Teacher Interviews

Face to Face: Dr. Hu Ling


Dr. Hu Ling is an assistant professor in SHUFE Law who specializes in internet governance, cyberlaw and judicial system. He received his bachelor and master degrees from Peking University and Ph.D from the University of Hong Kong. As an excellent young teacher, Hu has made some achievements in academic research and infused much vitality into SHUFE Law. Our journalist had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Hu, listening to his own stories and his suggestions for SHUFE Law and its students.
(J: Journalist, H: Hu Ling)


About Education Background
J: Good afternoon, Dr. Hu. We have learnt that you graduated from Peking University and the University of Hong Kong. Could you share with us your learning experience? Why did you choose law as your first major?


H: Well, at the time when I was admitted into the Law School of Pecking University, I actually knew nothing about law. I am not exaggerating. I chose law as my major just because I followed the craze of that time. At the beginning of this century, majors like law, computer science and business management were quite popular. I took my high school teacher’s advice and decided to study law, and I never regret my decision. I am also interested in philosophy, so I chose philosophy as my second major during undergraduate stage. The best thing about philosophy is that it shows you a unique way of thinking and teaches you how to look at legal issues with a critical perspective. Therefore I won't easily make mistakes of dogmatism.


J: Why did you choose to further your study by acquiring the postgraduate and doctoral degrees?


H: I think it's all because of my interest. I am interested in theoretical thinking so I chose to stay in Peking University and further my study of jurisprudence there.  When I was facing the choice of where to pursue my doctoral degree, my supervisor suggested and recommended me to the University of Hong Kong. For my part, I also wanted a change of air after staying in Beijing for so many years. And again I knew nothing about Hong Kong and outside world.


J: What do you think of these two universities? Are there any differences between the two?


H: Nowhere else in China has such a free academic atmosphere like in Peking University. It’s especially renowned for its excellent social science and humanities. In PKU, you are encouraged to take whatever lessons you’re interested in besides your own required courses and attend various kinds of lectures delivered by academic pioneers. As for the University of Hong Kong, I was most impressed by its modern and user-friendly facilities. Its library, for instance, houses a large number of both English and Chinese books, which are very useful for cross-border study and research.


About Major Field of Study
J: We learned that you are specialized in Internet Law. Could you tell us more about it?


H: It has been almost 20 years since the Internet first entered China, but it is still unaccepted by many Chinese legal scholars. Today, internet law is only taught in a few universities, which is a quite strange phenomenon given the popularity of the internet. One possible explanation of this may be the strict division of disciplines in Chinese law schools. Experts in one specific field of law usually show no interest in either other branches or the fast transformation of society triggered by information technology.


As a widespread trend around the world, the internet exerts influence on all aspects of the society. It is a domain covering many areas of law. Therefore, I treat the internet as a research object rather than an independent discipline of law. In my class, I share with the students my views on how the internet will challenge traditional legal concepts and institutions such as IP, privacy, competition monopoly, and so on.


China is now home to more than 500 million netizens, but our legal system still hasn’t covered all fields in cyberspace. The law is always lagging behind technology. However, in the future things will get changed. By optimistic estimation, within five years all disciplines of social science will turn to online world. It is not just a separate discipline that you can easily ignore, but having a critical impact on any area. Admittedly, the current legal education has its defects – attaching little importance to the dynamic society and its relationship with law while giving more emphasis on static statues and its interpretation. In fact, mastering legal rules is far from enough. Laws are expected to solve practical issues and respond to new problems that keep popping up. Thus it is crucial that we find a proper way to deal with new problems in a constantly changing environment.


Suggestions for SHUFE Law Talents
J: According to your experience, what kind of qualities should law students possess?


H: For a law student, one of the most essential abilities is public speaking. Making presentations is an effective way to cultivate oratory skill and a variety of other abilities. In the first place, you need to stand in front of the public, which requires you to have a good mentality and confidence in yourself. Then, the ability of dealing with unexpected challenge is also needed as you are going to answer the audience’s questions after the presentation. Other skills include how to present your ideas clearly in a limited time, how to make your PPT both effective and attractive, how to cooperate with other team members, to name but a few. So I think activities such as a presentation competition will bring SHUFE Law students much benefit.


Apart from making presentations, academic writing skill is also a must for college students. Some may feel that there is no use in writing dissertations since they don’t really want to pursue an academic life in the future. However, they overlook the fact that in this age of information explosion, everything you deal with will involve in information retrieval, analysis, processing and refining. Writing research papers is just a necessary way to prepare you such abilities which are needed in all walks of life.


J: Would you give some advice or suggestions for SHUFE Law students? How can we improve ourselves?


H: To begin with, remain modest and don’t take too much pride in yourself. You can improve yourself through drawing strength from other people and at the same time your merits will also be followed by others, which is an effective way of mutual learning. It is important to keep a low profile since human beings are particularly vulnerable to become arrogant. Nevertheless, you must not go to the other extreme, viewing yourself as worthless. As long as I am making progress, I feel happy and satisfied, no matter how superior other people may be. Besides, I suggest that students should learn to pause now and then to reflect on what you have achieved. Take some time to retrospect: am I leading a meaningful life or just wasting my time? Adjust your direction in time instead of rushing forward like a high-speed train.


About SHUFE Law
J: How long have you been a member of SHUFE Law? How do you feel about working here?


H: I joined SHUFE Law just one year ago. SHUFE Law is not large in size but it impressed me as a fast-growing institution. Although in terms of scale, SHUFE Law cannot be compared with top law schools in China, it enjoys advantages in specific areas such as finance and economics. It is still developing and I believe that more excellent young scholars will join us in the near future. Besides, the working environment here is very pleasant, everyone around me being so nice and friendly.


J: We know that you are in charge of SHUFE Law LL.M Program. Could you give us a brief introduction of it?


H: SHUFE Law LL.M Program is an all-English program. It starts from 2012 and enrolls students from all around the world (9 international students this year). This program aims to provide students a comparative perspective of both Chinese law and Anglo-American Law. It focuses on areas like international law and economic law. In the first semester, we arrange some basic legal courses such as Constitutional Law and Law and Society to help students build a solid foundation of Chinese society and its legal system, while in the second semester, more emphasis will be paid to international law, commercial law, economic law and IP law.


J: Last year, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of SHUFE Law. What are your expectations for SHUFE law?


H: I hope that in the future more talents will join SHUFE Law, enrolling more excellent students through initiating different programs. Admittedly, there is fierce competition between universities nowadays, both domestic and abroad. We should not only strive for improvements in teaching and research work, but prepare our students for competence as well. SHUFE Law should continue to maintain its advantages in terms of finance and economics and at the same time promote disciplinary establishment in terms of law.



(by Kelly)


Published:2013-02-27 Hit:753

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