LEAF: Legal English and Foundations
Legal English and Foundations (LEAF) is a four-week intensive legal English program that improves international legal professionals' legal communication and academic skills, with an emphasis on the ability to read and understand terminology in cases and statutes and understand and engage in discussion of legal issues. Every course in the Legal English and Foundations Program is taught by Northwestern University School of Law professors, who are experienced teachers of legal substance and of learners for whom English is a second language.
Developed by Northwestern Law, the Legal English and Foundations curriculum is distinctive for its "reading and discussion" courses. These survey five first-year and two second-year law school courses that are considered most useful for international students about to begin an LLM or JD program. Specifically, the program begins with an introductory overview of the U.S. Legal System. Following the introduction, students are given short reading assignments through which they will learn about a variety of subjects such as: Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Torts, Contracts, Legal Ethics, and Corporations Law. Consistent with the program's emphasis on reading and speaking, class time is spent on both small and large group discussion, guided by the professor but with students encouraged and empowered to lead and provoke small-scale and classroom-wide legal debates.
The other major component of the curriculum is writing and rhetoric instruction. Featuring frequent short writing exercises about topical legal subjects, and written feedback, the writing and rhetoric course enables students to write about legal issues more accurately, concisely, grammatically, and persuasively, in the rhetorical modes appropriate to legal practice.
A required emphasis on vocabulary overlays both the writing and reading and discussion courses. Students are challenged to master essential legal terminology and a Word List developed by one of the Legal English and Foundations professor of the 475 advanced English words especially common in first-year legal academic reading materials.
Classes will be held on the Chicago Campus at the School of Law, taking full advantage of the amazing downtown lakefront location of the Law School’s Chicago campus. LEAF also includes a number of free trips guided by JD students, such as a Chicago River Boat Tour, Art Institute, Federal Reserve Bank, and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Dates: Monday, July 21, 2014 to Friday, August 15, 2014
Registration Website: LEAF Registration
Registration Details: The LEAF Program is full for the summer of 2014. If you are still interested in taking part in the program, you can register and we will put you on the waitlist. We will notify you if space becomes available.
The last day to withdraw from the program with a full tuition refund is April 30th. After April 30th, the program fee is non-refundable.
For more information or questions, please e-mail: International.Programs@law.northwestern.edu.