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Top>HAKUMON Chuo [2012 Winter Issue]>[Chuo Law: No. 1 in Japan for the first time in 6 years] Celebration for students passing the 2012 Bar Examination


[Chuo Law: No. 1 in Japan for the first time in 6 years]

Celebration for students passing the 2012 Bar Examination

How far will it continue? A line of Chuo Law School graduates emerged in an orderly manner from the entrance for students who had passed the Bar Examination. The line seemed like it would continue on forever. From 6:30pm of October 26th, a celebration was held for students who had passed the 2012 Bar Examination. The event took place at Grand Hill Ichigaya located near JR Ichigaya Station. A total of 202 Chuo Law School graduates passed this year's Bar Examination. This was the highest number of graduates at any Japanese university, the first time since 2006 that Chuo University has been No. 1. This achievement reaffirmed the presence of Chuo Law.

With a sense of humanity

Chancellor and President Norihiko Fukuhara giving a speech

Chancellor and President Norihiko Fukuhara gave a speech to congratulate the students on passing the examination. He also thanked the students for their great effort, noting that the reputation of Chuo University had been enhanced by the 202 passers. In conclusion, President Fukuhara expressed his expectation that passers will work in society as professionals with pride and confidence. Afterwards, Supreme Court Judge Mr. Masahiko Sudo, a Chuo University alumnus, congratulated the students and emphasized the importance of their responsibility. Supreme Court Judge Mr. Tomoyuki Yokota, also a Chuo University alumnus, congratulated the students and asked them to always have a high level of awareness as legal professionals, stressing the need for continued study throughout their careers. Mr. Mitsunori Otaka, Chair of the Board of Trustees, offered his congratulation and explained that students must become proficient in dealing with people because law is a field based on humanity. He also encouraged students to further their education. Finally, Mr. Kunio Sakamaki, Director of the Chuo University Legal Circle, gave a toast to start the event with great fanfare.

Also participating in the event were instructors from the Chuo Law School and Faculty of Law, alumni lawyers who provide daily support for students and graduates, as well as many other VIPs and officials. Relaxed conversation and interaction continued throughout the entire event.

Legal Support Career Committee

The total number of people passing this year's Bar Examination was 2,102. The number of passing examinees continues to be much less than the 3,000 which was forecasted at the start of the New Bar Examination. The reason for this discrepancy is that even if a large number of successful examinees are produced, there are no available jobs after passing the examination. Additionally, the legal industry wishes to avoid the mass production of legal professionals who are lacking in ability.

If employment is not available even after passing the Bar Examination, successful examinees will not be able to make a living. Ultimately, the number of students wishing to enter law school has decreased and the number of students applying to the Faculty of Law has fallen. In order to stop this negative spiral, the Chuo Law School established the Legal Career Support Committee last year. The committee works to help graduates and current students decide on a career path and find employment.

As a result, in addition to becoming legal professionals, the number of graduates selecting a career path as an in-house lawyer in corporate legal divisions or as public servants has begun to increase. While recognizing the importance of a network with law offices and corporations, the committee is working to further enhance its support system.

To conclude the event, Mr. Kentaro Tanino represented the graduates and gave a speech of gratitude. The event ended with a speech by Mr. Takayuki Shiibashi of the Chuo Law School. Afterwards, students from each class could be seen all over the hall posing for commemorative photographs with their instructors together with their friends, showing the unity and strong bonds between participants.

A lasting impression was made by the bright smiles of graduates who will support the future of Chuo University.

At the event to congratulate passers (from left): Mr. Akutagawa, Dean Hashimoto (Faculty of Law), Mr. Yatabe

Number of students passing the 2012 Bar Examination by school
1 Chuo University 202
2 University of Tokyo 194
3 Keio University 186
4 Waseda University 155
5 Kyoto University 152
6 Meiji University 82
7 Hitotsubashi University 77
8 Osaka University 74
9 Kobe University 60
10 Hokkaido University 54
11 Kyushu University 53
12 Doshisha University 44
13 Nagoya University 44
14 Ritsumeikan University 43
15 Tokyo Metropolitan University 40

Passers discuss the lifestyle of a student studying for the Bar Examination

142 students who graduated from undergraduate school at Chuo University passed the 2012 Bar Examination. We spoke with Ms. Minato Akutagawa, a 4th-year student at the Faculty of Law who passed the Bar Examination while studying at Chuo University, and Mr. Shun Yatabe, a 2nd-year student at the Chuo Law School. Minato and Shun discussed the lifestyle of a student studying for the Bar Examination.

