Summer Legal English Institute at Washington College of Law

September 12, 2011

June 27 - July 14, 2011
Register for 1, 2, or 3 weeks

The Summer Legal English Institute (SLEI) at the Washington College of Law is designed to introduce foreign practitioners, law students, and interested or incoming LL.M. students to legal English concepts. Through daily lectures, written assignments, in-class exercises, contract negotiations and a mock arbitration, participants whose native language is not English will practice a wide array of legal English skills ranging from legal reading and writing strategies to oral presentation of substantive legal issues in American contract law.

Sessions will meet from 9:00am-3:00pm four days a week. There will be breaks in the morning and for lunch. Participants are expected to take part in class exercises and complete homework assignments. Small class size and student-teacher meetings ensure individual attention.

Participants in the Summer Legal English Institute will receive a Certificate of Attendance upon successful completion of the program.

Program Outline
Participants can register for week 1, weeks 1 and 2, or weeks 1, 2, or 3 of the program. Week 1 covers the basics of the US legal system and US contract law. Week 2 focuses on contract drafting and negotiation. During week 3, participants argue in a mock arbitration

Listening and Speaking
With the aim of preparing participants for real world situations such as client meetings, conference calls, and negotiations, the SLEI program incorporates exercises that focus on listening and speaking skills. Participants will give presentations, negotiate contract provisions, and argue in a mock arbitration.

Legal Writing
Writing exercises will focus on clear and accurate expression, effective legal style, and organization. Participants will write short legal summaries, business letters, draft contract provisions, and prepare arguments for arbitration.

Mock Arbitration
During the last week of the program, participants will argue in a mock arbitration. The mock arbitration will combine all of the skills practiced during the first two weeks of the course.

Beyond the classroom
In an effort to give students ample opportunity to practice English in social as well as academic settings, the staff of the summer institute has planned a number of social gatherings and outings including baseball and soccer games, museum visits, tours of DC and DC courts, and receptions.

SLEI offers on campus housing. More information about housing and general accommodations

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Director, Catherine Schenker at (202) 274-4314 or

Participants must be practicing lawyers or law students; however, we do not require the TOEFL.


For further details, please visit:


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