Review Essay — Bilingual Legal Education in the United States: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?
64 Journal of Legal Education 354 (2014)
10 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016
Date Written: Novemeber 2014
The longstanding connection between law, language and the state has traditionally led law schools to provide legal education in a single language. However, that model is currently being questioned. For example, some countries believe that bilingual education makes their universities and/or law graduates more internationally competitive while other jurisdictions offer legal training in multiple languages to increase domestic access to justice. Bilingual legal education is therefore seen as useful for both domestic and international lawyers.
Although some jurisdictions are enthusiastically embracing bilingual legal education, U.S. law schools lag behind their foreign counterparts. This Article therefore considers the goals and pedagogies associated with bilingual legal education and discusses whether and to what extent bilingual legal education is needed in the United States. In so doing, the Article describes various European educational initiatives such as the Bologna Process and outlines how instructors of foreign legal language courses can overcome certain obstacles to effective instruction.
Keywords: Legal Education, Bilingual, Bologna Process, Comparative Law, International Law, Foreign Law, Immigration Law, Access to Justice
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