Thesis. It is designed to organically link theoretical and practical education and to enable students to acquire the basics and applications of law in a stepwise manner. The curriculum also features a variety of courses in the areas of international law and environmental law, especially in relation to the Department of International Legal Studies and the Department of Legal Studies of the Global Environment in Sophia University’s Faculty of Law, which is the foundation of the Law School.
Built upon the basic system of legal education, the curriculum is unique and advanced, with a focus on the needs of modern society, and is ideal for gaining the comprehensive set of skills that future legal professionals will need in order to succeed.
- Professional Degree Program: JURIS DOCTOR
Cultivating Humanistically Rich Legal Professionals
Based on Sophia University’s educational spirit of “for Others, with Others,” the program provides a flexible and attentive education for legal professionals with high ethical standards and a rich sense of humanity, as well as for specialists in international law and environmental law through flexible and detailed education.
Distinctive Educational Programs
Through classes such as the Environmental Law and Policy Program, the only one of its kind among law schools in Japan, which fosters legal professionals with a strong commitment to environmental law, the International Arbitration and ADR workshop, which includes mock arbitration and mediation, and a substantial externship and legal clinic, the program provides many opportunities to develop a clear sense of professionalism and problem awareness. The School offers many opportunities for students to gain a clear sense of professionalism and awareness of the issues involved.
Balanced and Optimal Curriculum
This Program offers a well balanced distribution of basic legal subjects that serve as a foundation for legal education, basic law and related subjects that broaden students’ perspectives, advanced subjects that meet the needs of the times, and practical subjects that enable students to apply the knowledge they have learned. Through collaboration between researchers and practitioners, we cultivate balanced thinking, deep insight, and flexible logical thinking skills essential for legal professionals.
The Law School aims to train human resources capable of thriving as a legal specialist in the future such as a judge, prosecutor, or attorney. Human education rooted in Christian humanism is applied to legal ethics, adjacent sciences, and basic law subjects to foster legal specialists extensively contributing to society. What makes us unique is our way of cultivating legal specialists for the 21st century through multi-faceted approach to international issues and environmental laws and policies.
The Juris Doctor Program (Law School) of the Sophia University Graduate School of Law aims to provide education that fosters legal professionals with advanced expertise, neighborliness, and internationalism, who walk together with people around the world and aspire to tackle social problems as a legal expert, in line with Sophia University’s educational spirit “For Others, With Others.”
The following diploma policy has been formulated to achieve the above educational objectives.
Students must fulfill the following requirements:
- At each class level, students must earn a specified number of credits, which includes credits from specified courses, achieve grades of a specified level, and pass examinations to advance to the next class level (excluding the highest class level).
- Students must earn a specified number of credits, which includes designated courses in specified course groups, and achieve the above-mentioned grade level while enrolled in this program for the specified number of years.
Students are expected to have acquired the following qualities:
- The expertise, intellect, and skills that will enable them to work widely in society as a legal professional such as a judge, prosecutor, or lawyer
- A high sense of ethics and strong sense of professional responsibility
- An interest in and understanding of the universal human values of environmental solutions, international cooperation, and human rights protection based on Christian humanism, the expertise to solve problems, the ability to discuss those problems, and insight into the true nature of matters
- Awareness of cutting-edge legal problems and the ability to apply knowledge toward solving those problems
- Broad intellectual curiosity and communication skills that enable them to harness that curiosity in addition to expertise, and the ability to succeed as a legal professional with outstanding practical skills
For this program, the following curriculum policy has been formulated to achieve the educational objectives and provide students with the qualities specified in the Diploma Policy.
Approach to Curriculum
- The curriculum is built based on the following five pillars.
- Basic courses in law will comprise a curriculum enabling students to take courses in three steps—Fundamental, Advanced, and Seminar—and will foster the ability to solve legal problems in accordance with each step. Courses will have small class sizes and emphasize multidirectional discussion.
- With the aim of bridging theory and practice, basic courses in legal practice will be offered in collaboration with a wide range of working professionals to ensure that students gradually develop the ability to apply knowledge gained in theoretical studies to practice.
- Legal Ethics will be required as a compulsory course to ensure that students acquire a strong sense of responsibility and high sense of ethics as a legal professional.
- Courses will be offered that deepen understanding of legal principles and the role of law in society.
- Courses on diverse legal fields including cutting-edge legal areas will be offered as elective courses, with particular focus on courses on the latest topics in international law and environmental law based on the founding philosophy and educational spirit of Sophia University.
Contents and Method of Study
- Specific learning processes and study methods are selected in line with the above approach as follows.
- The program will progress from courses that emphasize theory to courses that emphasize practice. Broadly speaking, theoretical courses will start with basic courses in law; as the program progresses, more weight will be placed on adjacent courses and applied/advanced courses.
- Theoretical courses will be divided into three steps: Fundamental, Advanced, Seminar. Courses to foster the ability to solve legal problems using case studies will be offered even at the Fundamental and Advanced levels.
- Practical courses will progress from courses on the fundamentals to courses with a more practical focus.
- The method of study will encompass a range of formats including lecture, seminar, and practice in accordance with the characteristics of the course, but a bidirectional/multidirectional approach will be emphasized for the most part. However, basic courses in law with “Fundamental” in the title will focus on building basic knowledge while incorporating a bidirectional approach to a certain extent.
Evaluation of Study Outcomes
- Certification of credits for courses are determined against an absolute standard based on whether the student achieved the goals set in the course and can advance to the next step. Students deemed to have achieved the course goals will be evaluated relative to other students in accordance with the grading criteria of the program.
- Some courses, such as practicum, may use different methods of evaluation. But pass or fail will still be determined against an absolute standard based on whether the student achieved the set goals.
Juris Doctor Program (Law School) seeks students with the following qualities:
- Students with a clear and eager vision of contributing to society as a lawyer after acquiring a “Juris Doctor” degree
- Students who understand Sophia’s educational principle of “Men and Women for Others, with Others” and can contribute to society as a lawyer rooted in Christian humanism
- Students with the determination and qualities to become a true lawyer embracing the wisdom to be able to live up to the philosophy and demands of “Lux Veritatis,” depicted in Sophia University’s school emblem and song, and remain unsusceptible to trends, as well as an insight into the true nature of matters
Tomomitsu IWASHITA Professor
Toshihiro OCHI Professor
Yasushi KOYAMA Professor
Tsuyoshi HARA Professor
Ryo TSUCHIDA Professor
Yasuyuki NAGASHITA Professor
Misaki MAKI Professor
Yumi SATO Associate Professor
Sakuya HAYAKAWA Associate Professor
〈 Technical Teacher 〉
Yoshifumi ASAYAMA Professor
Masataka IWASAKI Professor
Toshihiko KOBAYASHI Professor
Kazuo TSUIKI Professor
Hiroyuki SHISHIDO Associate Professor