Summer Institute Draws International Law Students

A new, two-week Summer Institute in United States Law will draw undergraduate law students from several countries, including Portugal, India, Iceland, Denmark, and Venezuela. The nearly a dozen international students will explore the United States' legal system, its basic structures and processes, and the ways in which it is distinctive from the legal systems of their home countries, during July 22- August 3.

The program is designed to introduce the international students to American legal teaching methods and the United States' legal system, as well as to Washington University School of Law, specifically.  

“The law school has a very successful year-long master's in law (LL.M.) program for foreign lawyers who have earned their bachelor of law in their home countries,” says the associate dean for graduate programs. “We are now inviting such students for a shorter period of time to see our campus and to become familiar with the quality of legal education we offer.

"While international students often hear of institutions on either coast, we would like them to get  to know more about the advantages of studying in St. Louis," she continued. "We have learned that once we bring people here, they love it.  We hope to welcome back some of these summer institute students as LL.M.s, once they have completed their undergraduate degrees.”

As part of the summer program, the students will assume the role of a United States lawyer resolving hypothetical problems that demonstrate the methods and principles covered in lectures and reading assignments. They also will be asked to resolve a freedom of religion problem, which is designed to demonstrate distinctive aspects of the court systems in the United States. The problem will illustrate how constitutional rights are enforced; how Anglo-American "adversarial" procedures differ from civil judicature; and how judicial opinions operate as a source of law in the United States.

In the final session, the students will argue one side of a hypothetical case, employing both “legal English” and their newly acquired knowledge of United States law. Institute participants also will examine the structure of the United States' court system and visit local courts. Outside of class, they will spend a weekend in Chicago and enjoy St. Louis events, such as the Jazz Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden. 

Leigh Greenhaw, senior lecturer in law, and Michael Koby, senior lecturer in law and director of the Trial & Advocacy Program, are serving as the institute's faculty.

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