English For Legal Studies

Program Description - English for Legal Studies

The English for Legal Studies (ELS) program is a six-and-a-half-week intensive experience for students who have been accepted to a competitive US LLM or JD program beginning in the Fall. The primary focus is on Legal English and the academic skills needed to succeed in a rigorous law school program. Participants become familiar with the American legal system and law school culture in order to prepare them for transition into law school in the fall. Participants also gain a wider understanding of the US university system, professor expectations, and student responsibilities.

Classes meet approximately twenty hours per week, Monday through Friday. In addition to their legal English classes, ELS students attend more general English for Academic Purposes courses in the ELI EAP program along with graduate students from other U-M schools.

Attendance at all class sessions, active participation in all classroom activities, and the completion of all individual and team homework assignments is mandatory. Small class size and student-teacher conferences provide participants with extensive individual attention. A certificate is awarded to participants who fulfill all program requirements.

What You Will Experience

The program provides training in the skills you will need to succeed in law school. Classes are grounded in legal and academic texts. Activities include:

  • Legal writing assignments designed to help understand the characteristics of legal writing
  • Research assignments on legal issues which require database searches and the analysis of cases and scholarly articles
  • Collaborative group projects
  • Pair, small-group, and seminar-style speaking activities on a range of academic and legal topics
  • Lecture comprehension and note-taking practice in recorded and live situations
  • Meetings with US lawyers and visits to local legal institutions
  • Required participation in weekly informal Conversation Circles

What You Will Accomplish

Participating in the ELS program will help you become more confident using English in academic and legal contexts. Specifically, you will:

  • Improve your spoken and written English
  • Recognize the language of legal writing and case readings
  • Become familiar with legal text types
  • Learn how to write more effective legal summaries
  • Practice writing using various organizational patterns
  • Become familiar with language and content typical in an LLM or JD program
  • Learn how to read a large volume of legal texts more efficiently
  • Develop strategies to establish yourself as a member of the legal discourse community
  • Become more familiar with the US law school environment
  • Gain an understanding of the US legal system
  • Make friends and begin to build social and professional networks

Who Provides the Instruction

Instruction in the ELS program is provided by members of the English Language Institute’s distinguished faculty as well as practicing lawyers and other outstanding instructors from U-M and other institutions. All have advanced credentials and extensive experience teaching Legal English or English for Academic Purposes.

Language and Culture Beyond the Curriculum

The ELS program is committed to helping participants expand their use of English in social settings, so a variety of social events are included in the summer schedule. Weekly informal Conversation Circles help participants build fluency and practice using English in informal settings. Participants in the ELS program are considered enrolled in the University and have access to U-M libraries and computing centers. Access to sports and fitness facilities is also available for a small fee.

Preparing for Law School

This intensive summer program provides language training for students who have been accepted into a competitive US law school for the fall term. It provides rigorous training in communicative speaking skills, academic legal writing, research writing, and dealing with the large volume of reading demanded in any law school program. Participants will also learn about the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor, begin to build an academic and professional network, and start practicing the study skills they need to get the most out of the law school experience.

Program Details

Program dates: July 1 – August 14, 2015
Application deadline: May 15, 2015
Tuition deadline: June 1, 2015

The application/registration process for ELI’s 2015 Summer Programs is now open.
Click HERE to apply.

NOTE: A deposit of $500.00 must be received before your application can be processed.  Full tuition must be received by the tuition deadline (see above).

Click here for additional important information about summer program costs.
Please email us if you have more questions: summerprograms@umich.edu.