Center for Law, Language & Cognition

Legal Language Institute

Essential Skills in a Globalized World
Brooklyn Law School’s Legal Language Institute was established in recognition that the globalized legal community conducts business in many languages and requires an understanding of different legal cultures. The Institute’s educational programs presents opportunities for lawyers and students from abroad to sharpen their mastery of the language of American legal discourse. It also gives students the opportunity to study the legal culture and language of other countries.

The Institute launched its educational activities with an intensive Legal English program, offered each July (see below). The Institute is now expanding its activities to include courses for U.S. and foreign lawyers in the legal terminology and concepts of other legal languages, including German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese. These courses will be open to BLS students and to members of the legal and business communities who are interested in honing their skills in the language and law of other legal cultures.

The Institute – part of the renowned Center for Law, Language and Cognition – will also hold conferences in partnership with language and law centers from abroad, establishing it as a world leader in addressing multilingual legal issues. 

July Intensive Legal English Program
Responding to the educational needs and demands of the many applicants to LL.M. Programs for Foreign-Trained Lawyers who are interested in studying law in the United States, Brooklyn Law School is pleased to offer its summer course in legal English. Even those students with very high TOEFL scores would benefit from a dedicated immersion in legal English prior to the start of their U.S. law degree program. This intensive training in language in an intensive four-week course will give students an advantage in their U.S. legal studies.

Although we anticipate that most students will be foreign-trained lawyers enrolled in U.S. LL.M. programs that will begin in August, the course is open to all students and practitioners with adequate proficiency in English who want to improve their skills in legal English.

Program Dates
Four-Week Session:
July 6-July 31, 2015

For more information about our four-week intensive legal English course, please join us for our webinar. See details below. RSVP is required.

Brooklyn Law School’s Legal English Course Webinar

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
10:30-11:00AM EST

RSVP required

This webinar will discuss Brooklyn Law School’s four-week intensive legal English course. It will include:

  • An overview of Brooklyn Law School;
  • The specifics of the course and the topics covered;
  • The cost and how to apply; and
  • The benefit of completing the four-week course.

The webinar will last approximately 30 minutes followed by a chance to ask questions. You need only to have a computer and speakers in order to hear the webinar. Webinars are conducted remotely; therefore, you can participate from home, work, or anywhere in the world where you can access a computer with speakers. You will be emailed login information a few days prior to the webinar.

  • Admission to the four-week intensive legal language course is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Applicant Requirements:

    1. Must be at least 18 years old.
    2. Must be a current law student or law graduate.
    3. Must be able to read and correctly pronounce basic words in English.

    To apply, please submit your information here.

  • All applicants interested in the four-week course should have sufficient funds to pay the program tuition and all living expenses. Tuition is $3,475 for the four-week course.

    In determining your living expenses for the course, you should consider all costs that you will incur related to housing, food, and transportation.

    When you complete the online application you must also submit a deposit of $250. Of this amount, $50 is a non-refundable application fee. The remaining $200 will be credited towards your tuition total. If the program is full or you are not able to get a visa (if one is required), the $200 will be refunded.

    The remaining tuition will be due June 20, 2015.

  • Participants will set individual goals at the beginning of the course and will be provided with an assessment of their progress at the conclusion. The primary subject areas are:

    • listening and speaking: telephone, negotiation, meeting and interview skills; client communication; formal and informal presentations;
    • legal writing: contract drafting; letters; legal summaries; predictive and persuasive writing; and,
    • reading skills and analysis: contract and statutory interpretation; legal vocabulary; the U.S. legal system; and areas of law.

    Professor Kenneth Raphael, who holds B.A., M.A., and J.D. degrees, will be the lead instructor. A BLS alumnus, Professor Raphael served as in-house counsel with several U.S.-based Fortune 500 companies before relocating in 2002 to Geneva, Switzerland, where he served as a professor with the International University in Geneva and the Moscow State University Faculty of Law. In Geneva he taught academic writing and Legal and Business English until 2013. Since moving back to New York he has taught at Columbia University’s American Language Program and at the Pace University English Language Institute. He is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor of Legal Writing with Brooklyn Law School. Professor Raphael has spoken about Legal English and legal matters at numerous seminars.

Shao-Chuan Lu '15

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