Institute Courses

The courses at the Asia-America Institute focus on topics important to legal practitioners especially in international business transactions. All instruction will be in English. Written materials for each course will be supplied at no extra charge at the time of registration. Any additional reference materials will be available at the program site. Students may use the University of Hong Kong Law Library and the University's main library, but it is not anticipated that library research will be necessary for courses taught in the Institute. Computer facilities will be available at the University and at the residential site.

Classes meet on weekdays in the Law Faculty building from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be two extra review/supplementary classes. Each class period will be one hour in length, and no courses will be offered simultaneously. Participants will, therefore, be able to enroll in courses of their choice as long as space is available. A schedule of class times will be provided to applicants. Courses will be divided into two two-week terms, each of which will be taught by a separate faculty member from a different legal culture in order better to expose participants not only to the comparative aspects of law study, but also to different methods of teaching.

Classes will be small enough to facilitate interaction between faculty members and students. Foreign students considering further study or the practice of law in the United States will benefit from the introduction to the American legal system, from the case method of teaching, and from frequent interaction with faculty members and fellow students. Classroom instruction will be enriched by attendance at the afternoon seminars, panel discussions, and excursions to the Stock Exchange, the Court of Final Appeal, and law firms engaged in international transactions.

Each course will carry two semester-hours of academic credit (one per term), and participants may enroll in as many as three courses for a maximum of six semester-hours of credit. Students must enroll in the same courses for both terms of the program. Local attorneys may, however, attend a single course for one or both terms.

Those participants who are matriculated at the Duke University School of Law may apply academic credits earned in the program towards their degree requirements. Member schools of the Association of American Law Schools will normally award JD credit for any course satisfactorily completed in the program as well. The program is offered as part of the fully accredited curriculum of the Duke University School of Law and is approved by the American Bar Association.


An integral part of the academic program of the Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law is the series of special afternoon seminars that are scheduled throughout the month. Experts from Hong Kong and other Asian legal, political, and financial communities will speak on important and timely topics. Students will have opportunities to engage speakers in informal discussion at the conclusion of the seminars.

2016 Course Descriptions


Classes will meet Monday through Friday for four weeks, beginning on Monday, June 27, 2016, and ending on Friday, July 22, 2016. Registration is on Sunday, June 26. Students seeking academic credit will begin the written final examinations on July 24 and finish by noon on July 26. Students typically enroll for the full four-week course of instruction. Local attorneys will be permitted to attend one term only and also may enroll in a single course.

2016 Tentative Courses:

  • Comparative Election Law
  • Corporate Law:  China and Japan
  • Cultural Heritage and Environmental Law
  • Entrepreneurship and the Law
  • FinTech: Legal Issues and the New Paradigms in Financial Services
  • Introduction to American Law