Activities for teaching cross-cultural competence via LLM-JD interaction

Post by Stephen Horowitz, Professor of Legal English

Recently on the Legal Writing Institute listserv, a request was made for examples of ways to help teach cross-cultural competency. And I shared with the requester the following two activities from when I worked at St. John’s Law which I think were very effective for both teaching cross-cultural competency and also for fostering interaction between JD and LLM students. I think they also helped shift perspectives away from a deficit mindset of LLM students and toward a view that recognizes and takes advantage of the asset that LLM students are to a US law school.

Activity #1: Legal Writing Role Play

This activity involved collaboration between an LLM legal writing section and a JD writing section. It was the result of brainstorming with the JD legal writing professor and coming up with a plan based on the legal writing assignment the JD students would already be doing. The role play would explain to both the JD and LLM students that they were associates in a global law firm but in offices in different countries. And they had no previous relationship or interaction.

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