Curriculum

Summer
Beginning of June to End of July (6 hours)

Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Culture

Introduction to Legal English

 

Fall
Mid-August to Mid-December (12 – 14 hours)

Legal Discourse & Communication in English I

Common Law Contracts

International Business Transactions

International Trade Law

Elective

 

Spring*
Mid-January to Mid-May (12 – 14 hours)
Students enrolled in the MCJ Program will have flexibility in the Spring term:

Option A: “Practice Option”

1. Legal Discourse & Communication in English II (2 hours)

2. Externship Placement (10 hours)

Option B: “Academic Option”

1. Legal Discourse & Communication in English II (2 hours)

2. Business Associations (3 hours)

3. Elective (3 or 4 hours)

4. Elective or Independent Study (3 or 4 hours)

 

Class Descriptions 

Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Culture

This course examines the principal features of the U.S. legal system, including federalism; the structure and operation of the national government; the federal and state judicial systems; the use of precedent, methods of reading, analyzing, and synthesizing case law; and dispute resolution. Additionally, this course will serve as an introduction to modern legal practice in the U.S., particularly in corporate and law firm settings.

 

Introduction to Legal English

This course is designed to introduce MCJ students to using English in the legal context, and will be have two parts.  First, it is designed to introduce foreign lawyers to American legal terminology and common law reasoning; and second, the class will also concentrate on advanced English grammar to improve writing and speaking skills. Case law, and other legal materials, will be incorporated to provide students with a working knowledge of American law and to improve their ability to understand and communicate with their legal cohorts in an international setting.  Grammar and writing assignments are designed to improve the students’ proficiency of advanced English grammar and writing styles.  Class assignments and activities are constructed to improve critical thinking skills, reading skills, and writing skills.  Students are expected to synthesize ideas from research materials, write summaries, arguments, and make class presentations.  

 

Legal Discourse & Communication in English I

This course is designed to help students improve their ability to communicate in English in several different types of legal settings. Students will develop their legal English skills through a variety of means, including analysis of common law cases, language exercises, and related reading and reporting. Practice in speaking the language of the law is emphasized in class. Learning opportunities extend beyond the walls of the law school through court visits and exposure to pro bono service.

 

Legal Discourse & Communication in English II

This course is a continuation of Legal Discourse & Communication in English 1. Students will continue to perfect their mastery of legal English, and will work on documents specific to their externship placements or other law school related projects. Legal translation, and the various legal and ethical issues involved with translation, will also be discussed.
 

International Business Transactions

This course will examine selected legal issues associated with private business transactions across national boundaries, focusing on international sales agreements and financing, import/export restrictions, other forms of transnational business activity, and related risks. The course will explore relevant US laws and regulations, regional trade regimes such as those of NAFTA and the EU, and broader international agreements and institutions, including the WTO. The course will also address relevant comparative legal, business and cultural issues.
 

International Trade Law

This course will focus on the public regulation of international business transactions, in particular the regulation of international trade transactions.

 

Part I: The International Context will consider the big picture: introduction to globalization and related economic theory; history and institutions of international economic relations, including the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the successor World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank; basic concepts of international trade in goods and monetary systems, including most favored nation (MFN) and national treatment obligations, exchange rates, and balance of payments; implementation structures in national systems, in particular the United States.

 

Part II: The Legal Context of International Trade and Business will examine more closely the public international legal structures developed to govern international business relations: settlement of trade disputes under the WTO system; regional trading arrangements including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the European Union (EU), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); development of international regulation of trade in services; foreign direct investment.

 

Part III: Trade Practice explores the regulatory practice in which lawyers assist clients with formalities, restrictions, and requirements involved in international trade in goods, with a particular focus on the United States: imports (customs matters); trade remedies for unfair trading practices, including antidumping and countervailing duties and section 301 procedures, and for fair trading practices, including safeguards/escape clause and related relief; export controls, economic sanctions and embargoes. If time permits, anti-corruption measures will also be addressed.

 

Business Associations
This course focuses on the law of agency, general partnerships and corporations with some attention to limited partnerships and limited liability companies. Coverage includes the choice of business form and the formation, management and dissolution of each of the principal business forms. Also introduced is federal securities law as it pertains to shareholder suffrage, proxy contests, hostile takeovers and secondary securities transactions.