BU Law Launches Legal English Certificate Program and Two-Year LL.M. Track

Collaboration with CELOP will help international attorneys and non-lawyers sharpen their legal English

Beginning in fall 2014, BU Law will offer a Legal English Certificate Program (LECP), a two-semester, full-time program designed for international lawyers and professionals who seek to improve their general English and legal English communications skills.

The innovative program, developed in collaboration with BU’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP), will be available through two tracks: (1) a two-year LL.M. track, for international LL.M. candidates whose admission to a BU Law LL.M. program is conditioned on their completing the one-year LECP; and (2) a “certificate-only” track, open to foreign professionals – including non-lawyers – who seek only a legal English training credential, with no plans to pursue LL.M. studies.

robert volk connie browne teach legal writing
Professor Robert Volk, pictured here teaching legal writing with Prof. Connie Browne, helped devleop LECP's curriculum and will oversee the instructors.

“Our new Legal English Certificate Program underscores BU Law’s leadership in Legal English, as well as the School’s commitment to preparing foreign lawyers for success in LL.M. studies,” says John Riccardi, BU Law’s assistant dean for graduate and international programs.

“For over a decade, foreign lawyers have benefitted from BU’s summer programs in Legal English,” says Ian C. Pilarczyk, the director of BU Law’s Executive LL.M. in International Business Law Program and the inaugural director of LECP. “Developing a certificate program that leads to graduate law studies was a natural outgrowth of our experience in the field and will make a substantiveaddition to our portfolio of legal English offerings.”

Jointly developed by CELOP and BU Law, the LECP curriculum is designed to provide intensive instruction in English communication and legal English, as well as graduated, foundational exposure to American legal culture, doctrinal concepts, persuasive advocacy and academic success skills, with a particular focus on U.S. legal studies.

BU Law Associate Professor Robert Volk – who has taught Legal English with CELOP colleagues at Boston University’s Summer Legal Institute in London and at Chuo Law School in Tokyo, Japan, for many years – helped develop the academic content and structure of LECP and will oversee the law school’s instructors.

“Students who enroll in the LECP certificate track or Two-Year LL.M. track will receive intensive instruction in both writing and speaking English,” says Volk, who also worked with CELOP in the development of PLEAD, a Legal English collaboration with the Cambridge University and TransLegal, the world’s leading provider of Legal English resources. “This will enable them to succeed in any of our rigorous LL.M. programs, as well as in their legal careers.”

BU Law has a long-standing tradition of developing coursework and materials aimed at improving the Legal English skills of foreign-trained lawyers. In addition to the new LECP and Two-Year LL.M. programs, the Summer Legal Institute in London and PLEAD, Boston University’s current portfolio of Legal English programs includes two Boston-based summer Legal English programs at CELOP, and several Extended LL.M. enrollment options for our traditional, residential LL.M. programs.

BU Law will begin accepting applications for the LECP program (and Two-Year LL.M. track) in December 2013. To receive further information on the application process, please email the LL.M. admissions office at bullm@bu.edu.

Reported October 28, 2013

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