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KoGuan School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

KoGuan School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

KoGuan School of Law, Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Dean's Message

At the dawn of the 21st century, Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University promptly arouses to embrace the unprecedented challenges from the great change in the world structure as well as the important opportunities of synchronization with the system reform in China.

We clearly know the hard work required for establishing the foundation and the difficulty of overtaking the foregoers. However, our faculty and all the students, with 6 years of overcoming great hardships in the pioneering work and making the satisfactory initial achievements, proved that we can realize the expected goal of being "domestic leading and international well-known" in a shorter period if we deliberately utilize the "advantages of the latecomer" to obtain the "leap-forward development". This is a dream lasting for 110 years and also a commitment to the new millennium.


Looking back on the history, we see that the founders of our predecessor - Nanyang Public School, from the very beginning, had determined the education principle as cultivating the new management talents "Specializing Politics" to promote the modernization of the State. For the Special Class of Western Studies established in 1901, Prof. Dr. Cai Yuanpei was engaged as the chief instructor, teaching constitutionalism, international law, and other courses. This can be called the beginning of the modern legal education of China. From our Xuhui Campus, four outstanding alumni stepped on the national and even the international arena: Shao Lizi, the peace negotiator to put an end to the Civil War in China; Wang Chonghui, the governance elite with high attainments in law; Huang Yanpei, the professional educationist, who helped realize the dialogue for the establishment of the country with long term peace and stability through democracy; and Xu Mo, the first Chinese judge at UN International Court of Justice in Hague. They represented the glorious tradition of Shanghai Jiao Tong University for "Storing up the Pillars of the State", and provided the specific models for improving the future legal education and research.

To cluster, the past tales may form the interesting coincidences. Here is one, when Nanyang Public School was founded in 1896, Dr. John C. Ferguson, who graduated from Boston University in the US, accepted the engagement as the Supervisor, responsible for the design of the School premises and the curriculum system. In 2007, when Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University preliminarily came to shape and required impetus for development, Mr. Leo KoGuan, an American Chinese entrepreneur, generously donated funds to reconstruct the law building and improve the overall conditions for teaching and research. This coincidence brings about rich associations and the sense of mission: our process from now on shall be the epitome of our university's glory history, be worthy of the tenet of reform for communication of the western and the eastern civilizations, and include the interaction of superpowers on both sides of the Pacific Ocean and exploration of the new governance modes into the scope of institutional designs.

Approved by the Ministry of Education, Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University was co-named KoGuan School of Law. We can anticipate the opportunities brought forth to us by the change in 2008, the said "First Year of Volunteers", for the beginning of new civil society and the creation of seedbed necessary for cultivating the pillars of the State adapting to the new situation of the 21st century. According to the prospective planning of the University, the legal education and research shall be a priority subject in the future, an important part required for constructing the world-class university, and the highlight in the schools or departments of liberal arts and social sciences for "Selective Pursuit of Excellence". To realize the above noble ambitions, we must use all our wisdom and make the concerted efforts to build KoGuan School of Law into the base for cultivating the outstanding talents, the palace for studying the institution principles and the theories for rule of law, and the forum for holding dialogue with colleagues of the international academic community. This is our promise to the new century.

To fulfill our promise, we shall provide adequate space for our faculty to display their abilities and achieve personal development, and keep the door open for both domestic and foreign talents. We shall gather a team of top-class legal elites with common goals and high attainments, who will devote themselves to legal research, teaching, and justice. Here we will establish a new community of interpretation, to provide the necessary foundation of knowledge for consolidating the democracy and legal order of China.

When selecting KoGuan School of Law, whether you are a scholar or a student, you have selected excellence! We are expecting you from here.

KONG Xiangjun (Dean, KoGuan Presiding Professor of Law)


Historical Overview

At the end of the 19th century, Mr. Sheng Xuanhuai and a group of men of foresight founded the Nanyang Public School in Shanghai—the predecessor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University-- in the belief that "the top priority for strengthening the nation is to cultivate talents, and to cultivate talents, we must first run good schools". On December 14, 1920, the school was renamed as the Jiao Tong University.

Law education at the university can be traced back to the special political curriculum offered in the period of the Nanyang Public School. Presided over by Mr. Cai Yuanpei, the curriculum was initiated in 1901 and included courses on constitutions, international public law, and international treaties. Eminent alumni such as Xu Mo, Li Shutong (Master Hong Yi), and Wang Chonghui were from this class. Xu Mo was the first Chinese judge in the UN International Court of Justice, Li Shutong was the earliest scholar translating and introducing juristic works from the West, and Wang Chonghui was the first Foreign Minister of the Government of the Republic of China, who signed the UN Charter as the delegate of the Chinese Government and was twice appointed judge in the UN International Court of Justice.

The history of the Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University can be traced back to the Teaching and Research Department of Law established in 1986. After six years' exploration, the undergraduate program in law was formally established in 1992. The first group of undergraduates in law was admitted in 1993, thus starting the modern history of professional education in law in the university. In 1996, the Law Department was established, which acquired the right to confer master's degrees in law in 1998. On June 8, 2002, the Law School was established, and RMB 25 million yuan was earmarked to carry out the first phase of construction. The Law School thus entered into a period of rapid development.

On July 31, 2007, the Leo KoGuan Foundation of the United States generously donated USD 30 million to the Law School to construct a law building on the Xuhui campus of the university, engage famous professors in law, build an academic brand and cultivate talents for governing the country and teaching the next generation of law majors. On September 20, 2008, the Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University has renamed the "Leo KoGuan School of Law Shanghai Jiao Tong University" in order to commemorate the magnanimous act of the Leo KoGuan Foundation. Since 2012, our school has been placed as the top 100 law schools by the QS World University Rankings for three consecutive years. Currently, international programs at KoGuan School of Law include the S.J.D. Program, the LL.M. Program, and the Summer Programs in Chinese Law, the Visiting Scholars / Students Program, and Student Exchange Programs.


For more information:


  • Shanghai

    KoGuan Law School Shanghai Jiao Tong University 800 Dong Chuan Road Minhang District, Shanghai, 200240, Shanghai