Legal English Programs

The Legal English Program at the Washington College of Law is designed to introduce foreign practitioners and incoming LL.M. students to legal English concepts.  Through daily lectures, written assignments, and in-class exercises participants whose native language is not English will practice a wide array of legal English skills ranging from legal reading and writing strategies to oral presentation of substantive legal issues. 

The 2014 Summer Legal English Program has concluded. Please check back this fall for the summer 2015 program dates.

 

The July course focuses on language skills needed for the successful practice of US Contract law.  With the aim of preparing participants for real world situations such as client meetings, conference calls, and negotiations, the Legal English Program incorporates listening and speaking skill exercises, such as contract negotiations and a mock arbitration.  In addition, written exercises focus on clear and accurate expression, effective legal style, and organization.  Participants write short legal summaries, business letters, e-mails, and draft contract provisions. Participants can register for week 1, weeks 1 and 2, or weeks 1, 2, and 3 of the program. Week 1 covers the basics of the US legal system and US contract law. Week 2 focuses on contract drafting and negotiation. During week 3, participants argue in a mock arbitration.

Program Overview
Sessions will meet from 9:00am- 3:00pm four days per week, with breaks in the morning and for lunch. Participants are expected to take part in class exercises and complete homework assignments. Small class size and student-teach meetings ensure individual attention. Class time is limited to 18 hours per week. Please see our sample syllabus to get a better idea of the course schedule.

Listening and Speaking Skills
With the aim of preparing participants for real world situations such as client meetings, conference calls, and negotiations, the Legal English Program incorporates exercises that focus on listening and speaking skills. Participants will give presentations, negotiate contract provisions, and argue in a mock arbitration.

Legal Writing Skills
Writing exercises will focus on clear and accurate expression, effective legal style, and organization. Participants will write short legal summaries, business letters, draft contract provisions, and prepare arguments for arbitration.

Mock Arbitration
During the last week of the summer program, participants will argue in a mock arbitration. The mock arbitration will combine all of the skills practiced during the first two weeks of the course.

Certificate of Attendance
Participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon successful completion of the Legal English Program.

Beyond the classroom
In an effort to give participants ample opportunity to practice English in social as well as academic settings, participants are invited to a number of social gatherings and outings including tours of DC and DC based courts, baseball games, museum visits, and receptions. 

Housing
Housing is not included in the price of the program. The Legal English Program offers on-campus housing for the Summer Program. We will provide participants with a list of area hotels where they can book a room. More information about housing and general accommodations.

Requirements
Participants must be practicing lawyers or law students; however, we do not require the TOEFL.

Teachers
The Legal English Program teachers are all adjunct professors at universities around the world including American University Washington College of Law.  They have been working with international students for years and have taught numerous legal English courses both in Washington, DC and abroad. 

Questions
If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Director, Catherine Schenker at (202) 274-4314 or LegalEnglish@wcl.american.edu


Other Opportunities at American University Washington College of Law

Summer Programs: American University Washington College of Law offers several exciting domestic summer programs on Human Rights, International Commercial Arbitration, Environmental Law, Health Law and Policy, as well as international summer sessions in Chile, Europe, the Hague, and Turkey.

LL.M. in International Legal Studies: Earn an LLM in International Legal Studies at American University Washington College of Law. One of the first truly international programs, the ILSP is one of the top rated LLM programs in the United States and is currently the only program in the United States to offer a dual LL.M./MBA degree.

 

Legal English Programs
Washington College of Law, Room 345
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
USA