The program focuses on meeting the needs of global transactional lawyers: specifically, how to structure, draft, negotiate and analyze the critical provisions common to a range of agreements that global lawyers encounter. These include global joint venture, concession and project finance agreements; sales, distribution and franchise agreements; letters of intent for mergers and acquisitions; and technology licensing agreements.
Students will develop proficiencies to work with such essential specific contract provisions as choice of law; dispute resolution; confidentiality; force majeure; licensing; technology transfer; warranties; remedies; risk transfer; commercial terms; E-commerce; and termination provisions.
Throughout the program, participants will receive intensive instruction and support in both writing and speaking English, with an emphasis on using English in the context of specific business transactions. Participants will also learn to draft a range of non-contract legal communications in English, including demand letters, letters of intent, client opinion letters and explanations of the law, and will engage in interactive in-class exercises to develop their oral communication and negotiation skills and expand their use of legal vocabulary.
Emphasis will be placed on the important differences between international and domestic agreements from the perspective of the U.S. and other common law countries. Typical problems that arise in a range of transactions will be analyzed and cross-cultural aspects of international business negotiations will be addressed.
The program features a unique “integrated” approach to teach the language and legal skills that are essential to handle business agreements in English. Communication and writing sessions build upon, reinforce and give practical application to the substantive study of international business transactions, which takes place through lecture and case-study. Assignments, in-class exercises and simulations give “real-world” meaning to the prevailing doctrines that govern cross-border deals and give students hands-on training in the skills needed to effectively handle cross-border matters. Each participant will also receive individualized, one-on-one training from experienced law professors, who will critique and evaluate their written work. Instructors with experience in legal English will coach students in their speaking and presentation skills. A typical day includes three integrated sessions, for a total classroom time of approximately 5 hours each day.
At the end of the program, participants will have developed the practical skills needed to:
- Communicate more effectively in Legal English, both in writing and orally
- Engage meaningfully with U.S. and other common law lawyers in an international context
- Identify critical legal issues in a range of business agreements
- Analyze and critique contractual provisions offered by opposing parties
- Draft provisions and clauses in English to protect client interests
- Assess and protect against political, economic and legal risks in cross-border transactions
- Pursue negotiation strategies and techniques to secure favorable outcomes, with particular application to cross-cultural settings
The Summer Legal Institute is open to graduates of law faculties outside the United States and to advanced, non-U.S. law students who are about to complete their law studies in their home countries. Advanced graduate-level business students and business professionals who work with lawyers also benefit from enrolling the the program. The program's content is ideally suited for current - and future -global professionals who:
- Need to improve their English communication skills in order to be able to work effectively with lawyers throughout the world
- Want substantive training in important aspects of cross-border business agreements
- Require hands-on experience in structuring and drafting transnational business agreements in English with clarity and precision
- Desire to establish positive negotiation and problem solving skills for global transactions
- Need to reduce risk and protect clients’ interests in business transactions
- Anticipate pursuing an LL.M. degree in a U.S. school, whether at BU Law or elsewhere.
|John Riccardi, the Director of the Summer Legal Institute, meets with SLI participant Hiroaki Takagi and his wife, Misaki Takagi.|