Many Japanese Law Schools were established in 2004. The Aim of this paper is to assess their influences on the traditional system of the legal education in Japan, and to suggest what ought to be the contents of the legal education at faculties of law in Japan.
Firstly, the author points out the abnormality that two different systems of legal education happened to exist. One is that of the Law Schools, the graduate schools specifically for legal professions, and the other is of the faculties of law, the undergraduate schools not directly for legal professions.
Secondly, he overviews the ideas of Japanese Law Schools and their realities, and criticizes them from the viewpoints of the reform plans proposed by Jerome Frank and by Rudolf von Jhering. According to the author, our Law Schools are, more or less, becoming degraded into mere preparatory schools for the new Japanese Bar Examination, forgetting their ideal: the improvement of the quality of lawyers, and ignoring Jerome Frank's criticism of Langdellian case method in his “Courts on Trial” (1949), and Jhering's criticism of the “Begriffsjurisprudenz”, which consists in that of the traditional system of the legal education in Germany.
Thirdly, he proposes the reform plan of the educational program at our faculties of law, in order to make them survive in the Law School Era. The plan says that their program have to be multiple, meeting the diverse needs of Japanese law students; for the majority of them it has to provide some subjects like “literacy for ordinary legal life”.
Finally, he urges the persistence of our faculties of law and graduate schools of law in spite of having set up Law Schools, on the ground that they are indispensable for nurturing our successors -legal academicians and law teachers-, and for keeping and furthering the diversity of our studies in law.