Japan's New Clinical Programs: A Study of Light and Shadow

Shigeo Miyagawa*, Takao Suami, Peter A. Joy, Charles D. Weisselberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines clinical legal education in Japan and its teaching and service goals in the context of the new structure of Japanese legal education. Japan has embarked on a series of reforms aimed at transforming its justice system and the way in which it educates lawyers. As a major part of its reforms, Japan instituted a new system of graduate professional legal education when new law schools opened their doors in 2004. The law schools are an integral component of far-reaching reforms that seek to improve the administration of justice by increasing the number of lawyers, especially in grossly underserved rural areas, and better preparing attorneys for the practice of law domestically and internationally. The chapter also discusses the role of the Japan Clinical Legal Education Association (JCLEA) and the obstacles clinical education faces due to low bar passage rates and resistance to law students participating in the delivery of legal services to clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Global Clinical Movement
Subtitle of host publicationEducating Lawyers for Social Justice
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199869305
ISBN (Print)9780195381146
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1


  • Bar passage
  • International law
  • Japan
  • Justice system
  • Law students
  • Legal education
  • Reform
  • Rural areas
  • Service
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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