Applied linguistics at penn state law
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Applied Linguistics at Penn State Law. Alissa J. Hartig APLNG Roundtable Friday, November 4, 2011. We are here!. The LL.M. (Master of Laws) Program. 2010-2011: 20 students/ 2011-2012: 29 students Primarily international All have a J.D. or equivalent Majority trained in civil law

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Applied Linguistics at Penn State Law

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Applied linguistics at penn state law

Applied Linguistics at Penn State Law

Alissa J. Hartig

APLNG Roundtable

Friday, November 4, 2011


We are here

We are here!


The ll m master of laws program

The LL.M. (Master of Laws) Program

  • 2010-2011: 20 students/ 2011-2012: 29 students

  • Primarily international

  • All have a J.D. or equivalent

  • Majority trained in civil law

  • Many have prior home country work experience

  • Some have worked in international contexts


Ll m programs in the united states 1998 2003

LL.M. programs in the United States: 1998-2003

  • 50% increase in the number of programs available to foreign law graduates (Silver, 2006, p. 147)

  • 130% increase in the number of foreign law graduates in graduate law programs (ibid, p. 149)

  • 54% increase in the number of foreign-educated lawyers who sat for the New York bar exam (ibid)


Ll m student goals silver 2006

LL.M. Student Goals(Silver, 2006)

  • Legal English and U.S. culture

  • Professional networks

  • Prestige/credibility (point of reference)

  • Bypassing restrictions on professional qualification (bar exam)

    “The law component is an excuse to practice English and to be comfortable with the U.S. culture and in English.” (p. 156)

    “In order to represent U.S. businesses and to participate in the growing market for international advice, foreign lawyers perceived that they needed to be able to speak the same language as U.S. lawyers, both literally and conceptually.” (p.143)


Examples of our ll m students goals

Examples of Our LL.M. Students’ Goals

  • “By studying the American legal system, I hope to enhance my knowledge and skill and play a more significant role in my company”

  • To gain “a thorough understanding of the legal system in the United States” in order to enact reform in home criminal prosecution system

  • Expand job prospects back home

  • To gain greater expertise in arbitration, which was not available in home country


Llmlw 901 legal analysis writing and research for ll m students

LLMLW 901: Legal Analysis, Writing and Research For LL.M. Students

  • Practitioner-oriented legal writing course

  • Two major assignments

    • Open memo (common law problem)

    • Closed memo (statutory problem)

  • Weekly assignments

    • Preliminary drafts of sections of memo

    • Legal research

    • Case reading

    • Reading in textbook


Original role of aplng ta

Original Role of APLNG TA

  • ¼  ½ time position

  • Primarily one-on-one tutoring with LL.M. students

  • Occasional workshops on language (e.g., using cohesive devices) and U.S. hiring documents (e.g., resumes, cover letters)

  • Summer Intensive Course in Legal English (conducted at UP campus)


Aplng ta role in 2011 2012

APLNG TA role in 2011-2012

  • Individual Consultations with LL.M. and some J.D. students

  • Writing and Communication Lab

  • Workshop Series

  • Conversation Partner Program

  • Conversation Lunches /Outings

  • Summer Intensive Course in Legal English (UP)


Proposed initiatives

Proposed Initiatives

  • 1-year Certificate in Legal English (based on Georgetown model)

  • Bar Exam Preparation Track

  • Summer Intensive Course in Legal English in Istanbul, Turkey

  • TA Training for law students


Proposal certificate in legal english

Proposal: Certificate in Legal English

First Semester

  • American Legal Culture and Discourse

  • Foundational Writing Skills for Lawyers

  • Reading Strategies and Legal Vocabulary

  • U.S. Legal Pedagogy

  • Graduate Forum

    Second Semester

  • Skills for Academic Research and Essay Exams

  • Elective Course

  • Skills Lab

  • Academic Speaking and Presentations


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