LL.M. Programs

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Curriculum for the Legal English Certificate Program

The curriculum consists of 25 credits of course work, jointly offered by CELOP and BU Law, resulting in the Legal English Certificate. There are no electives in this program; all courses are required. For the complete program rules and requirements, please see the Academic Regulations.

The Two-Year LL.M. Track

This track is designed to provide students with the tools they need to success in one of BU Law's LL.M. programs. The curriculum is as follows:

Fall Semester

  • Legal English I (CELOP course, 7 credits)
  • Academic Skills for Successful Graduate Studies (CELOP course, 3 credits)
  • Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture (Law course, 2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • Legal English II (CELOP course, 7 credits)
  • Legal Writing (Law course, 2 credits)
  • Persuasive Advocacy (Law course, 2 credits)
  • Topics in American Law (Law course, 1 credit)
  • Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies (Law course, 1 credit)

Summer Semester

  • Three week pre-course: Speaking and Listening for Legal English Students (CELOP course, no credits) *
  • Six week Pre-LL.M. Program: Legal English for LL.M. Students (CELOP course, no credits)

* if required based on student assessments

The Certificate-Only Track

This track is designed for students, including those without legal backgrounds, who are not seeking admission into a BU LL.M. program. The curriculum is similar to the 2 Year LL.M. track, except that there is no summer Pre-LL.M. Program, and Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies is replaced with an Independent Study.

Fall Semester

  • Legal English I (CELOP course, 7 credits)
  • Academic Skills for Successful Graduate Studies (CELOP course, 3 credits)
  • Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture (Law course, 2 credits)

Spring Semester

  • Legal English II (CELOP course, 7 credits)
  • Legal Writing (Law course, 2 credits)
  • Persuasive Advocacy (Law course, 2 credits)
  • Topics in American Law (Law course, 1 credit)
  • Independent Study (Law course, 1 credit)

Course Descriptions

Fall Semester Courses

Legal English I: This course will assist students in developing the English language communication skills necessary to succeed in BU Law’s LL.M. 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   Legal English I (LE I) will be offered 15 hours per week, for 7 credits, and offered by CELOP.

Academic Listening and Speaking for Successful Graduate Studies: As a complement to Legal English 1, this course will cover basic academic listening and speaking skills and strategies needed to succeed in an English-language graduate 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 the graduate level, including interacting with classmates and professors, participating in class discussions, and giving effective oral presentations. Academic Skills is offered 5 hours per week, for 3 credits, by CELOP.

Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture: 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. This course is offered 3 hours per week, for 2 credits, by LAW.

 

Spring Semester Courses

Legal English II: 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 English II (LE I) will be offered 15 hours per week, for 7 credits, and offered by CELOP.

Legal Writing: 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. This course is offered 2 hours per week and awards 2 credits, offered by LAW.

Persuasive Advocacy: Designed as a complement to theLegal 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. Offered by LAW, it will meet for 2 hours per week and award 2 credits.

Topics in American Law: This module engages students around current legal topics, as presented by BU faculty and alumni practitioners, to further develop their listening and writing skills. Every other week a speaker will cover a legal topic, to which students will write a reaction paper on which they will receive substantive feedback. This LAW course meets for approximately 2 hours per week, and will award 1 credit.

Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies: Offered as part of the Track One (2 Year LL.M.) program, 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. Constructive feedback will be provided on every assessment. Offered by LAW for 2 hours every other week, this will award 1 credit.

Independent Study: Offered as part of the Certificate-only curriculum in place of the Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies, this LAW course will provide students with guided independent study based on papers that analyze legal topics, from a comparative perspective, between U.S. law and that of the student's home country. Taught by the Director of the LECP, this course will award 1 credit.

For further information, please contact us at bullm@bu.edu.