5 More U.S. Summer Law Programs For Incoming LL.M. Students

Studying for an LL.M. degree in the U.S. can be intimidating, especially for foreign attorneys who have had little exposure to the American legal system. Fortunately, there are a number of U.S. law schools that provide immersive summer programs designed to introduce incoming foreign LL.M. students to the U.S. legal system and help them prepare for their American legal studies.

Last month, we wrote about ten law schools that offered summer programs to help incoming international LL.M. students acclimate to the U.S. legal system. Here are five more exciting summer programs that were submitted to us in response to the article.


1 | Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Case Western Reserve University School of Law Summer Language and Law Institute is a long-standing summer program designed specifically for foreign educated lawyers.  

About 50 students enroll in the program every year.  Although most students will start their LL.M. studies at Case Western Law in the fall semester, the program is open to foreign students planning to study elsewhere.

The Summer Language and Law Institute emphasizes the reading, analysis, research and writing skills students need to participate in the legal profession. The Institute broadens and refines English communication skills, while introducing students to the principles of American common law.  Students will practice conversation and comprehension skills while gaining a better understanding of American law school classroom dynamics, such as the Socratic method. 

Students also have opportunities to explore Cleveland and the surrounding area.  Typical weekend trips include visits to Cleveland Indian games, Niagara Falls, and Cedar Point Amusement Park. 


2 | St. John’s University School of Law

At St. John’s University School of Law, international LL.M. students begin their U.S. legal education before orientation even begins.  

During the four weeks prior to LL.M. orientation in August, students may register for English for American Law School and American Legal History, two courses that improve legal English skills, provide important context to the U.S. legal system and integrate new students into the St. John’s Law community.

“Our summer program courses are designed by lawyers who are language experts to provide students with the legal context and language support necessary to ensure their success in their LL.M. programs, ” Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies, Sarah Jean Kelly, said. 

English for American Law School strengthens students’ spoken and written legal English while introducing them to statutes and judicial opinions from torts, contracts, and civil procedure. American Legal History introduces students to the primary documents, statutes, cases, and speeches that shaped American law and history.

American J.D. students serve as teaching assistants in both courses, complementing the work of the professors and serving as mentors to the international student participants.


3 | Duke University School of Law

Adapting to life at a U.S. law school can be difficult for international students and scholars, especially since the study of law is so language-intensive. Even for native speakers of English, U.S. law school can feel like a foreign world, with its own culture, vernacular and rules.

Duke Law School’s Summer Institute on Law, Language & Culture introduces incoming LLMs to common law doctrines, legal writing, legal English, the U.S. legal system, and the law school experience. 

The four-week intensive course, which is open to students from any institution, is designed to increase proficiency in reading and listening English, develop confidence and skill in speaking and writing, and facilitate personal adjustment to the culture of U.S. legal education.

Through both lectures and practice, students learn important skills such as briefing a case, structuring a legal argument and learning how to use proper citation. Students will also visit courtrooms, interview lawyers and judges, and experience U.S. law school culture. 

The course combines classroom learning with experiential and tutorial methods to maximize each individual’s growth. Small class sizes and individual attention from the instructors give students a concentrated and tailored teaching experience. Because of its size, the Institute provides an excellent opportunity for students to get know each other well, build long-lasting friendships, and expand their professional networks.

After the summer, students receive continued support in the form of small-group tutorial sessions and individual meetings, allowing them to continue to work on grammar, spoken English, and other skills necessary to succeed with course work, research papers, and exams. 


4 | USC Gould School of Law

For incoming LL.M. students that want a taste of America’s West Coast culture, the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, located in the dynamic and cultural environment of sunny Los Angeles, is a great place to start.

USC Gould's Summer Law and English (SLE) is a four-week intensive program uniquely designed for international lawyers, corporate legal counsel, business professionals, government officials, and law students interested in strengthening their English speaking and writing proficiency while building a foundation for future legal studies in the United States. 

The summer law program is beneficial to those who are in the process of earning their LLB degrees or for those who would like to prepare for their LLM Programs. But the program is also open to anyone else interested in the U.S. legal system.

The benefits of the program are plentiful. Students build a foundation of basic U.S. law in classes taught by USC Gould instructors. Students also learn specialized legal vocabulary, and improve English fluency through discussions of current legal topics and cases. Coursework includes legal brief and memo writing.

The SLE program provides ample opportunities for students to engage in a collaborative problem solving exercises, small group projects and special outings. In addition, the USC Gould is a great place to network with legal and business professionals from around the globe.


5 | Boston College Law School

Boston College of Law’s Foundations of U.S. Law and Practice  is a three-week summer program designed with the international LL.M. student in mind. 

The summer program offers international law students, legal educators and legal professionals an introduction to the study and practice of law in the U.S. as well as opportunities to improve their English skills. Students will read and analyze U.S. legal materials, discussing, presenting and writing in English under the direction of Boston College Law faculty.

The program is limited to 30 participants, presenting a unique opportunity to work closely with law professors in a personalized small-group setting.

The Foundations curriculum includes daily intensive small group sessions with law school faculty on legal reasoning and communication. There are also interactive sessions, workshops and simulations including a full-day trial practice workshop led by a judge and prosecutor. 

In addition to coursework, participants will have several opportunities to visit courts and law offices, interact with judges and practicing lawyers and take advantage of Boston’s cultural offerings such as the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  


Here are 10 more summer programs for incoming LL.M. students. 


Does your law school offer a summer program for incoming LL.M. students that we missed? If so, send an email to Tyler@Cypressmagazines.com with information about the program.