2013 Past Headlines

An Interview with Professor Emeritus Grove


Perfecto ‘Boyet’ Caparas, LL.M. ’05, interviews Professor Emeritus of Law Jeffrey W. Grove who founded the IU McKinney Law LL.M. program and served as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies from 2002 until his retirement in 2007.  Caparas was as student in Grove’s “Introduction to the American Legal System” and “Federal Jurisdiction” classes in 2004-2005. Caparas is now the Graduate Studies Program Manager.

Perfecto Caparas: Thank you very much, Dean Grove.  Can you please give us some background as to how the LL.M. Program originated?  Who were the people behind it?  What was your role in its creation?  What were the specific conditions and factors that made you create the LL.M. Program?

Dean Grove:  In 1987,  I organized the law school's first summer abroad law program at East China University of Politics & Law in Shanghai, which in 1998 I relocated to Renmin University of China Law School in Beijing.  Including the four months I spent in China on Sabbatical Leave in 1994, by the turn of the century I had been to China eight times, visiting law schools and legal institutions across the country.  By then it had become clear to me that the demand among Chinese law students and lawyers for study abroad opportunities was growing every year—a phenomenon that was being replicated in developing countries around the world.  At the same time, I saw an opportunity for the law school to further develop its international presence—one that would leaven its reputation at home and abroad while broadening the horizons of our domestic students—and to establish a new revenue source for the law school.

In 2000 I went to Dean Norman Lefstein with my ideas for establishing an LL.M. Program for Foreign Lawyers that would enrich our academic program, enhance our international outreach, and create a new revenue stream for the law school.  He was supportive, and I undertook two years of research, planning, and proposal development.  Ultimately, we received the requisite approvals by the law dean and faculty; the I.U. Graduate Affairs Committee and the IUPUI Chancellor; the University administration on the Bloomington campus; and the Indiana Commission on Higher Education. The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar “acquiesced” in the establishment of the program, determining that it would not impinge on the quality of the J.D. Program. In 2002 I was appointed Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and we enrolled our first LL.M. class in the Fall Term.

PC: What was your vision for the LL.M. Program?

DG: I envisioned a program that would bring students from around the world to study at our law school, typically for one year, with several goals in mind: to offer foreign lawyers and law students an opportunity to learn about the Rule of Law regime in the U.S. and its various substantive components; to leaven the school’s profile and reputation internationally (and, indirectly, domestically as well); to offer domestic students the opportunity to interact with students from different countries, cultures, and legal systems, and thus to broaden their horizons; and to establish a new revenue source that would ultimately become an important income center for the law school.

PC: What was the organization and structure of the LL.M. program like?

DG: Initially, the LL.M. Program consisted of one track: American Law for Foreign Lawyers.  In 2002-03, the first year of the program, we enrolled 10 students; in year two, enrollment tripled to about 30 students.  During this time, I administered the program as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, together with a full-time Assistant Director.  In 2004, following a series of additional proposals and approvals, we added four additional tracks, primarily aimed at foreign students but also open to domestic students, each with its own Faculty Advisor: International & Comparative Law; International Human Rights Law; Health Law, Policy & Bioethics; and Intellectual Property Law.  In 2004-05, the third year of the program, enrollment doubled from the previous year, increasing to about 60 students.

PC: How were you able to recruit students to enroll in the LL.M. Program?

DG: Given my own contacts and experiences in China, I believed that Chinese lawyers and law students would constitute the core of our program, at least in the initial phases. Therefore, in the first years of the program, I worked closely with a Chinese lawyer who lived and practiced in Beijing, had excellent contacts with the All-China Bar Association through which we were able to advertise our program, and who was willing to assist with recruitment “on the ground,”  including interviewing applicants and providing us with her evaluations. Her efforts, along with my own continuing visits to China, produced the largest number of our applicants and students.  Other faculty members who travelled abroad were encouraged to promote our program—efforts that also produced some success.
In 2003, the Assistant Director and I travelled to England, Germany, and France and made presentations at a number of law schools and legal institutions.  In 2005, I travelled to India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and China to visit law schools and bar associations to recruit students.  Thereafter, students from all of these countries, except Malaysia, joined our program.  Of course, we also produced an LL.M. brochure that we distributed widely, and the law school’s Website was up-dated to include detailed information about our LL.M. Program.

PC: In 2003, the LL.M. American Law for Foreign Lawyers track produced its first batch of 10 graduates.  Then in 2005, the LL.M. tracks in International Human Rights Law,   Intellectual Property, and Health Law, Policy and Bioethics produced one graduate each.  In the same year, the LL.M. International and Comparative Law track had two graduates.  How was the LL.M. Program able to create 5 different tracks and produce graduates from all five tracks beginning 2003 and 2005?

DG: The introduction of the four additional tracks required approvals by the law dean and faculty and the I.U. Graduate Affairs Committee on the IUPUI campus.  These approvals were based on extensive proposals prepared by each of the tracks’ Faculty Advisors—Professor Frank Emmert (International & Comparative Law); Professor George Edwards (International Human Rights Law); Professor Eleanor Kinney (Health Law Policy & Bioethics); and Professor Kenneth Crews (Intellectual Property Law)—in consultation with the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies.  The Faculty Advisors and the Associate Dean made presentations to the Committee and defended their proposals.  After the tracks were approved and in place, students who were admitted to the program had the opportunity to select the track into which they wished to enroll.

PC: Qualitatively, what is your assessment of our LL.M. graduates?

DG: Of course, as with graduates of any academic program, the quality differs.  On balance, however, I think we have enrolled students with good credentials and promise and, with few exceptions, our LLM. students  have met our expectations.  Our graduates have enjoyed success in their professional lives, both in their home countries and the US—for example, practicing in both domestic and international law firms; taking positions in banks and other financial institutions; working as in-house counsel for business organizations; assuming managerial roles in private and public sectors; entering, or re-entering, academic life with professorial or administrative appointments; serving in various roles with non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and pursuing additional academic degrees, such as the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.).

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