Essential skills in a globalized world

Learn the legal language of English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, and Chinese.

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

Foreign Legal Language

The Institute's educational activities 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 are 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.

July Intensive Legal English Program

Responding to the educational needs and demands of the many applicants to LL.M. Programs for lawyers trained abroad who are interested in studying law in the United States, Brooklyn Law School offers its summer course in legal English. Even students with very high levels of English proficiency benefit from a dedicated immersion in legal English prior to the start of a U.S. law degree program. Students have the option of a three-week or four-week course, with the fourth week providing intensive practice focused on legal writing.

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

Program Dates



Legal English Curriculum

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: meeting and interview skills; formal and informal presentations
  • Legal writing: case briefing; legal summaries; predictive writing, and
  • Reading skills and analysis: reading and interpreting cases; common law legal principles; legal vocabulary; the U.S. legal system; fundamental areas of U.S. law. The fourth week of the course will focus intensively on legal writing

How to Apply

Admission to the three or four-week intensive Legal English course is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Applicant Requirements:

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

To apply, complete the Intensive Legal English Program Application.

Cost of Intensive Legal English Program

All applicants interested in the three or four-week course should have sufficient funds to pay the program tuition and all living expenses. Tuition for the three-week course is $2,600. Tuition for the four-week course is $3,475. This cost includes a certificate, opening breakfast, closing lunch and a visit to a local court.

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

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, 2019.


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 currently teaches 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.

Legal Language Institute
Professor Lawrence Solan
Director, Center for Law, Language & Cognition 
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-0357