The Second Week of the 2013 China Program by Professor Susan Tiefenbrun (Photos by TJSL student Ian Seruelo)

Published: June 03, 2013

Dear Students, Colleagues, Staff, Friends, and Family:

The second week of the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Program in Hangzhou, China has been a great success. This is a superb group of very special students who  appear to be intellectually curious about all international law matters, very excited to learn more and more about the history and culture of China and Asia in general, and just an amazingly cooperative and flexible group. It has been a pleasure and an honor to direct this group of TjSL students and professors. The participation of Judge Pierre Leval not only in the classroom but on all levals of our program has been particularly rewarding to our students who have come to know and admire him all the more. Judge Leval taught three classes in the International Business Transactions and gave a very important public lecture to our entire group of 55 American students, 21 Chinese students, 4 American professors and 4 Chinese professors. We have all enjoyed the very special participation and support for our program shown by Judge Pierre Leval of the Federal Court of the 2nd Circuit and his exceptional wife, Susanna. We will never forget them, and we hope they will come back with us to China and maybe even to our Nice Study Abroad Program in France (in which Judge Pierre Leval has participated in the past). The Nice Program begins in about 3 weeks.

Here in China, during the week students and faculty continue to study and learn together at the Zhejiang University Guanghua School of Law. After class we all listen to great lectures by distinguished scholars and legal practitioners such as David Buxbaum, Esq. from Anderson and Anderson in Guangzhou (fluent in Chinese and working in China for more than 20 years) and his associate Khristopher Ward (a recent alumnus of TJSL now working in Guangzhou) and  Philip Rohlik, Esq., a partner at Debevoise and Plimpton in Hong Kong. All the students here seem interested in deepening their understanding of China, its people, its laws, its  culture, its cuisine, the art and natural beauties of the city of Hangzhou and the reknown West Lake, described by Marco Polo as one of the most beautiful places in the world. While most of the students and professors in our group have toured together on weekends visiting Hangzhou and Xian (the place of the famous buried terra cotta warriors) and Beijing, others have traveled by themselves on weekends to Thailand, South and even North Korea as well as Hong Kong. This past weekend we all visited Beijing, where we were invited to the Beijing People's Supreme Court, heard lectures by three judges of the Judicial Reform Division of this important court, and viewed the beautiful marble building and its elegant courtroom. This was a great honor for us. We all saw Tian An Men Square, the unforgettable Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs. Some of us saw the death-defying Acrobat Show and others saw the Beijing Opera. Yesterday we had a Peking Roast Duck dinner and saw a fabulous Kung Fu show. We all ate a hearty breakfast every morning at a beautiful hotel and enjoyed good local cuisine for lunch and dinner. We are all using chop sticks at this point, and some are even speaking Chinese. I continue to work hard to improve my Chinese, and I am making progress. We are all fatigued and happy after climbing the challenging Great Wall, and I am proud and amazed to report that Dean Rudy Hasl made it to the top top top. We all walked down holding our thighs and shins, breathing hard and heavily,  but loving every minute of the adventure. Today we go together to the Temple of Heaven and have a tour of a local region of Beijing. We fly back to Hagzhou tonight after a fantastic exploration of the vast and ancient capital of China: Beijing! More to come next week.

Regards,

Professor Tiefenbrun