“We have a long history in energy law dating back to Eugene Kuntz, who is the father of oil and gas law in many ways,” said Joseph Harroz Jr., dean of the OU College of Law. “We looked for areas where an advanced degree would be beneficial, and energy law was one of those areas.
The Oklahoma City University School of Law has been working with Chinese law students since 2005.
Through the partnership, OCU students can receive credit for studying over the summer at China's Nankai University.
Chinese students and practicing Chinese lawyers participate in four-week summer programs that focus on the American legal system. International partnerships are essential to providing both American and international students a thorough education, said Lawrence K. Hellman, dean emeritus at the OCU School of Law.
“It's really important to understand the cultural differences between the different legal systems and business systems,” he said.
“Having that exposure and opportunity to have cultural interchange is important for our graduates as they enter the global markets.
“China is the second-largest economy in the world. Our graduates are going to be bumping shoulders with Chinese entities and their legal system wherever they go.”
The partnerships also are essential for Oklahoma businesses, he said.
“You'd be surprised at the number of small companies that are doing business in China,” Hellman said.
“To do that, you're going to need to have lawyers who understand the legal system in China.”