Yale College Alumni in China have belonged to the Yale Club of Beijing for years, but last month the Yale Law School community in China created its own alumni group — the Yale Law School Association of China.
Victor Gao LAW ’93, who will serve as president of the group, founded the association to organize all Yale Law School alumni in China and to further the Law School’s international goals, YLSA China Joint Secretary Yunlong Gao LAW ’04 said. Yunlong Gao said the group will sponsor seminars and lectures by Yale Law School professors visiting China as well as other events intended to improve Yale Law School’s renown in China.
Victor Gao wrote in a description of the organization that YLSA China intends “to become the central liaison platform for all the Yale Law School alumni and visiting scholars in China,” “to become the information collection and dissemination platform for activities related to Yale Law School in China,” and “to become an advocate for the noble causes of Yale Law School in China.”
“An organization of Yale Law School in China will help make Yale Law School more popular in China — more students will apply and we will have more Chinese students here,” Yunlong Gao said. “Yale Law School is already very international, but we’re making it more international.”
Yunlong Gao said YLSA China’s ultimate hope is to improve not only connections between Yale Law School and China, but also to improve the relationships between the United States and China.
“We’re trying to establish a relationship between Chinese law professionals and American law professionals, and in this way we’re contributing to the relationship between these two countries,” Yunlong Gao said.
Davis said YLSA China will be just one of a number of Yale Law School associations across the country and abroad. She said Yale Law School associations exist in London and Paris, and members of the Yale Law community are already very active in China.
“There’s a lot that’s going on, there’s research, there’s cooperative exchanges, [Yale Law] faculty are going to China all the time,” Davis said. “It’s … very special to have a group so far away that’s connected to the Law School.”
Victor Gao first brought the idea to the attention of Yale Law School administrators when he was in New Haven for an alumni event, Yunlong Gao said.
“When [Victor Gao] came to Alumni Weekend in October, he talked to [Associate] Dean Toni Davis, Dean Anthony Kronman and incoming Dean Harold Koh about starting an organization in China, and they were all very supportive,” Yunlong Gao said.
Davis said YLSA China plans to have a president, two joint secretaries, and two vice presidents. Exiang Wan LAW ’87, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court of China, will serve as honorary president, she said.
YLSA China will be open to all alumni, faculty, current or previous students, and visiting scholars who either currently work and/or reside in China, hail from China, or have a particular interest in China, Victor Gao wrote in the organization’s description.
Yunlong Gao said he anticipates YLSA China may attract as many as 100 members.