I am professor in an internationally oriented university, meaning it was created to have students from half a dozen different countries. It doesn't offer any law-related degree, but some degrees do require teaching legal subjects.

In those classes, I am supposed to teach [some specific kind of] law [in each one] to future professionals who will work in all these different countries. One builds a bridge (or operates an eye surgery etc.) the same way regardless of the country one's in, but law is different everywhere. How would you cope with this, i.e., how would you simultaneous teach law (or any other essentially conventional, thus localized knowledge) to many diverse (differently-originated) international students?

BTW, it is not possible to hire one law professor per country covered by the university's scope (and it would effectively distort the faculty into a law-focused one).

1 Answer 1


I'm not a lawyer, but I don't suspect that you need to give your students knowledge of the specifics of the law in any particular place. You can, of course teach two important things.

One is the principles on which the law is based generally in the world, as well as something of the history, as well as the abuses that might arise. How important is legal precedent? How important are political considerations.

Probably more important is that you teach them something about legal research and how to learn the specifics of a place and time. Where is it likely that they will find the answers to a given legal system and how it operates as well as finding definitive answers about the specifics of the law.

You actually have an opportunity here for projects for your students to, say, pick out some country of interest to them, whether their own or not, and provide a legal system summary for that country. You could even have group work to have students compare a set of countries, chosen by you or by themselves. Make the students become the experts rather than having you try to be everything to all students.

By the way, the above is a general technique whenever you need to teach something for which you aren't the natural expert yourself. It is a useful skill.

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