Georgetown Legal English at the 2023 ILEAC Annual Conference

Post by Stephen Horowitz, Professor of Legal English

Yesterday, Day 1 of the annual International Legal Education Abroad and LLM Administrators’ Conference hosted by American University Washington College of Law, Georgetown Law was represented on three different panels.

1. Craig Hoffman, founder of Georgetown Law’s 2-Year LLM Program (the first such program to exist), participated in a panel discussion titled “The Emergence of the Two-Year LLM: A Promising Alternative for Non-JD Law Programs” together with Ashley Sim (USC), Gabrielle Goodwin (Indiana University), and Rebecca Pendleton (Boston University.) The discussion, moderated by Prof. Pendleton, addressed the benefits and challenges of 2-Year LLM programs as well as changes over time.

2. Andrea Rodriguez Escobedo, Director of LLM Programs at Georgetown Law, presented on “Higher bar passage rate to attract more LL.M candidates: How can Law Schools help LL.M students pass a bar examination in the US?” A former Columbia LLM student herself, Andrea shared her and others’ research on LLM bar success and delved into the possible causes as well as potential solutions for support.

3. Stephen Horowitz, Professor of Legal English at Georgetown Law, together with Daniel Edelson, Director of Academic Success at Seton Hall Law and founder of USLawEssentials, gave a presentation titled “Some new-ish thoughts on post-pandemic Online Legal English (OLE.)” In it, we shared some examples of OLE content from the Georgetown Online Legal English course as well as from the St. John’s Law OLE course and the USLawEssentials’ OLE courses.

In particular, we focused on an approach we’ve been using called the “interactive textbook” model, which is a term we created to capture the feel of an asynchronous course that is set up sequentially and can be used as a self-guided course, but can also just as easily function as the text for an instructor-led course.

We also talked about the “Podcast Mini-Lesson” model, which is based on shorter episodes (i.e., 10 minutes or less) from the USLawEssentials Law & Language Podcast. The episodes are conversations between Daniel and me on, e.g., a legal English vocabulary word or a recent legal topic in the news that helps illustrate an aspect of the US legal system. And the episodes are paired with a short quiz. The idea is to break legal English learning into smaller, more digestible pieces that can be used or arranged in a variety of student-centered ways to serve the needs of learners. For example, they are tagged by themes such as Civil Litigation or Constitutional Law and can be accessed by those themes.

The aim of the Podcast Mini-Lesson is to make online legal English learning more engaging and also in a form that can fit into the schedules of busy lawyers and law students. That is, legal English study doesn’t have to stop at the end of a summer pre-LLM preparation course.

We also shared the results of our survey of law schools, conducted about one week prior to the conference, which showed that 11 out of 31 respondents offer or have offered some form of online legal English course, primarily in connection with pre-LLM preparation.

Lastly, we set up a Google Form–“Continue the OLE Discussion with Stephen, Daniel & others“– to gather together with others interested in discussing online legal English. Feel free to add your name if interested!

Links from the presentation

Georgetown Law


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