Legal English Institute

The Legal English Institute is open to all international Suffolk Master of Laws students to ensure they have the tools needed to transition successfully to LLM coursework.

NOTICE: Update for Summer 2020

Suffolk University Law School’s Legal English Institute Program (LEI) has been canceled for Summer 2020 due to the public health crisis.

This three-week intensive course is designed to introduce you to the US legal system while focusing on the specific language and academics skills you'll need to be successful at an American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school.

Suffolk Law is one of only a few law schools in the country offering a special language program exclusively for LLM students. The Institute is led by an experienced international business lawyer who is also a certified instructor in English for speakers of other languages.

The Legal English Institute runs five days a week for five hours a day, covering note-taking, grammar, writing, public speaking, legal vocabulary, and using US legal materials. It's also an invaluable way for you to meet other international LLM students and build your network before the start of classes.

Legal Language Institute

Classes meet Monday - Friday from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Students will also have class an additional 2 hours on four other days of the week. In total, students can expect to be in class at least 28 hours each week. In addition, there are three 2 hour classes with Suffolk Law reference librarians during the three week session.

The program will focus on i) developing the level of spoken and written English language skills needed to succeed in law school; ii) learning the basic concepts of the American legal and governmental systems; iii) learning the culture and expectations of the law school classroom.

Topics to be covered will include:

  • the U.S. governmental system
    • the branches of federal government and balance of power
    • state government
    • the relationship of federal and state governments and legal systems

  • the U.S. legal system
    • the common law (judge-made law)
    • statutory law
    • the relationship of the common law and statutory law

  • the role of the lawyer in the U.S. to act as a zealous advocate
  • reading and briefing cases
  • writing legal memoranda
  • doing legal research

Selected Quotes from the Legal English Institute Student Evaluations ~ August 2012

If an LLM student came to you and asked you for your advice in whether they should enroll in Suffolk's LEI program, what would you tell them?

  • Especially for those students who come from civil law systems, I would advise them that in order to get familiar and to be successful in the LL.M. program, it should certainly be done. ~ Cem from Turkey
  • I would tell them that it is the best decision they can do if they enroll in the Legal English Institute because it would help them in every aspect (writing, analyzing, and communicating) and it would give them useful tools for when they start the LL.M. ~ Vaneska from Venezuela
  • If I was dean at Suffolk Law School, I would make this program mandatory for every international LL.M. or J.D. student. ~ Mohammed from Saudi Arabia
  • That they should always be prepared to study a lot and that it's necessary to enroll in the Legal English Institute to have a better understanding of the U.S. legal system. The course is absolutely necessary for international students. ~ Manuel from Venezuela