A new focus on American legal studies
7 May 2012
A spike in interest in US law courses at Australian tertiary institutions has been driven largely by globalisation, according to Professor Jennifer Hill.
In an article for the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Jennifer Hill, who teaches a specialised postgraduate unit on US Corporate Law, says globalisation has made it increasingly important to have tools to understand international transactions.
She says the US is a "critical jurisdiction" given its commercial importance, despite the rise of China.
"While the interest in US law is mainly driven by globalisation, corporate scandals and crises [such as the collapse of Enron, HIH and One.Tel] have also prompted reforms to deal with these kinds of problems across a range of jurisdictions," Professor Hill says.
This comparative analysis, Professor Hill says, is not just a one-way street.
In the same article, Mr Ronald C. Barusch, former Partner with Skadden, who has been teaching the specialisted unit, Cross Border Deals: A US Perspective, says the popularity of the US corporate law courses has been prompted partly by Australia's increasing economic power.
But he says young lawyers also need to understand US law so they can creatively solve problems that arise due to the fact both countries have complex sets of legal principles.
He says Australian commercial lawyers must be able to negotiate with their US counterparts on cross-border deals, mergers and acquisitions.
"I'm not here to tell Australians how to practise law... The real issue is, 'How do we have an equal level of knowledge in order to better do business?'" Mr Barusch says.
For more information on Sydney Law School's postgraduate units that have an American focus - An American Perspective
Contact: Greg Sherington
Phone: +61 2 9351 0202