In April 2004, the Tohoku University School of Law, at the graduate level, was reorganized into a tripartite organization which is comprised of the Graduate School of Law, the Law School and the School of Public Policy.
Among the three institutes of the School of Law, the Graduate School of Law is the most important center of academic research activities, covering a wide range of fields of law and politics. As an educational institute, the Graduate School of Law provides the Master's Course and the Doctoral Course for training future scholars in law and politics and others who wish to pursue advanced academic research, whereas the Law School provides a curriculum for training future legal professionals and the School of Public Policy provides one for training future government officials and others who are to develop and enforce public policies.
Traditionally, the Tohoku University School of Law, as a matter of principle, has given special priority to academic research activities ("Research First Principle"). However, as contemporary society has become increasingly sophisticated and complicated, many difficult legal and political problems have come to the fore, and this in turn has necessitated a reconsideration of the significance and the social role of academic research activities. While the principal object of the Graduate School of Law is to approach various problems in contemporary society from a "theoretical" perspective, such activities also aim to provide illuminating insights into the "practical" aspects of such problems, contributing to the education in the Law School and the School of Public Policy, where questions are often raised on the relationship between theory and practice.
According to the above policy, the Graduate School of Law will admit the following students.
- Those who wish to engage themselves in advanced research on law and politics, and wish to build their academic careers in universities and other research institutes, as internationally distinguished scholars actively involved in the front line in their fields of study.
- Those who wish to contribute to our society by building their careers outside university, making full use of academic insights and methodologies obtained through their research activities.
- Those who have work experience outside university and wish to pursue desirable solutions to various practical problems, especially those which they had encountered in their careers, while feeding back their experience to academic research.
- Those who have graduated from professional graduate schools and wish to engage themselves in advanced academic research, aiming to create a bridge between theory and practice.