LL.M. Programs

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Meet the Faculty

Instructors in the LECP consist of regular BU Law and CELOP teaching faculty. BU Law's faculty has been ranked the top teaching faculty in America by The Leiter Report on Law School Rankings and by The Princeton Review. CELOP faculty members include award-winning instructors who are among the most experienced English language instructors in the Northeast. Together, they provide a rigorous and immersive program that provides students with the ability to improve their English skills and prepares them to succeed in U.S. graduate legal studies.


Maria Tomeho-Palermino, Senior Lecturer, CELOP

Maria Tomeho-Palermino is a Senior Lecturer at CELOP, where she has been involved in designing and teaching in executive programs for the professional schools at Boston University for many years.  She presently coordinates the Legal English faculty in the Legal English Certificate Program, and she manages and teaches in the Summer Legal English Program for pre-LLM students.  Moreover, Ms. Tomeho-Palermino has taught in and coordinated English programs for junior and senior level managers for the business school in Asia and has trained International Teaching Fellows for the graduate school of arts and sciences.  She specializes in professional program design, executive communication skills, and interactive online business and legal resources and other technology to enhance learning in the face-to-face classroom.

Lynn Bonesteel, Senior Lecturer, CELOP

Lynn Bonesteel is currently a senior lecturer in English as a Second Language at the Center for English Language and Orientation Programs at Boston University, where she teaches Legal English to both pre-LLM candidates and legal practitioners. She has extensive experience as a teacher in higher education and as a writer of ESL textbooks and teachers' manuals. Ms. Bonesteel has also written materials for the Program for Legal English Academic Development (PLEAD), an online academic program designed to help university law faculties and language schools throughout the world offer Legal English training to lawyers and law students.

Carol Pineiro, Senior Lecturer, CELOP

Carol Piñeiro received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Temple University in Philadelphia and then worked at a language academy in Madrid, discovering a preference for teaching adults. After earning an R.S.A. Certificate in TEFL from the British Council, she went on to teach in Germany, Argentina, and Spain. While she enjoyed living abroad, she decided to return to the U.S. to obtain a master’s degree in TESOL at Boston University. She began working at CELOP and has been a senior lecturer for over 30 years. She continued studying and eventually received a doctorate in Educational Media and Technology from Boston University. Dr. Piñeiro has been active in professional organizations, serving as president of MATSOL and Interest Section Chair in TESOL. She has given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. In the past decade, she served as director of the English Department at the Instituto Internacional de España in Madrid, and faculty member in the English Department at Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile, as a Fulbright Scholar. She has written many articles for newsletters, contributed to scholarly publications, and authored several workbooks, teachers’ manuals, and web-based materials for ESL publishers. She speaks fluent Spanish and a few other European languages; her current linguistic endeavor is Kiswahili.

Joe Pettigrew, Senior Lecturer, CELOP

Joseph Pettigrew has been a senior lecturer at CELOP for over twenty-five years. He has taught all skills at virtually all levels. For the past five summers, he has been teaching in the English for LL.M. students program, and he has taught the American Legal System elective in CELOP’s regular program several times. He has presented at conferences on teaching vocabulary, using novels to develop reading skills, using technology in language instruction, and using video in the classroom. He has also worked as an English assessment specialist with Boston Language Consultants in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Joe has a B.A. in French from Ohio University, an M.A. in Linguistics from Ohio State University, and a M.Ed. in TESL from Boston University.

Cynthia Flamm, Senior Lecturer, CELOP

Cynthia Flamm has taught English to international students both domestically and internationally for 35 years. A Senior Lecturer at CELOP for the past 29 years, she has taught all levels but has concentrated in English for International Business, English for Academic Purposes, and Legal English. Cynthia has taught in the summer Pre-LLM Program or the Legal English for Practitioners Program since 2000.  She also developed and teaches the CELOP American Legal System elective. In addition, Cynthia was one of the writers involved in PLEAD, the online Legal English materials collaboration among Translegal, BUSL, CELOP, and Cambridge University Press. Cynthia received a B.S. degree in French and Linguistics from Georgetown University and an M.A.T. in French and ESOL from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. She has lived and studied in France and Germany and taught in Mexico, Tajikistan, Japan, and Argentina. Her interests include languages, travel, and intercultural communications. She has presented on intercultural communications and legal education for international lawyers at conferences of both the American and Canadian Law Libraries Associations, TESOL, and the Global Legal Skills Conference.

