Wednesday, August 10, 2022

DCL partners up with Lithuanian university

June 21, 2001
Terence L. Blackburn, Dean of the MSU Detroit College of Law, signs the certificate in transnational law between Vytautas Magnus University and MSU Detroit College of Law. —

The MSU-Detroit College of Law and Vytautas Magnus University of Lithuania agreed to offer a certificate in transnational law Wednesday.

During the 2000-01 academic year, MSU-DCL sent three faculty members to teach at the Lithuanian school, which is located in the city of Kaunas. The law school plans on sending two faculty members to teach during the upcoming academic year.

To earn the certificate, Vytautas Magnus master of law students will take additional courses taught by MSU-DCL faculty or other MSU-DCL-approved professors. The courses will be taught in English and a minimum of 20 credits are required to earn the certification.

An MSU-DCL representative will also sit on the board of the Vytautas Magnus School of Law to maintain and develop the quality of the certificate program. The agreement calls for a review every five years to evaluate the progress and quality of the program.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus attended the signing, which was done live via teleconference Wednesday morning.

“This signing marks a unique partnership in higher education,” Posthumus said. “(The agreement) offers students a top-notch legal education. The schools are ideal for this partnership.”

Vytautas Magnus is the only institution in Europe that uses a curriculum similar to U.S. graduate professional schools. The university requires students to have a bachelor’s degree before beginning law studies. Most European law programs are a continuation of undergraduate-level legal training.

Posthumus said the U.S.-style teaching will help Lithuania - which has been independent from the former Soviet Union for 10 years - as a whole.

“I believe VMU students will be better prepared for success in emerging marketplaces,” Posthumus said. “This is certainly innovative.

“The agreement will help prepare students at MSU and at VMU for new, global marketplaces. The leadership the two institutions provided is phenomenal.”

Vytautas Magnus Rector Vytautas Kaminskas, who signed the agreement in Lithuania, said he was pleased to enter an agreement with one of the oldest and most popular law schools in the United States. His words were translated by the dean of Vytautas Magnus’ law school, Tadas Klimas.

“Over 50 percent of the courses (in the program) are taught by visiting professors from the U.S. and all over the world,” Kaminskas said. “We will be one of the few schools in Europe to have a transnational law certificate.”

MSU-DCL Dean Terence Blackburn said the accord is “mutually beneficial to both institutions and countries.”

“Our faculty will benefit strongly from the agreement,” Blackburn said. “We look forward to hosting students from VMU here.

“We look forward to sending some of our students to VMU also. And we will continue teaching in Lithuania.”


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