English for Lawyers: A Preparatory Course for International Lawyers
Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, Vol. 7, p. 137, 2001
17 Pages Posted: 10 May 2009
This article presents a model for an LL.M. preparatory course for international law students. The course is for nonnative speakers of English at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. However, the same course could be the basis for an introduction to law and law school for native speakers preparing to enter law school or other legal studies at the graduate or undergraduate level. Students in the course have included visiting professors and students entering advanced degree programs such as J.S.D. and S.J.D. programs, which are equivalent to a Ph.D. program.
As the number of international students at U.S. law schools grows, law school communities can benefit from preparatory programs that adequately prepare international students for the language and cultural demands these students will face. General intensive language programs and linguistic programs focusing on English for Academic Purposes (EAP) are available, but they are not designed to address the unique needs of law students. A number of linguistic programs and U.S. law school programs exist, and law schools with international students should consider the pros and cons of sending students to an existing program or establishing their own in-house program.
The authors hope to generate further discussion about how to best prepare international students for the demands of a U.S. law school and the practice of law in a culturally diverse environment.
Keywords: English for Lawyers, LL.M., preparatory course, international law students, introduction to law, introduction to law school, legal education, legal
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