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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Abstract

Globalization came to the Japanese legal community as a form of legal reform early in the millennium. The reform has impacted not only business lawyering, but also public interest lawyering, which aims at access to justice (see Parts I and II). The growing national budget has improved legal services for the underrepresented (see Part III). The increasing number of Japanese lawyers has brought improvement in access to justice to thinly populated areas. More attorneys seek careers as in-house lawyers in business or public interest organizations such as the United Nations (see Parts IV, V). The negative effects of public interest lawyering include the weakening of the economic base of lawyers, a decrease in the quality of legal service, and a change in the character of the Japanese lawyer. These impacts may undermine the basis of public interest lawyering, especially in cause lawyering, which has a unique history in Japan (see Parts IV, V, VI, and VII). Restructuring the law school and legal education system, increasing the National Judiciary budget and reforming the Japanese Civil Procedure Law is required for better public interest lawyering. Rethinking the role of quasi-lawyers as well as third-party funding for public interest lawyering are to be discussed. The expectation of exchanging information and sharing experiences with American law schools are increasingly looked upon positively (see Parts VII and VIII).

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