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English Language Center > Programs > Discipline Specific > Legal English > English for Legal Purposes

Discipline Specific

English for Legal Purposes

Summer English for Legal Purposes

Summer 2010 LLM Students with Tennessee Governor Bredesen.
Summer 2010 LL.M. Students with Tennessee Governor Bredesen.

This intensive 80-hour program is designed to provide incoming LL.M. students with the language and academic skills needed to succeed in the demanding LL.M. program at the Vanderbilt University Law School.

  • Twenty hours per week, for four weeks, of intensive in-class instruction and additional hours for individual assistance as needed by participants
  • The fundamentals of an LL.M.: learn what to expect from Vanderbilt’s LL.M. program
  • Oral and written communication development, including presentations, small-group and large-group discussion and responses
  • Visits to Tennessee courts and local venues to examine the United States legal system and discuss real-world application of legal practice with judges and law practitioners
  • Certificate of Completion from the Vanderbilt English Language Center

Program Objectives:

  • Adapt more quickly to the US law school curriculum
  • Increase ability to listen to short lectures and take effective notes
  • Gain higher level of self confidence in public speaking and interacting in the classroom
  • Augment legal/academic vocabulary in writing and speaking
  • Increase ability to brief cases
  • Increase ability to summarize and paraphrase case elements
  • Improve clarity, correctness, and conciseness in legal exercises and exam writing
  • Gain higher degree of grammatical accuracy
  • Improve use of articles, prepositions, verb tenses in written and spoken language
  • Understand how to read like a legal professional
  • Become acquainted with American culture and American legal culture
Summer 2011 LLM Students at the Chancery Court in Downtown Nashville.
Summer 2011 LL.M. Students at the Chancery Court in Downtown Nashville.

Important Dates:

  • Dates: July 13–August 7, 2015, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday


  • Enrollment is restricted to Vanderbilt LL.M. Students
  • All Vanderbilt LL.M. students should contact Cynthia Coleman, Associate Director of Law School Admissions and International Services regarding enrollment in the Summer LL.M. program
  • Tuition: $2,000. Tuition will be withdrawn from your Vanderbilt student account

Legal Academic Writing and Speaking

Academic English for LL.M. students is a series of courses for students admitted into the Vanderbilt University Law School LL.M. Program. Courses are designed to assist students who have a first language other than English in their careers by increasing proficiency and confidence in various types of written legal discourse. Among other activities, students summarize articles, discuss current legal events, and practice the generally accepted conventions of written legal analysis in the United States.

Legal Academic Writing:

  • Fall semester only: Academic Writing for LL.M. students is offered exclusively to Vanderbilt University Law School students enrolled in the Master of Laws program. The course focuses on the structures and conventions of academic writing in general and legal writing in particular. Course activities support LL.M. students’ work in their required Legal Research and Writing course and emphasize correct, concise, complete and clear written discourse.

Legal Academic Speaking:

  • Spring semester only: Academic Speaking for LL.M. students is offered to Vanderbilt Master of Laws students who wish to improve their public speaking and pronunciation skills in English and broaden their American-culture knowledge base as well. Students give both prepared and impromptu presentations, read and discuss topics in US news, and work on the sounds and intonation of American English.


  • All interested Vanderbilt LL.M. students should contact Cynthia Coleman, Associate Director of Law School Admissions and International Services regarding enrollment in semester LL.M. courses.


For more information regarding course content, please contact:

Debra Lee, Language Teaching Specialist
Tel: +1 615-322-2277

For more information regarding eligibility content, please contact:

Susan M. Barone, Director
Tel: +1 615-322-2277