FLS History

As one of the top law schools in China, Fudan Law School (FLS) has a history of over 100 years that makes it the oldest existing law school in east and south China. FLS is proud to have had a large number of its alumni and faculty taking roles in advancing morality and justice. Faculty members have taken leading roles on the international stage. These include Dr. Wang Chung-Hui (王宠惠), DCL (Yale), the top diplomat of the Republic of China who participated in drafting the UN Charter, Mei Ju-Ao (梅汝璈), JD (Chicago), the only Chinese judge in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and Yang Cho-Lung (杨兆龙), SJD (Harvard), one of the fifty jurists around the world selected by the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Since the spring semester of 1914, Fudan University’s predecessor, Fudan College, established a law program comprising of 60 law students, the largest cohort of law students in Shanghai up until that time.

In 1929, four major schools of Fudan University were founded, i.e., the Schools of Literature, Science, Law, and Business. In the law school, there were 17 law professors. Meanwhile, Prof Pei Fuheng, a doctorate graduate of University of Paris, became the dean of FLS. Under his efforts, a number of famous law professors came to FLS.

In 1932, Prof Zhang Zhirang, a graduate of Columbia Law School, was nominated as the dean of FLS. Dean Zhang continued the process of expanding the team of law professors and enriching the law curriculum. Consequently, the influence of FLS was strengthened. During this period, the School began to organize moot court activities, emphasizing the law school’s focus on legal practice in addition to theoretical studies.

In 1941, Fudan University became a national university. During the period of the higher education restructuring, a number of law schools of other universities merged with the FLS between 1949-51, and, in 1952, FLS merged with other eight law schools in China to form a new school, East China University of Political Science and Law.

Fudan University reestablished its Law Department in 1983. In 1994, FLS was refounded, including Departments of Law, International Politics, Sociology, among others. In November 2000, a new FLS was established, composed of the law faculty only.

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