Global Programs Blog


Evelyn Hernandez (JD '1​8)
Legal and Internal Audit Department, Kobelco Construction Machinery Co., Ltd.
​Tokyo, Japan

Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration

One of my final assignments while in Tokyo was to explain to the Legal and Internal Audit Department what consideration in a contract was. Since Japan is a civil law country, consideration is not required when forming a contract.

Since not everyone in the Department was fluent in English, I needed to keep my presentation simple and to the point. Luckily for me, I still had my contracts outline from 1L year, so I began to create a presentation that would explain the basic concept of consideration.

While completing this assignment, I learned a lot about the difference between civil law and common law, knowledge that I did not possess prior to this internship. For those of you, who like ​I was, are unaware of the difference, I will mention the major differences.

Unlike the United States, where the major source of law is customs and practice, along with court decisions, civil law’s major source of law is legislative statutes and codes. Precedent is weak in civil law countries and the judicial role in law making is very passive and technical. Judges possess a more central role in the courtroom in civil law countries, conducting research, examining witnesses and applying codified laws to their finding in a very strict manner.  After completing my research, I made my presentation to the Legal and Internal Audit Department.