In 1948, only three years after the end of World War II, the Faculty of Letters and Law was established at Osaka University. It was the first academic body for humanities and social sciences at the university, which was founded in 1931 as the sixth imperial university in Japan. The people of Osaka welcomed this new faculty in the hope that it would help the rising generation to rebuild and democratize the country, which had been devastated by the war. Respected academics of the day were actively involved in the establishment of the faculty.
Five years later, in 1953, the faculty was divided into separate faculties of Law, Letters, and Economics as a result of a fundamental restructuring of the university organization. Since then, the Faculty of Law has developed steadily, maintaining a healthy respect for both tradition and innovation as it has grown.
Now the Faculty of Law, which started with only 16 professors in 1953, has about 100 full-time professors and is widely recognized as one of Japan’s top-ranking institutions for legal education and research. Thousands of graduates of the faculty are playing essential roles in the legal profession, government, business, industry, and academic institutions, both in Japan and around the world. In 2008, the Faculty celebrated its 60th Anniversary.
The Faculty of Law offers an undergraduate program, which is officially called the School of Law. In 2008, it was divided into two departments, the Department of Law and the Department of International Public Policy. 250 new students are enrolled every year and the student-faculty ratio of the program is ideal.
The Faculty of Law also offers a graduate program, which is officially called the Graduate School of Law and Politics. Currently, there are 85 students in the master's program, of whom 31 are international students, and there are 37 students in the doctoral program, of whom 13 are international students. The master's program of the Graduate School of Law and Politics consists of three sub-programs with different goals and curricula, being those of Public Law and Policy, Comparative Law and Politics, and Intellectual Property Law. The goal of the Public Law and Policy program is to provide future professionals with advanced knowledge and expertise in law and political science, whereas the Comparative Law and Politics program is aimed at providing high level skills in research and scholarship for those interested in an academic career path. The Intellectual Property Law program is specifically for future specialists of the field.
In 2004, the Osaka University Law School
was established as a professional graduate school, separate from the existing graduate programs, with a 3-year educational program designed primarily for those aspiring to become lawyers.