Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, has begun offering a ground-breaking course in Legal English to help international legal practitioners develop the skills needed to conduct law-related business matters. The law school is the first top-tier U.S. law school to offer such a course in an online format, allowing legal practitioners to develop related skills without having to travel to the United States for an extended stay.

Legal English is recognized as the predominant language used around the world for conducting legal business matters. This legal language comprises unique terminology and words and phrases from the American common law system. This makes learning Legal English a daunting task for lawyers from countries where English is not the primary language. A firm understanding of Legal English is an essential skill for any student studying U.S. Law and for conducting legal transactions and business negotiations around the world.

“Our aim is to offer a rigorous standalone course that will help foreign legal practitioners develop the English legal skills they need to take the next step in their career,” said Peter Cramer, assistant dean for graduate programs at Washington University School of Law. “Whether they plan to pursue an LL.M. in U.S. law or simply want to work more effectively with clients and colleagues who conduct business internationally, this course will enhance their ability to communicate and understand the world’s primary language of law.”

The new eight-week online course is available to existing or prospective law school students and for legal professionals anywhere in the world who want to enhance their knowledge of Legal English.

The course builds upon Washington University School of Law’s recently launched online LL.M. in U.S. Law for foreign lawyers, known as @WashULaw. Taught by Washington University faculty, the new online Legal English course offers students considering an LL.M. in U.S. law, a strong foundation for that degree.

The course will utilize the law school’s innovative video-conferencing technology platform in which students and faculty meet and interact for live classes on a weekly basis. Legal English students will also learn through high-quality video and self-paced content designed by the law school faculty.

The online Legal English course is developed by Peter K. Cramer, Ph.D., MA.TESOL and LL.M., an internationally-renowned specialist in Legal English, who has taught at several universities around the United States. Dr. Cramer has expertise and training in common and civil law systems, as well as in teaching English as a second language.

In the new course, students will develop critical skills, such as legal note-taking, reading and briefing of cases, while also practicing and improving their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. The course will also cover common law legal analysis to help students understand how U.S. lawyers think and communicate.

For more information, visit http://onlinelaw.wustl.edu/academics/legal-english, emaillegalenglish@onlinelaw.wustl.edu or call 1-877-927-4859.

About Washington University School of Law

Washington University School of Law offers students an outstanding legal education in an intellectually challenging and collegial environment. With faculty members recognized for excellent teaching and scholarship, a student body among the most selective in the country, and an increasingly global and diverse community, the school strives to prepare graduates for the quickly evolving legal and business environment. @WashULaw and online Legal English are examples of the school’s efforts to innovate using technology and new teaching methods, as the school pursues its mission to be the best place in the United States to learn to be a lawyer.