Introduction of the Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law at Tokyo Metropolitan University is made up of the Division of Law and the Division of Political Science. From the second year, students enrolled in the Faculty of Law will belong to one of the courses based on their choice. In both divisions, graduates of the Faculty of Law will receive a “bachelor’s degree(Law)”. The main career paths for students of the Faculty of Law include the legal professions (judges, prosecutors, and lawyers), national and regional government positions, and careers in the mass media, corporations, and at research institutions.

1  The Division of Law

There is a saying that “where there is a society, there is law.” In particular, in modern society, various rules are complexly intertwined to maintain order. The study of law is an academic field that aims to interpret “law,” which is the most important of these rules. Law is essential in resolving and preventing conflicts and disputes, in providing public services, and also in protecting the rights and interests of individuals.

In the Division of Law, students can take a wide range of fundamental legal subjects such as Constitutional Law, Civil Law, Criminal Law, and Commercial Law, as well as such specialized and applied subjects such as Economic Law, Intellectual Property Law, and the Philosophy of Law. Students that study at the Division of Law will be able to choose in their future career from a variety of occupations such as judges, prosecutors, lawyers, civil servants or company employees that will be engaged in legal matters. And, in the Legal Profession Training Program (so called “Legal Profession Course”), students that want to become lawyers can acquire the fundamental ability to pass the bar exam early after entering law school.

Regardless of which field students choose to pursue, the knowledge and thinking skills gained through the course will play a vital role in their understanding of the fundamental aspects of social order, which will be of great use to societal development.

2  The Division of Political Science

Laws and policies established by the state and local governments have a great impact on the social lives of citizens. Conversely, citizens can also have an impact on laws and policies. In other words, there is a bidirectional relationship between citizens on the one hand and laws and policies on the other, and politics acts to mediate between them. The study of politics is an academic field, through which we come to understand the mutual relationships between citizens and government.

In the Division of Political Science, students can study a wide range of subjects including Political Science, which provides the fundamental concepts necessary for understanding politics, Public Administration, which studies state and local governments, and Japanese Political History, which analyzes the historical trajectory of Japanese politics. In addition, students can study Modern Japanese Politics, International Politics, Comparative Politics, and the History of Western Political Thought depending on their interests.

However, the subjects offered in this course are not limited to these subjects directly concerning politics. By offering related subjects of Public Law including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and International Law, this course trains generalists of use to society such as national and regional civil servants.

Characteristics of the Curriculum at the Faculty of Law

1  A Systematic Learning Program of Studying Law and Politics

At the Faculty of Law, in both divisions, students begin learning their specialized subjects from their first year. Furthermore, the Cultural subjects group and the Introductory subjects group, which students will be enrolled in mainly in their first year, consist of the prerequisites necessary for learning the specialized subjects of the Faculty of Law such as Introduction to Jurisprudence, Introduction to Modern Politics, and the Constitution of Japan. Students in their second year or above will take specialized subjects intensively. Students in their second year will take mainly compulsory subjects, which constitute the foundation of study, Students in their third and fourth year will be enrolled in specialized subjects focusing on elective subjects, which deal with advanced and specialized content.

Thus, progressing from the basic subjects to more specialized subjects, students will follow a systematic curriculum, and on fulfilling the requirements for graduation, they will obtain a “bachelor’s degree (Law)” in both divisions.

2  An Enriching Small Group Education

While many classes of law and politics are lecture-style given in large classrooms, at the Faculty of Law, the focus is traditionally on small group education, and many classes are held in this fashion. In seminars in which precedents are studied or the literature is reviewed, students will learn survey skills, presentation, and discussion methods under the direct guidance of the teachers. Through participation in seminars, students can gain a deeper knowledge of law and politics. Furthermore, since students can simultaneously participate in multiple seminars, the opportunities for exchanges with teachers, and fellows sharing the same interests will expand.

3  Curricula Appropriate for Each Career Path

When students of the Faculity of Law advance to the second year, they choose to belong to either the Division of Law or the Division of Political Science. Since the barriers between the two divisions are low, students can pursue their desired career path regardless of which course they are taking. In the Division of Law, students can learn many subjcts needed for the exam for National Public Service. In Legal Profession Training Program, students are required to learn subjects needed for entering law school. In the Division of Political Science, we provide an excellent balance of study in order to prepare students for careers in the mass media, advancement to public policy graduate schools, the exam for National Public Service, and the exam for senior-level positions in regional civil services.