On October 29, 2022, faculty and students in the Temple-Tsinghua LLM program in Beijing celebrated the successful completion of this year’s LLM class in an online graduation ceremony. While pandemic restrictions in China prevented a large scale in person event, the 51 graduating students demonstrated their resourcefulness and creativity in joining together from home and from law firm offices around the country.
Professor Tarrant Mahony, Beijing Program Director, directed the ceremony. Dean Rachel Rebouché and Tsinghua law school Dean Zhou Guangquan also delivered remarks. Dean Rebouché commended the students on their significant accomplishments – completing a master’s degree program of study of a foreign legal system in a foreign language – an accomplishment all the more impressive given the challenges created by the global pandemic. She also noted that through their hard work the students embodied Temple University’s motto, “Perseverance conquers”.
After welcoming the graduates into the worldwide family of Temple Owls, Dean Rebouché encouraged the newly minted alums to use their privileged position as lawyers trained in US, Chinese, and international law to contribute to advancing humanity’s common interests and to help overcome the many obstacles facing the world today.
Tsinghua Law School Dean Zhou Guangquan commended the students for their commitment to learning, their tremendous efforts to master a foreign legal system and called upon them to strive to live up to the spirit of Tsinghua’s motto, “self-discipline and social commitment”.
The graduating class was comprised of students from throughout China and from the legal, academic, government, and business circles. The graduates included legal practitioners with extensive working experience, among whom were the Deputy Director of Brand Protection at JD.com (one of China’s largest online marketplaces); the Deputy Director of Legal Affairs for the Xiaomi Group; and the Deputy Legal Director of Luckin Coffee.
Assistant Dean for International Affairs John Smagula provided closing remarks in which he recalled Temple University’s rich historic connection with China, especially noting Deng Xiaoping’s visit to the United States in 1979 when he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Temple Law School’s Master of Laws program in China began in 1999 and has been based at Tsinghua University since 2001. It was the first and remains the longest running foreign legal degree granting program in China. Including the 51 graduating students in the class of 2022 the program now has nearly 1,000 graduates.