PUBLISHED:January 16, 2015

5 Questions for Yoichi Fukui LLM '15

Yoichi Fukui ’15

Fukui, an LLM candidate from Japan, is pursuing Duke Law’s certificate in environmental law.


1. What did you do before coming to Duke Law?

Before graduating with a degree in Law and Politics in Japan, I worked six years at the Japanese Ministry for Environmental Affairs. My main task was to design new policies for environmental issues in Japan with regard to soil contamination and energy conservation. One of the policies was the institution of a reward for entrepreneurs who contributed to the environment through energy efficient conduct. In my last years there, I worked with the implementation of policies regarding Japanese nuclear facilities.

2. Why did you choose Duke Law?

The main reason I chose Duke was the environmental certificate. Another factor that attracted me was the possibility of taking courses offered by Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, which, like the Law School, is a prestigious place with outstanding professors. I am currently pursuing an independent study at Nicholas School as well as the United Nations Climate Change Negotiation Practicum. The practicum is great for me, because I will attend the Climate Change Conference promoted by the United Nations next December in Lima (the COP 20), and there I will be able to apply the techniques I learned.

3. What are your plans for spring term?

Next term I am taking “Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond,” taught by Professor Wiener, “Water Resources Law,” offered by Professor Longest, and “Natural Resources Law and Policy,” taught by Jonas J. Monast. In addition to that, I am planning to enroll in a course that analyzes the differences between civil law and common law to answer some questions I have regarding the common law system.

4. What advice would you give to prospective students wanting to study environmental law in the U.S.?

Going to Duke is an excellent choice for students interested in environmental law, not only because Duke has high-level professors and students, but also because the classes analyze deeply controversial subjects and give students the opportunity to participate in discussions. Moreover, the professors at Duke are really friendly and are always available to answer our questions and to talk about their fields of expertise.

5. Aside from the academics, what can you say about Duke and its surroundings?

Honestly I like Durham. It is a great place to be. Of course, it is not a metropolitan city, such as New York, but we still have city activities. We can go to malls, nice restaurants, and beautiful parks. Also, we have many outdoor activities promoted by Duke itself. Finally, Duke and Durham is a very environmentally friendly place. For instance, I commute to the Law School by bicycle, something really difficult to do in Tokyo.

– Pedro Soares ‘15