The Two-Year LLM Program begins with the Legal English Certificate Program during the fall and spring semesters and continues into the summer prior to the start of LLM classes. The intensive program of study is designed to provide students with the tools they need to succeed in one of BU Law’s LLM programs. The curriculum is as follows:
Legal English I. 7 credits. This course will assist students in developing the English language communication skills necessary to succeed in BU Law’s LLM programs and international legal practice. Part II of this course continues in the Spring Semester. Learning outcomes will be to acquire effective reading strategies, to enhance vocabulary skills, to practice listening, to write persuasively using appropriate grammar and revise work based on instructor feedback, and to develop oral fluency and accuracy and hone pronunciation. Students will work on expanding general English skills using course materials that incorporate legal content and deal with law-related issues, but are not legal sources per se.
Academic Skills for US Law Studies I. 3 credits. This course will cover the study skills and strategies needed to succeed in an English-language law program in the United States. The focus will be on strengthening study skills and listening and speaking effectively. Students will work on listening strategies that will help them to handle lectures and discussions from various disciplines, including taking coherent notes and writing summaries of and responses to complex questions about the listenings. Students will also work on speaking strategies that will allow them to participate fully in academic life at law school, including interacting with classmates and professors, participating in class discussions, and giving effective oral presentations.
Introduction to US Legal Culture. 2 credits. As the students’ initial exposure to legal courses and BU Law, this course will provide a foundational understanding of general American legal concepts, history, culture, and profession, including professional responsibility. Students will engage in reading and classroom discussion of assigned materials (consisting of fiction, non-fiction, movies, articles, excerpts, etc) that will be supplemented by field trips to state and federal courts and other relevant venues. These field trips will generally occur outside of regular classroom time.
Legal English II. 7 credits. Building upon Legal English I, this course further enhances student Legal English communication skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students continue to sharpen these skills with greater emphasis on legal materials and related substantive vocabulary.
Legal Writing. 2 credits. Legal Writing will build student competencies in structuring and writing commonly-used legal communications. Students will receive instruction and practical experience in drafting contracts, as well as a range of non-contract legal communications, including case briefs, client opinion letters, office memos, emails, and explanations of the law. The Instructor will provide students will individualized feedback and support on effective communication in English. Students will draft a written document each week based on a hypothetical case assignment. After receiving detailed feedback, students will have the opportunity to revise assignments in order to improve grammatical, linguistic, and communication proficiency.
Persuasive Legal Advocacy. 2 credits. Designed as a complement to the Legal Writing class, this course will develop students’ persuasive advocacy skills through hands-on practice in oral and written communication, including effective presentation, listening, and writing skills. Through simulations and role plays, it will train students in the art of effective advocacy. We will focus on three major projects: (1) a law partnership negotiation, contract and presentation; (2) client counseling and written communications; and (3) a full-scale mock trial.
Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies II. 1 credit. This course will teach foreign students skills for success inside and outside the law school classroom. The course will be divided into modules focusing on preparing for class, participating in class, studying for exams, and taking advantage of opportunities outside the classroom. Each class session will build on the terms and concepts covered during previous sessions. Briefing cases and summarizing materials in one’s own words will be of central importance to the course. As effective communication is an essential skill for success in law school, students will be expected to complete frequent, short written assignments and participate actively in class discussion.
Topics in American Law. 1 credit. This course engages students around current constitutional legal topics, as presented through case law, to further develop their listening and writing skills. Students will develop their skills in issue-spotting and writing responses to fact pattern assignments.
Students continuing to the American Law, Intellectual Property Law, or Graduate Tax LLM will enroll in the required six week Pre-LLM Program: Legal English for LLM Students (CELOP course, no credits). This course runs from the beginning of July through mid-August.
Students continuing to the Banking and Financial Law LLM will enroll in the required Financial Services Fundamentals course, which begins in early August through the end of the month.