Legal English Certificate
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LAW LE 650: U.S. Legal Discourse
This course will assist students in developing the communication skills necessary to succeed in BU Law's LLM programs and international legal practice. Students in the course will acquire effective reading strategies, enhance vocabulary skills, practice listening, write persuasively using appropriate grammar and revise work based on instructor feedback, and develop oral fluency and accuracy and hone pronunciation. Students will work on expanding general skills using course materials that cover many topics including current policy and legal issues in the U.S., the American legal system, and how history and social issues have shaped the American legal system. Students will also be challenged to think critically, a key skill for future law students and lawyers.
LAW LE 651: Academic Skills for U.S. Law Studies
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.
LAW LE 652: Introduction to U.S. Legal Culture
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 cases, articles, fiction, excerpts, etc) that will be supplemented by field trips to state and federal courts and other relevant venues.
LAW LE 653: Legal Reasoning and Analysis
This course will assist students in developing legal reasoning and analysis skills necessary to succeed in BU Law's LL.M. programs. Students will learn how language works in legal decisions; how to read and interpret those judicial decisions and apply them to complex hypotheticals using analogical and rule-based reasoning. Through this process students will develop academic and legal vocabulary, conversation and presentation skills, and strengthen reading comprehension. Students will also build skills for taking notes and writing summaries of readings and lectures, writing clearly, making arguments, and using appropriate word choice, grammar, style and format for American law school assignments.
LAW LE 654: Legal Writing
In this course students practice the basic principles of good legal writing by: 1) practicing reading and briefing cases; 2) understanding how to derive rules of law from common law cases and to be able to apply legal precedent to new factual scenarios; 3) developing an understanding of basic mechanics of legal citations and how to use citations to support legal propositions; 4) learning the "IRAC" structure that is employed for legal writing including fact patterns on law exams, memoranda and client correspondence; 5) understanding the various forms of legal correspondence and to develop proficiency drafting client correspondence.
LAW LE 655: Persuasive Legal Advocacy
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. This course 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.
LAW LE 656: Topics in American Law
This course introduces students to foundational legal topics in order to develop the ability to analyze case law, participate actively in class and group discussions, and to synthesize legal principles in a common law approach. Topics include contracts law, property and intellectual property law, civil procedure, and other commercial and constitutional issues.
LAW LE 661: International Contracts and Negotiations
English is predominantly the language of international legal practice and its importance to lawyers cannot be over-emphasized. The way in which one uses legal English can therefore be crucial to professional success. This course provides students with the opportunity to build on language skills in the professional context through realistic legal scenarios and materials prepared by qualified lawyers. After completing this class, students will feel more confident in their ability to negotiate and draft formal international business agreements in English. They will also gain a working knowledge of 'real-life' business law and practice - all in the context of improving one's ability to use legal business English.