LLM Alumnus Shirai Discusses Work on Japanese Jury Project

Katsumi Shirai, LLM-U.S. Law ’03, is a partner and leader at TMI Associates. Based in Tokyo, Japan, the firm has more than 300 lawyers and 60 patent attorneys. He is responsible for TMI’s U.S. and German practice and specializes in litigation and business law.

In addition to his work at TMI, Shirai has been a member of the committee for the preparation of the Japanese jury system. He was handpicked by the Japanese Bar Association in large part due to his experience with the law school's Judicial Observation Program, through which he worked for the Hon. Gerald B. Cohn, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Along with several judges, prosecutors, and other attorneys, Shirai is currently helping to develop and introduce the jury system into Japan’s criminal procedures. As part of his duties with the committee, he has been making special presentations and lectures in both English and Japanese for Japanese lawyers. One of his areas of focus is interaction on oral argument techniques for judges and prosecutors.

Katsumi says, “The challenges of the U.S. jury trial training I had through the Judicial Observation Program turned out to be the most exciting experience of my career. No other lawyer in Japan had such an experience.”

He credits Washington University School of Law with his success, but more importantly he says he treasures the people he met and the relationships he built. "WashULaw gives such a great experience," he says. "Alumni in Japan have a strong bond and enjoy reunions, as well as Cardinals baseball victories!"

An avid yachtsman, Shirai owns a 33-foot craft and enjoys sailing with his U.S. colleagues and clients.

Spring 2014