English for Lawyers Program


The English for Lawyers 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 2017 Summer English for Lawyers Program will take place July 10-27. Register for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. Registration can be completed here.

July 10-13:  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. 

Visit: DC Superior Court

Language skills:  Reading, Summary Writing

July 17-20:  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.    

Visit: U.S. Supreme Court or U.S. Capital

Language skills:  Listening and Speaking, Business Letter Writing

July 24-27:  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. 

Visit: U.S. Supreme Court or U.S. Capital

Language skills:  Pronunciation, Listening, and Speaking

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

Housing is not included in the price of the English for Lawyers Program, but an on-campus housing option is available at American University’s main campus. Online registration and payment for summer 2017 American University dormitory housing will be available closer to the start of the program.


The cost of the English for Lawyers Program is as follows: to attend one week it is $1100, two weeks is $2200, and three weeks is $2750.

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 English for Lawyers 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. The latest instructor added to the English for Lawyers course is Stuart Stein, a partner at Hogan Lovells. For more information, please visit the Instructor Bios webpage.

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