Soochow University was founded in 1900 at Soo Chow (now Suzhou), mainland China. The Comparative Law School of the University, as the first modern law school in China, was later founded in Shanghai in 1915. Soochow University School of Law provided modern legal training prior to the middle of the 20th century in Asia. During the Chinese Civil War, the University was forced to limit its operation along with many other academic institutes. The School of Law was the first school to be reinstated after the University was officially relocated to Taiwan in 1954. In 1972 the School of Law moved into a new seven-story,air-conditioned building in downtown Taipei. These quarters are shared with the Graduate School of Economics and the School of Commerce. The building is strategically located near the Presidential Office and the judicial and legislative government complex.
In 2015, the School of Law is holding a year-long centennial celebration, making it one of the oldest law schools in Taiwan.
When the Law School of Soochow University was established, the normal course was 3 hours,from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm a day, Monday to Friday every week.On the one hand, for the sake of the convenience of the part-time layers and judges, on the other hand,students can do part-time jobs to support themselves during the day. In order to make sure the student have completely appreciated the main legal regime and basic theory in the world, and to cultivate a valuable and valued generation who can make significant contributions for China in this field,the school decided to set up the course of 3 main legal system: The Common Law, the Anglo-America Law and the Chinese law at the same time; meanwhile, students can compare differences among the three legal system.
During 1920 though 1927, most course were taught in English,only few of courses which related to Chinese law system were taught in Chinese.In the early age after law school established, what student trained was the traditional Chinese teaching method——reading and reciting,but after 1923,the school began to exercise authentic case teaching method, instead of previous method to coordinate with Anglo-American law.
In response to the diversified development of society and the need for legal professionals, training is no longer limited to traditional legal education. The increasing international interaction and the diversity of social development has not only improved the legal system as well as the economic development of the country, nowadays, people need more than just law officers and lawyers, they also need all sorts of legal services. The department of Law provides various professional courses including Business Law, Public Law, Criminal Law, Anglo-American Law, International Law, Financial Law, Fundamental Law and other related topics. The courses emphasize both Civil Law and Anglo-American Law, providing students with a dynamic learning environment and an abundant education to enhance students’ competitiveness.
Soochow law school provides students with multiple and international courses. During the five-year law school life, students are required to accomplish compulsory courses of 135 credits and elective courses of 34 credits. Unlike other law schools in Taiwan concentrating on domestic legal teaching, Soochow Law School adheres to its teaching history which regards civil law and common law teaching as equally important. In the compulsory courses of 135 credits, common law courses such as Introduction to American Legal system(4 Credits, for Freshman), Torts(6 Credits, for Sophomore), Contracts(6 Credits, for Junior), Criminal law(4 Credits, for Senior) and Constitutional law(4 Credits, for Senior) have taken up 28 credits， making itself well-known not in Taiwan only, but also in Mainland China, even in Asia.
Recognized for a strong faculty and staff with academic background in both civil law and common law systems, the School recruits full-time professors and alumni graduating from world famous law schools, such as Harvard Law School, UC Berkeley law school, U of Pennsylvania law school, U of VIrginia school of law, Duke law school, Michigan law school, Munchen University, Osaka University, the majority of them have received advanced law degrees such as LL.M., JD, SJD(JSD) and Phd. Benefited for its reputation and location, today, its alumni in the legal profession include Justices of the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor General of the Supreme Prosecutor Office, the CEO (managing partner) of the biggest law firm in Taiwan, the government and academia.
“As the statue unveils and the exhibition of the school’s history kick-starts, it symbolizes the legacy that we inherit and will pass down,” the dean of Soochow University School of Law, Chia-Yin Huang said, “unlike the blindfolded goddess Justitia of Western culture, portrayed with a law book and a sword in her hands, the statue here holds two spheres and has Eastern facial traits. It not only demonstrates the distinctive features of Soochow, but also manifests justice and innovation.Meanwhile, it gifts the School of Law with the meaning of heritage, and we hope the next century to come would be much more blessed.”
The Jessup Moot Court Team of Soochow University School of Law has won ten regional championships and represented Taiwan in the International Round since 1999.
The Electronic marquee situated at the first floor of Soochow University law school is also an attractive feature. The interesting scrolling text often changes with time and combine current events with encouragements to students, for instance, "The FIFA world cup is Brazil's, however, the final exam is yours". Therefore, it is usual to see students stop to watch the scrolling text with a big smile on their faces.
Soochow University School of Law has been home to many notable alumni :
Fang, wen-zhang (方文長)
Wu, ying-jhao (吳英昭)
Yang, zhen (楊 楨)
Huang, wen-luan (黃文圝)
Wang, jung-chou (王榮周)
Shuo, yi-ren (帥以仁)
Hsu, yuan-guo (許淵國)
Zheng, wen-lung (鄭文龍)