Valuing the fundamentals

Mr. Manato Akutagawa
(born in Shizuoka Prefecture; studied at Chuo University Suginami High School and Chuo University Faculty of Law)

Minato's study desk

"I began to think about the Bar Examination from around when I entered high school," says Manato. "Entering the Chuo Law School, I hoped to pass the examination in my 6th year of study. During my 3rd year at undergraduate school, the preliminary examination system for the Bar Examination was enacted, so I began preparing for the preliminary exam."

Once he began studying for the examination, Manato woke every morning at 6:00am. He returned home from university on the 9:36pm train of Tokyo Tama Intercity Monorail, the train leaving from Chuo-Daigaku/Meisei-Daigaku Station towards Takahata Fudo. Every morning, he left his home in Ueno, Tokyo after at 7am after eating breakfast. He arrived at the Tama Student Research Building, otherwise known as the "Tower of Flame," between 8:30am and 9:00am. Every day, he studied at the building for about 12 hours until around 9:00pm. During the mornings, he prepared for the short-answer section of the examination. Afternoons were devoted to studying for the essay method tests.

"It's difficult to understand the intent of the people who create the problems. I had been given that advice by older students, but I still found it difficult. Although I often wonder how other people study, I believe that it is important to understand the fundamentals, even if you don't read through thick textbooks. I have always tried to focus on the fundamentals. I believe that it is better to find your own method of studying rather than copying others."

Even before he began focusing on the Bar Examination, Manato says that he studied every day. Once he decides on a course of action, he always studies as hard as possible.

Manato ate simple meals such as bread or a ready-made lunchbox, hardly ever going to the school cafeteria Hill Top. To relax his tired mind and body, he took naps, read comics and watched movies on his computer. "There are lots of students like me in the Tower of Flame," he says. "We would encourage each other when we felt tired." From 5 days before taking the Bar Examination, Manato felt very stressed and suffered from canker sore. Taking care of one's health is every bit as important as studying. "I wore a mask and was careful not to get the flu," says Manato.

In the future, Manato wants to become a lawyer specializing in corporate law for supporting the management of various corporations.

Gratitude towards everyone

Mr. Shun Yatabe
(Born in Tochigi Prefecture; studied at Kanagawa Toin Gakuen High School, Chuo University Faculty of Law and Chuo Law School)

Shun's study desk. Books are stacked by his computer.

When Shun was a high school student, he injured his spine and became confined to a wheelchair. At the time, he was a member of a famous baseball team that was an annual participant in the Koshien Baseball Tournament. The injury completely changed Shun's lifestyle and he began to search for a way to contribute to society.

"Studying law is of use to society," says Shun. "I decided to take the Bar Examination. I was focused on becoming a lawyer."

From his 1st year at university, he began studying at the "Tower of Flame" and eagerly acquired new knowledge. Shun studied for 8 hours a day when he was an undergraduate student and 5 hours a day after entering law school.

"I switched my focus from the amount of study to the quality of study. Of course, there are times when it is necessary to do a lot of studying."

Shun is very grateful to the Tower of Flame, where he would study until 11:00pm, as well as to his instructors.

"The professors in the Faculty of Law and the Chuo Law School gave me very detailed instruction," he says. "The way in which instructors specializing in actual practice conveyed actual practice was very easy to understand."

"I had a wonderful learning environment prepared by clerks and by Professor Kenichi Osugi, Chairperson of the Curriculum Committee (at that time). I am grateful of Professor Motohiro Hashimoto, Dean of the Faculty of Law, as well as to Professor Masahiko Omura, who taught the seminar where I studied. Thanks to them, I was able to enjoy my studies."

In between studying, Shun relaxed by watching Japanese professional baseball. He often went to the Tokyo Dome and the Jingu Stadium. "I enjoy watching players who are good at fielding. I particularly like the 7-time Golden Glove winner Hirokazu Ibata (Chunichi Dragons)."

Shun likes players who support their team. In the future, he will become a professional who supports society through law.