John Smagula

Assistant Dean, Graduate & International Programs

John Smagula, J.D., M.S., is a leading expert in international legal education. He directs all law school international programs, including Master of Laws (LL.M.) programs, study abroad, and student exchanges. He also develops new programs and redesigns existing international and other graduate legal education programs.

As Assistant Dean, he develops policies and directives, collaborates with faculty on strategy and content, and oversees the complete range of program promotion, implementation, and communications. He has full professional proficiency in written and spoken Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.

As Associate Professor, China Rule-of-Law Program, he has taught corporations law, the U.S. legal system, and legal reasoning. He has delivered lectures in English and Chinese on U.S. law and legal education at over 100 Chinese agencies and law schools, and he regularly presents at many conferences on international legal education and teacher training.

From 2003-2018, he worked as Director of the law school’s China Rule-of-Law Program, including the Beijing LL.M. program with Tsinghua University. He oversaw all educational program management, including strategic planning, academic affairs, alumni relations, communications, curriculum development, faculty selection and training, fundraising, government and university relations, and recruiting.

Prior to his work with Temple, John taught at Tsinghua, Zhongshan, and Sichuan University law schools, and he worked in the corporate law practice of the New York and Hong Kong offices of Paul Weiss. He earned his B.A. in International Relations in 1992 from Pomona College, J.D. in 1995 from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, and M.S. in Education (with focus on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2007 from Temple University.

John has long studied the Chinese language and culture, having traveled to each province in China. He maintains his own bilingual Chinese-English blog (WeChat ID: laosangshuo) with regular content that helps students to study foreign languages, achieve goals, and live positively. He is also a Certified Tea Specialist both in China and the United States, and he is frequently invited to give talks on Chinese tea and tea culture.


M.S.Ed., Temple University
J.D., Washington University (St. Louis)
B.A., Pomona College