Boston U. unveils legal English program for foreign attorneys and professionals

Boston University School of Law has announced a new program designed to help foreign attorneys with their English skills. The Legal English Certificate Program will be a two-semester, 25-credit full-time program for international lawyers and professionals who seek to improve their general English and legal English communications skills.

The program, developed in collaboration with BU’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs, will be available through two tracks: a Two-Year LL.M. track, for international LL.M. candidates whose admission to a BU Law LL.M. program is conditioned on their completing the one-year LECP; and a “certificate only” track, open to foreign professionals—including non-lawyers — who seek only a legal English training credential, with no plans to pursue LL.M. studies.

“Our new Legal English Certificate Program underscores BU Law’s leadership in Legal English as well as the school’s commitment to preparing foreign lawyers for success in LL.M. studies,” said John Riccardi, BU Law’s assistant dean for graduate and international programs.

The program’s curriculum is designed to provide intensive instruction in English communication and Legal English, as well as graduated, foundational exposure to American legal culture, doctrinal concepts, persuasive advocacy and academic success skills, with a focus on U.S. legal studies.

“For over a decade, foreign lawyers have benefitted from BU’s summer programs in Legal English,” said Ian Pilarczyk, the director of BU Law’s Executive LL.M. in International Business Law Program and the inaugural director of LECP. “Developing a certificate program that leads to graduate law studies was a natural outgrowth of our experience in the field and will make a substantive addition to our portfolio of Legal English offerings.”

BU Law’s Associate Professor Robert Volk, who has taught Legal English with CELOP colleagues at Boston University’s Summer Legal Institute in London, and at Chuo Law School in Tokyo, Japan, for many years, helped develop the academic content and structure and will oversee the law school’s instructors.

“Students who enroll … will receive intensive instruction in both writing and speaking English,” says Volk. “This will enable them to succeed in any of our rigorous LL.M. programs, as well as in their legal careers.”