Daily Briefs . . .

MSU Law expands international dual degree options

Michigan State University College of Law and Doshisha Law School in Kyoto, Japan, have entered into an agreement that will allow qualifying Japanese students to obtain U.S. and Japanese law degrees in a four-year period.

Under the agreement, eligible students who begin their legal study at Doshisha Law School will be able to join MSU Law for two years of study. The students are then eligible to take the American bar exam before returning to Japan for a final year at Doshisha and sit for the Japanese bar exam.

“This new agreement with Doshisha Law School will provide MSU Law students even more opportunities for a diverse, enriching classroom environment,” said Melanie B. Jacobs, associate dean for graduate and international programs. “It reflects the growing international reach of our law college.”

MSU Law’s Professor Frank Ravitch, who leads MSU Law’s study abroad program in Kyoto, Japan, has facilitated the dual-degree option and will play a key role in further developing connections with Doshisha Law.

“These students are highly marketable and in great demand,” Ravitch said. “They are not just bi-lingual; they’ll be bi-legal – able to practice law in Japan and in the United States.”

The MSU Law/Doshisha dual-degree program is the second international agreement offered at MSU Law. A similar program with the University of Ottawa allows students to obtain Canadian and American law degrees.


11-year-old boy faces competency exam in  3-year-old's death


DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit judge ordered a mental competency exam Monday for an 11-year-old boy charged in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy and urged the public to lock up their guns, saying they’re a “magnet” for curious children.

“This has happened before,” Judge Frank Szymanski said. “I pray it won’t happen again.”

The boy is charged in Juvenile Court with manslaughter without malice, as well as using a firearm during a felony.

Police said the older boy took a handgun from a closet at his father’s home last week and tossed it out of a window. Police said he subsequently retrieved the gun and fired it, striking Elijah Walker in the face.

The Associated Press doesn’t typically name minors charged with crimes. The boy in the case was mostly silent during the brief procedural hearing.

With TV cameras in the courtroom, Szymanski said it was appropriate to remind the public to keep guns out of the reach of children.

“Kids find things. It’s their nature,” he said. “A gun can be a magnet to kids. If you have ever left a gun unsecured anywhere in your lifetime ... you can say a prayer of thanks that you’re not involved in the nightmare that is this case.”

Outside court, the older boy’s mother cried as she told reporters the family was sorry for what happened.

“It was an accident,” she said.

The boy, who is free on bond, will return to court on Sept. 9.


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