On August 22, 2017, Professor John Smagula, Temple University School of Law, taught a class on the U.S. legal system to a group of 50 accountants at the Beijing National Accounting Institute.
John gave an overview of the U.S. legal system, including the U.S. governmental structure, the federal and state court systems, principles of jurisdiction, and U.S. legal education. He also discussed U.S. legal practice, explaining the role of the lawyer and the skills needed to advise clients. Once the students grasped this information, he led a series of interactive exercises to help students understand the legal reasoning process as well as the evolution of common law through the development of precedent.
Based on his experience as a Wall Street lawyer, John explained to the students what corporate lawyers do and how they work with accountants. He also gave the students practical advice on how to study English, while also sharing some inspiring thoughts to encourage them in their professional development.
Students reported that they acquired not only a greater understanding of the U.S. legal system, but also a new way of thinking. One student commented that John taught the class by “explaining the profound in simple terms,” and plans to be more mindful of his communication with clients in the future.
Another student commented that she is going to think more broadly about how she responds to her client’s questions. In the past, she said she may have given more direct answers, but in the future, she will try to give more comprehensive answers, addressing not only the question asked but also other related issues that the client may not have considered.
“This was a great opportunity for us to learn from each other,” John remarked, “as accountants have their own perspective on legal issues. Through our discussion, we saw that we have the same purpose of representing our clients well. When we work together on integrated solutions, everybody benefits.”
Temple University Fox School of Business collaborates with the Beijing National Accounting Institute to offer a Master of Science in Accounting degree (MSA), now in its fifth class, as well as a Master of Science in IT Auditing and Cyber Security, which just started this year.
John is Director/Associate Professor of Temple law school’s China Rule-of-Law Program, where he directs the Temple-Tsinghua Master of Laws (LLM) program. He also works collaboratively with Temple’s Fox School of Business in areas of common interest.
BNAI has cooperated with the Temple University Fox School of Business to carry out two master programs, the MSC program and the IT Audit (ITACS) Master program. At present, the Master of Accounting program has been carried out in the 5 cohort, there are 4 of nearly 100 students to the United States to study for the master of Accountancy courses, and successfully completed their studies. The IT Audit Master Program is approved by the Ministry of Education in China awarded the Master degree of Temple University, which is the first Master degree of IT Audit. The program will begin its master course in January next year.