Problem-solving skills based on legal thinking by studying law and analyzing the relationship between law and society

Department Features

In today’s world where people’s values are diversifying and their society is facing rapid changes, various issues are emerging on a global scale as a result of economic and information globalization and growing concerns about the environment. What the world needs in these times of change and challenges are ways to balance interests and identify problems that are unique to jurisprudence. The Department of Law develops not only legal knowledge but also social coordination skills in order to become a legal expert who can play an active role in solving new problems. Studying law is much more than just memorizing the words on legal documents. Instead, the program emphasizes problem-solving skills based on legal thinking, examines the economic environment and social consciousness behind disputes, and considers the significance and limitations of legal theories.

Legal Personnel courses began in April 2020.

Mock trial classes at the Law School
Class at the Law School (Law course students may also use classrooms at the Law School.)

The Faculty of Law at Sophia University has established the Legal Personnel Course and started a five-year integrated education program (three years of undergraduate law degree + two years of Juris Doctor program) with the aim of graduates passing the bar exam. In the past, legal education used to take a significant amount of time and money, but the newly established legal professional course enables students to pass the bar exam while still in law school with the support of faculty from the Faculty of Law and the Law School, as well as legal tutors. Students in Legal Personnel courses will receive educational and financial support through Sophia Law School Programs.


In addition to the basic subjects The Japanese Constitution, Civil Law, and Criminal Law, the program offers a full range of related subjects such as politics, international relations, and environmental issues. Students will develop basic concepts of jurisprudence and acquire the ability to fully understand and rationally resolve conflicting interests and arguments on today’s legal issues. Examples include, organ transplants upon the brain-death of donors and dual surnames. In the first year, students study The Japanese Constitution, focusing on basic human rights, and Civil Law to consider legal issues in civil life. In the second year, students study The Japanese Constitution, Law of Obligations, Criminal Law, and other required courses to learn the governance structure and the course model. In the third year, students take a variety of elective courses, and in the Seminar in the fourth year, they hone their research, presentation, and discussion skills by making full use of the knowledge they have acquired up to that point.

* Please refer to the syllabus for more information on the courses.

Course Examples

Japanese Constitution

Students will learn about the governing structure of the Japanese Constitution (Courts, Diet, Cabinet, the Emperor, local government, and the people) based on important precedents and theories. The course also explores the significance of modern Japanese Constitutionalism to constrain the power of the modern state, the design of the governing structure and modern Japanese Constitutionalism, and the design and importance of the governing structure.

Law of Civil Procedure I

This course covers civil disputes such as lending and borrowing money, vacating a house or land, divorce, etc. You will learn about the process of filing a lawsuit, arguing orally, and reaching a settlement or judgment, and what adjustments are necessary, from the perspective of the plaintiff and defendant.

Criminal Law

Criminal law studies is a field that defines determining factors of a criminal act and its punishment. We will examine each individual type of crime to determine what type of conduct should be punished and to what extent. Representative precedents and theories from the past will also be covered.

Available Teaching Licenses and Subjects

Law students are not eligible to take teaching courses.

Curatorial courses are available.

Educational Objectives and Policies

To develop problem-solving skills, a fundamental understandings of jurisprudence, with an emphasis on the basic structure of legal decision-making frameworks and the relationship between the real world and the legal system.


To train personnel with the ability to think legally so that they can acquire and utilize methods of adjusting interests and discovering problems specific to jurisprudence.

The Department has established the following abilities and knowledge that students should have at the time of graduation, with the aim of nurturing individuals who strives to achieve the rule of law and a fair society. Upon completion of graduation requirements, students are recognized as having mastered these requirements and are awarded a degree.


  1. Ability to comprehensively and multilaterally examine various issues in society from a legal perspective
  2. Ability to make recommendations that contribute to legal solutions to various problems in society
  3. Ability to apply legal frameworks to a variety of real-world problems

The Department organizes its curriculum in accordance with the Diploma Policy as follows


  1. Lectures on Japanese Constitutional Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, and other substantive law (basic legal subjects/compulsory courses), to install a legal framework in a thought process and to develop the ability to examine social issues using this framework, which form the foundation of jurisprudence.
  2. Wider range of other substantive law subjects, basic law subjects, and neighboring subjects will be arranged as elective required subjects or elective subjects, to enhance the ability to form a logical answer for legal problems.
  3. Small-group seminars in the fourth year (or as an elective course in the third year or motivated students), to cultivate the ability to apply the legal framework to various problems that arise in society.

Our department cultivates the ability to think and conceptualize (so-called “legal mind”) that contributes to the legal resolution of disputes and problems in real society. Therefore, the students with following qualities will be accepted.


  1. Students with a high interest in society and the people
  2. Students with a flexible and broad interest in the social sciences in general and in international affairs in particular.
  3. Students who not only have the above interests but also can think with flexibility utilizing their prior education.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others