Legal English Programs

Legal English Webinar

Interested in learning more about the program? View our webinar for an overview of the course.

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 2016 Summer Legal English Program will take place July 5-21. Register for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Registration can be completed here.

July 5-8:  Basics of the US Legal System and US Legal Analysis

Participants will listen to lectures on the basics of the US Legal System and Reading US Cases.  Exercises will focus on general legal vocabulary, review of US cases, legal analysis exercises, and review of a complaint. 

DC Superior Court visit

Language skills:  Reading, Summary Writing

July 11-14:  US Business Law and Professional Skills

Participants will review contracts such as sale of goods, leases, non-competes, and sale of assets, and mergers.  Exercises will include drafting business letters and e-mails and reviewing contracts.  In addition, participants will learn how to navigate business receptions and deliver elevator pitches.  The week will culminate in a day-long negotiation exercise.    

US Capitol visit

Language skills:  Listening and Speaking, Business Letter Writing

July 18-21:  Advocacy and Oral Skills

Participants will focus on advocacy skills by arguing in a mock arbitration based on a business dispute.  In preparing for the arguments, participants will have to review a contract, meet with clients, and negotiate with lawyers representing the other side. 

US Supreme Court visit

Language skills:  Pronunciation, Listening, and Speaking

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

Housing is not included in the price of the Legal English Program, but an on-campus housing option is available at American University’s main campus. Registration for housing has not yet opened for Summer 2016, and this page will be updated once it is open. Room rates for 2015 were $85.86/night for a single room and $66.41/night for a double room. Note these rates include a 14.5% hotel tax. More information about housing and general accommodations.

Participants must be practicing lawyers or law students; who are at a high intermediate to advanced level of English.  We do not require the TOEFL or other English assessment.

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

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