Legal English Certificate Program

The Legal English Certificate Program (LECP) is a two-semester, 25-credit, full-time residential program experience primarily designed for international professionals—lawyers and non-lawyers alike—who need to improve their general English proficiency and legal English communication skills. The program is only open for enrollment in the fall semester for full-time residential students.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Demonstrate improvement in their English language abilities across listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
  • Demonstrate improvement in their knowledge of legal English, including an understanding of legal vocabulary and concepts and their appropriate usage.
  • Be able to formulate, structure, and clearly communicate legal arguments made in English.
  • Demonstrate a foundational knowledge of common law principles that underpin the US legal system, as well as the history and background of the development of the US legal system.
  • Be able to use legal precedent to synthesize and articulate rules of law.
  • Apply skills useful for legal studies, including case briefing, issue spotting, effective note taking, and study and time management skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to participate in the American law school classroom environment through asking questions, orally presenting legal concepts and arguments, and responding to the Socratic method of teaching.
  • Demonstrate a deepened familiarity with and understanding of the various forms of assessment and assignments commonly used in law schools, including fact patterns, multiple-choice exams, client memos, research and writing assignments, and argument papers.

For international professionals interested in LLM studies at the School of Law, the LECP serves as the first year of BU Law’s Two-Year LLM Program, allowing them to improve their English skills prior to commencing full-time law studies. Students admitted into the Two-Year LLM Program attend LECP during their initial fall and spring semesters; they then attend BU Law’s six-week Pre-LLM summer program, and, upon completing these requirements, join the LLM program into which they have been admitted.

International students who do not intend to pursue LLM studies may enroll in the two-semester Legal English Certificate Program only.