Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies: Seminar

Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies: Seminar

Professor David Wilkins
Spring 2011 seminar
2 classroom credits

This seminar will investigate how globalization is reshaping the market for legal services in important emerging economies such as China India, and Brazil - and how in turn developments in these countries are likely to reshape the way law is practiced, taught, and understood in the developed economies of the West and throughout the world. In particular we will investigate developments in four interconnected areas: government innovation policy, particularly around the opening of markets and the role of law and legal institutions in this process; the growth of an indigenous "commercial" bar in the form of increasingly large law firms and sophisticated in-house counsel and the competition between these indigenous providers and the rapidly globalizing US and UK law firms and in-house legal departments seeking to serve these markets; the modernization of legal education, particularly around the push to develop more "American-style" or even self-consciously "global" law schools; and the globalization of public interest/public service norms and organizations and the drive to spread "rule of law" values, practices, and institutions.

Our goal will be to understand how these four large scale forces are are shaping the development of legal practice and legal institutions in important emerging economies,and how practices that are developed in these rapidly developing markets are likely to affect the transformation in legal practice and legal institutions already taking place in the US and other developed countries. Students will be required to write a paper on a topic relevant to this broad set of questions.

Once the course has been filled, priority will be given to waitlisted students who develop and communicate to Professor Wilkins a research topic that they can begin working on in the fall semester. Students should submit a proposal to Professor Wilkins ( and his assistant Amanda Barry (

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law, Procedure & Practice