Japanese Law Students Visit Minter Ellison Legal and Consulting

In a new international program, Adelaide Law School has partnered with Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, to enable ten Japanese law students per year to spend one semester at the University of Adelaide.

The English Language and Legal Studies Program is run jointly by the University of Adelaide Law School, the English Language Centre and the Department of Global Legal Studies at Meiji Gakuin University. The first cohort of Japanese students commenced their legal studies at the Law School in mid-January. Over the course of three weeks the Law School is introducing them to the Australian legal system, including indigenous law and culture, common law more broadly, international law and European Union law. Meiji Gakuin students are participating in field trips to understand the Australian legal system and culture better.

The first field trip was kindly hosted by MinterEllison Legal and Consulting, Adelaide’s largest law firm. Vanda Mutton, MinterEllison’s Talent Business Partner, organised a wonderful experience for the students. After introductions in the board room, the students were given a tour of the office in small groups. The ‘tour guides’ were MinterEllison’s summer clerks, five of whom are students from Adelaide Law School. They showed the students around the sections in which they work and told them about the work that they do. The tour was followed by a very informative presentation by Ms Mutton on MinterEllison’s operations and a question and answer session with Ms Mutton and the summer clerks. The students were particularly interested in the working conditions for Australian lawyers and the scope of MinterEllison’s business. Morning tea with ‘Aussie favourites’ (honey crackle, Tim Tams, Caramello Koalas, minties etc) was a cultural highlight for our Japanese visitors.

The students were very impressed by the size of the law firm which is much larger than what they are used to from Japan. They observed that people in the office seemed happy and working together in a collegiate, rather than overly hierarchical fashion. One student was so impressed by MinterEllison that she said: ‘After seeing their office, I would rather work in an Australian law firm than in a Japanese one.’

Adelaide Law School thanks MinterEllison, Ms Mutton and the summer clerks sincerely for making our students’ experience so informative and enjoyable. It complemented the students’ classes on the Australian legal profession perfectly and deepened their understanding of differences between the Australian and Japanese legal culture.

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