English Language Institute

US Law and Legal English Program (LLEP)


General Overview (简体中文)

The US Law and Legal English Program (LLEP) is a collaboration between The Center for International Legal Education (CILE) in the School of Law and the English Language Institute (ELI) in the Department of Linguistics. This non-degree program is designed for law students at universities from countries outside the US and provides:

  • An introduction to the US legal system
  • English language training tailored to improve the communication skills needed for a career in Law
  • Exposure to life on a university campus and American culture
  • A general overview of some of the content covered in a US Law Degree

Note:  If there are fewer than 12 participants enrolled in the Program before May 1, the Program will be canceled.  Applicants should NOT buy airfare until the program is confirmed.


  • check in:  Sunday, July 8, 2018
  • check out:  Saturday, August 4, 2018

Classes and Skills Developed

This is a semi-intensive 4-week program with classes meeting for 17 hours per week (9 hours law; 8 hours English).  Classes are taught entirely in English and require a minimum high intermediate level of proficiency.  In this program, participants will develop skills in the following areas:

Introduction to US Law Language Skills
  • US Law and the Socratic Method of Law Instruction

  • US Constitutional Law

  • Administrative Law

  • Property Law

  • IP Law

  • International Trade Law and Border Disputes

  • Criminal Law

  • Analysis of case studies

  • Contracts

  • Torts

  • Business organizations

  • Land transactions in the US

  • Law in practice:

    • setting up and financing a US startup

    • selling a company

    • arguing a case

  • Enhancing  communication skills necessary for the study and practice of law

  • Developing an understanding of and the ability to use legal terms and concepts

  • Strengthening speaking skills and fluency

  • Expanding listening comprehension

  • Exploring the interaction of language and culture

Additional course components include:

  • Guest lectures from local attorneys and specialists
  • Visit to a local law firm
  • Courtroom visit
  • Tours of local municipal and government buildings
  • Networking opportunities

There are no grades and no exams in this Program.  Courses are not part of a degree program, and no University of Pittsburgh credits are awarded. All participants who successfully complete the Program are awarded a certificate of attendance. 

Cultural Experiences

The Program includes field trips in Pittsburgh, as well as trips to nearby cities, all led by Program faculty and staff:

  • Boat tour of Pittsburgh
  • Day trip to Niagara Falls
  • Overnight weekend trip to Washington DC
  • Tour of Fallingwater, an architectural landmark by Frank Lloyd Wright in the nearby mountains of the Laurel Highlands
  • Dinner with an American family
  • Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game
  • Shopping trip to a nearby outlet mall

Student Visas

Because study in the US Law and Legal English Program is limited to 17 hours of instruction per week and is incidental to your visit, participants should plan to attend on a tourist visa.  I-20s are not issued for student visas for this Program.

Tuition and Fees

The total cost of this Program is $4500 and includes:

  • tuition for all courses
  • texts and materials needed for courses
  • required University fees 
  • special Program events and trips
  • on-campus housing

Please note that there is a $500 nonrefundable deposit for the US Law and Legal English Program.  

Campus Life

Participants in this program can use all libraries, recreational/sports facilities, and computer labs on campus. Participants also have access to discounted cultural activities throughout the city and free unlimited use of public transportation in the City of Pittsburgh for the duration of the Program. 


The Program fee includes a shared two-person dormitory room on the University of Pittsburgh campus.  Private rooms are available for an additional fee. 

Application Process and Deadline

To apply for admission to the US Law and Legal English Program, applicants must:

  • show proof of acceptance by or attendance at a law program in their home country (unofficial transcripts are acceptable)
  • complete, sign, and submit an Application Form
  • submit a nonrefundable $500 deposit for the Program 

Participants should submit all documents and the deposit by the deadline of April 15, 2018.  Group size is limited and priority will be given to particpants and groups from University partners.  Please apply as early as possible to avoid delays with visas and to ensure a place in the program.


For more information about this Program, contact the Center for International Legal Education or the English Language Institute