Amelia Onorato, Senior LEcturer, CELOP

Amelia Onorato majored in French and European History as an undergraduate, and she later earned Master’s degrees in TESOL and French Education at University of Albany-SUNY. She has worked in New York, Spain, and Massachusetts, teaching English in a variety of settings including refugee resettlement, international business, and higher education. Since moving to Boston, her teaching has focused on helping students transition successfully to college. In addition to designing and coordinating a successful peer advising and tutoring program at the College of Public and Community Service at UMass-Boston, Amelia taught undergraduate courses in writing, rhetoric, and served on an interdisciplinary team of writing portfolio evaluators.  Since joining the faculty at Boston University CELOP, she has used a content-based instruction approach to adapt undergraduate course materials to meet the needs of international students who are preparing for college study in the U.S. She has taught core and elective classes at all proficiency levels at CELOP, and she has also taught in special programs such as the KAUST Foundation Year and Madrid Program for Educators.

As an experienced educator, Amelia has shared her expertise by supervising field observers from Boston University’s TESOL program and conducting teacher- training workshops for the Boston Public Schools and Adult Literacy Resource Institute (ALRI).  She has given numerous presentations at the TESOL convention and other conferences, and she recently completed two terms on the Board of Directors of WE LEARN, an international organization that promotes women’s literacy and empowerment.  In 2005, the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education selected her as “Outstanding Adult Education Teacher”.

Christine Durkin, Lecturer in Legal Writing, BU Law

Since 1997, Christine Durkin has taught Legal Writing to both J.D. and LL.M. students at Boston University School of Law. She also has been an instructor in the Legal English course at CELOP since 2007. Christine previously taught legal writing and appellate practice courses at Northeastern University School of Law and New England School of Law. With a background in Family Law, she practiced at Greater Boston Legal Services from 1999-2005 and coordinated the Legal Program at Casa Myrna Vasquez, inc. between 1995-1999. She currently has her own practice specializing in child welfare appeals. Christine earned her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 1991 and her B.A. from Connecticut College in 1988.

Ian C. Pilarczyk, Director, Executive LL.M. Program in International Business Law; Director, Legal English Certificate Program

Ian C. Pilarczyk is the founding director of the Executive LL.M. in International Business Law as well as the LECP. Prior to rejoining the BU Law community in 2009, he served as founding associate director of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's LL.M. in International Law. He was a Sessional Lecturer at McGill's law school from 1998-2003, teaching Canadian Legal History and Children and the Law, as well as a seminar he created on comparative nineteenth-century family law. Since 2007, Dr. Pilarczyk has taught an undergraduate course at Tufts University, Famous Trials in U.S. History, and teaches Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture in the LECP. He also teaches Introduction to American Law and Introduction to ADR mini-courses in Law's special programs. He holds B.A., LL.M and Doctor of Civil Law degrees from McGill University, and a J.D., cum laude, from Boston University School of Law. For a more detailed biography, visit www.bu.edu/law/prospective/llm/intlbuslaw/faculty.shtml.

Donna Palermino, Lecturer in Legal Writing, BU Law

Donna Palermino is a seasoned litigator and long-time adjunct professor at Suffolk Law School and CELOP. Her teaching experience includes designing and teaching Legal English for Practitioners for CELOP, Consumer Protection Law at Suffolk Law School, Civil Liberties at Suffolk College of Arts and Sciences, and Antitrust Law and Legal Writing and Analysis at Northeastern School of Law. A thirteen-year veteran of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, she has litigated in both state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and worked at the National Association of Attorneys General as a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow. She served on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts American Civil Liberties Union and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Boston Chapter of the American Constitution Society, and the Steering Committee for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Boston Bar Association.

Hillary Steinbrook, Lecturer in Legal Writing, BU Law

Hillary Steinbrook graduated from Harvard Law School after attending Harvard College. Passionate about helping students achieve their goals, she has served as a Pre-Law Tutor at Harvard for five years and also spent a year advising pre-law undergraduates at Wellesley College. Hillary has extensive experience helping young adult and adult learners approach challenging writing assignments with confidence as an adjunct faculty member at Northeastern University, New England School of Law, Babson College, Salem State University, Bunker Hill Community College, and Boston University. Licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, Hillary teaches Legal Writing in the LLM Program at Boston University School of Law as well as Academic Skills for U.S. Legal Studies in the LECP.

Robert Volk, Director, Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program; Associate Professor of Legal Writing

Professor Robert Volk received his B.A. from Lake Forest College and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, cum laude, where he was a member of the Law Review. Professor Volk has been director of the First Year Writing Program at Boston University since 1982 and has taught numerous writing courses, including the First Year Writing Program and the Advanced Writing and Editing Workshop. He also teaches Legal Writing at Boston University's Summer Legal Institute in London as well as Legal English at Chuo University Law School in Tokyo. In addition, he has taught a seminar dealing with the legal rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens since the late 1980's. Professor Volk is a member of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. For a more detailed biography, visit www.bu.edu/law/faculty/profiles/bios/full-time/volk_r.html.

For further information, please contact us at lecp@bu.edu. Thank you for your interest in BU Law's Legal English Certificate Program!