There is widespread agreement that the legal profession has embraced the concept of localization for centuries. Historically, because the rule of law varies from one jurisdiction to another, legal professionals have primarily served their local communities. However, globalization is changing the status quo. Globalization has not only taken us to a new stage in human history, but also increased the demand for changes to the legal profession in the modern era.
Global Vision, Local Consideration
The demanding change that globalization has brought to worldwide legal professionals in the new century is: “Glocalization.” It combines the idea of globalization with that of localization, and ties one to another as both concepts actually complement each other. In today’s legal profession, the concept of glocalization demands all legal professionals in the new era to “act local” and “think global.” One can never fully understand law without appreciating local communities as law is a reflection embodying the culture and numerous other human factors of local society. On the other hand, today’s globalization movement urges legal professionals to think in a bigger scheme beyond simply local focuses. Thus, glocalization encourages all legal professionals in the contemporary era to adapt themselves and their legal expertise to the local jurisdictions where they are, and to think through a global vision with local considerations.
The Transforming Legal Profession
Today’s legal profession has seen dramatic changes at the beginning of the 21th century. Worldwide legal professionals are experiencing the transforming development of the legal profession under glocalization. Transnational business transactions demand lawyers to advise their clients wherever their clients desire for that assistance. Judges may try cases with legal issues involving rule of law in jurisdictions other than domestic jurisdiction. Prosecutors may prosecute defendants who committed crimes in multiple jurisdictions. Law professors frequently research on law and innovative legal issues in various jurisdictions all over the world. In accordance with the glocalization of today’s legal profession, the next generation of legal professionals needs to prepare for increasing changes and challenges in this new century.
A Project for the New Generation
I am pleased to announce a new project launched by the Asian Law Students Association (ALSA) in the early spring of 2011: Worldwide Legal Professionals. We will interview legal professionals in different regions around the world. Legal professionals interviewed in this project are all experts who have diverse backgrounds, multicultural experiences, and outstanding achievements in the legal profession. Some of them have studied in different countries and received multiple legal degrees from prestigious law schools that are recognized around the world. Some of them have been admitted to more than one bar and many practice in different regions of the world. These legal professionals will share with us their plan for education and career development, the biggest setback they have encountered in life and how they overcame it, the most important experience they have had in practicing law so far, their interpretation of glocalization’s role in the legal profession, their outlook for the legal profession in the future, and their advice for the next generation of legal professionals.
A New Derivative Sense of GLOCAL
As time goes on, the original meaning of glocalization may evolve. In addition to think globally and act locally, glocalization also urges today’s legal professionals to love the people and society of local communities. Legal professionals should never lose their passion and love toward people because law is all about people. As a firm believer in dedicating oneself to public interest, I believe that it is one of my missions in life to dedicate to people and society. I would encourage you to uphold this life philosophy with me.
Think global, love local. Let’s be GLOCAL!