Lgl Eng for Lawyers (LAW-096-001)
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American University International Legal Studies Program American University International Legal Studies Program ENGLISH for LAWYERS Marleen Hein-Dunne Law- course #096 Spring 2016 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Planned Individual Consultations DEFINITION English for Lawyers is a content-based second language learning course. The course promotes advanced language proficiency and production through legal content, developing work and study skills necessary for international lawyers. Students will 1) develop the writing skills required in an American academic legal setting and 2) learn to communicate orally as a professional using clear English legal discourse. PURPOSE English for Lawyers supports and is taught in conjunction with Legal Research and Writing. The courses share the same content base and writing assignments, but EFL provides additional opportunities for improving both writing and speaking skills.. INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES: After revision of at least one draft with planned individual consultations, students will produce final drafts of the following written assignments for their Legal Research & Writing law firm tutors: 1) a business letter; 2)Summary of an article and Essay; 3) a case brief and Case Summary; 4) a memo; and 5) a court reflection. Students will also make one or two oral presentations and write a two-part Midterm Examination. English for Lawyers impacts student writing on three levels- sentence, paragraph, and organization: CLEAR / ACCURATE EXPRESSION: Correct Grammar Subordination Paraphrasing Coordination Proper Mechanics Terms of Art Revising: writer- to reader-centered text EFFECTIVE STYLE: Learn to use plain English vs. Legalese. Clarity (coherence) Unity and Flow (signals, cohesion) Parallel Structure Concision (structure) Emphasis: sentence level List Structure Precision Emphasis: paragraph level Critical Thinking Logical relationships (transitions) Editing: form and content EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION Bridging the gap between expository prose and writing for legal purposes includes methods of paragraph development, topic and transition sentences, thesis statements in scholarly writing, summarizing, synthesizing, and citation without plagiarizing or copying text. REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE Successful completion of the English for Lawyers course requires full attendance, punctuality, and timely production of all oral and written assignments. If there is more than one unexcused absence, you may not receive a passing grade for the course. Legal English certificates are awarded upon successful completion of the program. WCL HONOR CODE In compliance with the American University, Washington College of Law Honor Code, student work must be original and not copied from any source. Foreign-trained lawyers will learn to develop, organize, and communicate critical thinking, use someone else’s words and ideas appropriately, and attribute works to their original source. “The notion of analysis in the common law context involves not only providing a solution to a problem, but also substantiating it, by way of reasoned analysis and/ or the appropriate case law. Improper referencing is a violation of the WCL Honor Code.” Fatal Flaw in exam/ papers, Dr. L.Feris, ILSP 7/31/01 “By reading [a paper], you can personally evaluate the student’s writing, research, logic and judgment.” Judge Alex Kozinski, Forward, Academic Legal Writing by E. Volokh. In sum, serious attention is given to the crucial link between critical thinking and academic writing and reading in an American legal context. For many international graduate students, lawyers and judges, the process of writing English contrasts with the purpose and conventions associated with writing in their native language, their culture, and their academic institutions. In this common law context, through this course, learning how to use legal English is learning legal culture in an American academic setting. Please turn off all cell phones before class; please use your laptop only to read class materials, not to check your email or surf the web. REQUIRED TEXTS 1. Introduction to Legal English, 3rd ed., Mark Wojcik, International Law Institute, 2009 (Legal terminology, basic reasoning, instrumental writing) 2. Just Writing: Grammar, Punctuation, and Style for the Legal Writer, Fourth Ed. Aspen Law & Business, 2013 (Effective legal writing with ESL coverage) Recommended Texts 1. Webster’s American English pocket dictionary and/ or Longman Advanced American dictionary, Pearson Education Ltd. 2000 (with examples for multilingual students) 2. Law dictionaries (ie., Black’s Law Dictionary)
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