Legal English Institute

Join Fordham Law School’s semester-long Legal English Institute (LEI) in New York City and study the foundations of U.S. law and the U.S. legal system while developing your legal English and lawyering skills. Join our vibrant and diverse community and study in our state-of-the art building in the heart of Manhattan – across the street from Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and a short walk to Central Park and the shops, bars, restaurants, museums, and theaters that make Manhattan the cultural capital of the nation.

The LEI is a fulltime program.

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Program Options

Participants may enroll in a non-credit option or receive credit to be applied toward the Fordham LLM degree.

Credit Participants:  Students who enroll in the LEI for credit will, after an additional two semesters of fulltime enrollment in the Master of Laws program, receive the LLM in US Law and in an additional area of specialization of their choice.  Learn more about our eight areas of specialization on the LLM website.

Non-Credit Participants:  All participants who successfully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Program Schedule

August Start Date:

LEI will begin on Tuesday, August 8 and will run through the middle of December.

View the program schedule.

January Start Date:

LEI will tentatively begin on Tuesday, January 2 and will run through the middle of May.  A schedule will be posted shortly.

Cost

Credit option:  Students will pay the posted tuition and fees associated with the fulltime LLM program.

Non-credit option:  Introductory fee of $6,000

The costs listed above do not include accommodation, travel, food, books, insurance, or other expenses.

Click here to make a secure payment for the non-credit option.

Eligibility

Law students and graduates from all countries are welcome to register for this program.  Participants are encouraged to have a TOEFL of 80 or more to benefit from the program.  Students seeking to enroll in the credit option should meet the requirements for admission to the LLM program.

Deadlines

Non-Credit Participants:

  • August start date:  Registration deadline July 15
    • We can continue to accept applications on a rolling basis after this deadline, provided space remains in the program.
  • January start date:  Registration deadline December 1

Participants seeking credit should follow the deadlines for the LLM program.

Late applications will be accepted space permitting.

Certificate of Completion

Non-credit participants who satisfactorily complete course requirements, including exams and other assessment tools, will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.  Students must attend at least 80% of the sessions for each course in order to qualify to receive a certificate of completion.

Visa

The Legal English Institute satisfies the F-1 visa/status requirements.  Assistance for participants who require a visa is available.  Appropriate paperwork will be provided after we have received the $500 program deposit.
 

Register

Course Descriptions

Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Law Study (Dundon & Jaeger-Fine, 3 credits)

Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Study first introduces students to the basics of studying law in the U.S., including tips for reading, outlining, and note taking; case law analysis; approaches to exam taking; and other suggestions for success in U.S. law school.  The second part of the course will introduce participants to the basics of the U.S. legal system, including the constitutional foundations of the U.S. legal system, such as federalism, separation of powers and checks and balances, and supremacy and preemption; the judicial systems; sources of law and especially the defining principles of precedent and stare decisis and the practice of synthesizing case law; and U.S. civil litigation.

Foundations of Private Law (Edelson, 2 credits)

Foundations of Private Law offers a unified approach to contract, property, and tort law – the three fundamental areas of private law with which all attorneys should have familiarity.  This course will be taught using a traditional case law Socratic method.

Working with Contracts (Jannace, 2 credits)

Working with Contracts will expand your knowledge of contract law by examining and deconstructing common contract terms and strategies for drafting and negotiating contracts.  Cultural differences in drafting and negotiating contracts among countries will be explored.

Fundamental Lawyering Skills (Cooper, 3 credits)

Fundamental Lawyering Skills provides opportunities for participants to practice their interviewing, client counseling, and negotiating skills.  You will be exposed to the unpredictable and complex world of legal practice through role plays, and you will receive comprehensive guidance and feedback from your classmates and faculty.

Legal Professional Persona (Jaeger-Fine, 1 credit)

This course will help students in their efforts to develop a professional identity.  As law firms move to competency-based models for employment, advancement, and retention, and as job seekers outnumber positions, this course will provide participants with the tools to improve their prospects of career success.  Topics will include leadership; the importance of observation and self-reflection and healthy habits of practice; mindset; organization and time management; civility and judgment; communication skills; reliability and accountability; and ability to work with others.  Students will get ample experience writing and doing role-plays and other in-class exercises. 

Communication Pragmatics for Lawyers (Dundon, 2 credits)

Communication Pragmatics for Lawyers will integrate legal and extra-legal content from the other LEI courses into a highly practical, communication-based curriculum.  The objective of this course is to polish student’s speaking, writing, listening, and reading abilities into the kind of multifaceted, communicative skill-set that is expected from attorneys practicing at top-tier law firms, businesses, international organizations, and government agencies.  Students in this class will learn to integrate the content from LEI’s broad legal coursework into their own English-language communicative framework.

Program Faculty & Directors

Douglas A. Cooper, Esq.

View Douglas A. Cooper's bio online.

John Terry Dundon, Co-Director 

John Terry Dundon is Co-Director of the Legal English Institute at Fordham Law School.  He is a graduate student in Applied Linguistics at Columbia University Teachers College, where he also received his Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.  Mr. Dundon specializes in the instruction of professional and vocational English, and he has previously taught at the City University of New York and Westchester Community College, as well as in several locations in South Asia.  Mr. Dundon is an active student of several foreign languages, including French, Farsi, and Tajik, and he has travel experience in more than 80 countries.

Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Dundon practiced as an attorney at the law firms of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; his practice at all three firms focused on private equity fund formation and management.  Mr. Dundon also served as a judicial law clerk on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and he maintains active bar admission in New York, the District of Columbia, and California.  Mr. Dundon graduated with High Honors from the George Washington University Law School, and he received his B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Daniel Edelson, Esq. 

Daniel Edelson is an attorney and member of the Bars of New York and New Jersey.  After graduating from Fordham University School of Law, Mr. Edelson practiced business litigation and arbitration with two international law firms in New York City.  Since 2012 Mr. Edelson has been teaching US law and legal practice to students and professionals who do not speak English as a first language.  In addition to teaching US law, Mr. Edelson currently has his own law practice and also tutors first year law students, LLM students, and bar examination candidates. 

Toni Jaeger-Fine, Co-Director

View Toni Jaeger-Fine's bio online.

William Jannace

View William Jannace's bio online.

Course Materials

Click here to access the password-protected Course Materials page. 

Contact the Legal English Institute

Tel: (212) 636-7702

Fax: (212) 636-6922

Email: lei@fordham.edu