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Legal Studies

Learn about common law, refine your English skills, and visit the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals!!!

The Summer English Language Studies program currently offers three courses in the Legal Studies strand:

Legal English: Introduction to the American Legal System (3 units, 6 weeks)

This course offers an introduction to the foundations of the American legal system, and an opportunity for intensive English practice. Students will become familiar with the federal and state court systems, judge and jury trials, the case law method, and selected areas of law based on student interest (e.g., contracts, constitutional law, criminal law, torts). Students will also practice new vocabulary and idioms; read and analyze judges’ decisions; organize, write and edit legal arguments; give oral presentations; and participate in formal and informal discussions and role-plays. Suitable for intermediate through advanced ESL students, this course is of special interest to business and legal professionals and students, including LL.M. students who wish to prepare for the fall semester at U.S. law schools.

Legal Writing (3 units, 6 weeks)

In this course, international lawyers and law students will improve their ability to write effectively in English while engaging in an overview of the American legal system, instruction on how to read legal cases, and strategies for legal writing, research and analysis. The course focuses on writing and reading comprehension, at same level you would expect from a first-year legal writing course. Suitable for intermediate through advanced ESL students, this course is of special interest to business and legal professionals and students, including LL.M. students who wish to prepare for the fall semester at U.S. law schools.

Conflict Resolution Communication Skills (3 units, 6 weeks)

This course is an introduction to conflict resolution for intermediate-advanced level ESL students. It includes interactive mediation role–plays requiring students to develop a complex set of English skills (grammatical accuracy; speaking and listening; pronunciation; and new vocabulary and idioms) and sociolinguistic skills (body language, formality, and tone). Course includes a fieldwork component to help students improve problem-solving and communication skills.

Exciting Fieldwork Component 

These courses also includes a fieldwork component in which students attend a court hearing or trial.  Possible trips: visit to the former prison island Alcatraz, the Supreme Court of California, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Oftentimes, students have the opportunity to meet judges and ask questions about topics like capital punishment and more.

Students who can Benefit from these Courses

Undergraduate and graduate law students from other countries, legal professionals from other countries; LL.M. students admitted to schools such as UCB, Stanford, Columbia, etc.; business professionals interested in U.S. law.

In the Works

Starting in 2019, we will be offering a one-unit add-on class: Oral Communication for Legal English