As part of its China Program, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL) brought 11 government lawyers (China Delegates) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the United States for three weeks. The Delegates spent a week together in San Jose in an orientation designed to introduce them to the American legal system. The delegates then traveled to the homes of IATL Fellows in various cities where they lived for two weeks, experiencing the life of an American trial lawyer with the Fellow and the Fellow’s family. After two weeks in residence, the Delegates came back to San Jose to share their experiences before returning to Beijing. The entire expense of the program was paid by the Academy and its Fellows. To date, about 150 Chinese lawyers have participated in the program and returned to the PRC to serve in prominent positions in the Chinese government.
For the first 16 years of the Program, the Delegates traveled to Honolulu for the week of orientation; however, the program is now hosted in San Jose by Partner James McManis, an IATL Fellow since 2001 and currently the Academy’s Secretary of International Relations and China Program Chair.
Traditionally, the Academy has celebrated the arrival of the China Delegates with a Welcoming Dinner. This year’s dinner was held at The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose for 140 local attorneys, judges, politicians and guests to introduce the China Program to members of the community. The Hon. Wu Hao, Director General of the Legislative Affairs Office of the PRC, traveled with the Delegates to San Jose to help inaugurate the Program’s new venue. The office of Director General is equivalent to a U. S. Cabinet Undersecretary.