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.
Legal English Program- Winter (Registration closed)
Registration Deadline: December 1, 2013
Program Dates: January 6- 9, 2014
Spend a week in Washington DC learning about the United States legal system, while practicing your legal English. The Legal English Program at American University announces an 18 hour, 4-day legal English course, Monday, January 6 to Thursday, January 9, 2014. Classes will meet for 4.5 hours each day and culminate with a tour of a US court. Classes are designed to introduce legal English concepts to non-US lawyers, judges, law students, and incoming LLM students. Daily lectures, readings, in-class exercises, and oral arguments will introduce participants whose native language is not English to a variety of legal settings where English is used. The course will include homework, and its primary focus will be on developing listening and speaking in legal English.
Legal English Program- Summer
Registration Deadline: June 1, 2014
Program Dates: June 30- July 17, 2014
- 1 week course: June 30- July 3, 2014
- 2 week course: June 30- July 10, 2014
- 3 week course: June 30- July 17, 2014
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, or 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Participants must be practicing lawyers or law students; however, we do not require the TOEFL.
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.
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