Materials For Research & Writing For International Students

As the 5th week of law school classes comes to a close, I can say that teaching legal research and writing to international LL.M. students is a great joy (and a challenge). For a law school population that is fairly homogenous, it is wonderful to be among 13 students from 10 different countries, and this also poses the types of challenges one could expect from such a diverse class. 

While looking for additional resources on point, I recently came across this list from the Legal Writing Institute:

The Global Legal Writing Skills Committee has created a video library and webinar series on teaching international students, which was awarded the 2015 Global Legal Skills Conference award for Outstanding Programming in Global Legal Skills Education.  The presentation slides and webinars are available at   Contact the committee co-chairs, Sammy Mansour ( or Cara Cunningham Warren (, for more details.

Online Resources
  • Audio Activities from NPR's Justice Talking website
  • Article on materials adaptation for Legal English classes
  • Stoller, F. L. & Reilly, K. (1999). Rules and Laws: Language and Civil Society: Civic Education. English Teaching Forum Online. U.S. Department of State.
  • Stoller, F. L. & Reilly, K. (1999). Individual Freedoms, Freedom of Expression. Language and Civil Society: Civic Education. English Teaching Forum Online. U.S. Department of State.
  • The Global Legal Writing Listserv is devoted to sharing information and discussing issues about advancing legal writing skills globally, including teaching legal writing to international law students, teaching abroad, and conferences focusing on relevant topics. Those interested in subscribing to the listserv should contact the listserv administrator, Cynthia Adams,
  • The LWI's Global Legal Skills Committee is dedicated to helping legal writing professors teach law students and lawyers whose native language is not English. Useful references for this audience, including conference information and teaching opportunities, can be found here.
  • Teresa Kissane Brostoff, Using Culture in the Classroom: Enhancing Learning for International Law Students, 15 Mich. St. J. Intl. L. 557 (2007).
  • Teresa Brostoff, Ann Sinsheimer, and Megan Ford, English for Lawyers: A Preparatory Course for International Lawyers, 7 Leg. Writing 137 (2001).
  • Simon Chesterman, The Globalization of Legal Education, 2008 Sing. J. Leg. Stud. 58 (2008).
  • Matthew A. Edwards, Teaching Foreign LL.M. Students About U.S. Legal Scholarship, 51 J. Leg. Educ. 520 (2001).
  • English for Legal Studies, ESP for Law Students, English for Specific Purposes: Case Studies in TESOL Practice (TESOL 2002).
  • Christine A. Beer Feak, Susan M. Reinhart, and Ann Sinsheimer, A Preliminary Analysis of Law Review Notes, 19 English For Specific Purposes 197 (2000).
  • Julia Hanigsberg, Swimming Lessons, An Orientation Course for Foreign Graduate Students, 44 J. Leg. Educ. 588 (1994).
  • Elizabeth L. Inglehart, Teaching U.S. Legal Research Skills to International LL.M. Students:  What and How, 15 No. 3 Persps.:  Teaching Leg. Res. & Writing 280 (2007).
  • Katerina P. Lewinbuk, Can Successful Lawyers Think in Different Languages?  Incorporating Critical Strategies that Support Learning Lawyering Skills for the Practice of Law in a Global Environment, 7 Rich. J. Global L. & Bus. 1 (2008).
  • Robin Nilon, The Calculus of Plagiarism:  Toward a Contrastive Approach to Teaching Chinese Lawyers, 2 S.C. J. Int’l L. & Bus. 1 (2006).
  • Jill J. Ramsfield, Is "Logic" Culturally Based? A Contrastive, International Approach to the U.S. Law Classroom, 47 J. Leg. Educ. 157 (1997).
  • Carole Silver, Internationalizing U.S. Legal Education:  A Report on the Education of Transnational Lawyers, 14 Cardozo J. Int’l & Comp. L. 143, (2006).
  • Julie M. Spanbauer, Lost in Translation in the Law School Classroom:  Assessing Required Coursework in LL.M. Programs for International Students, 35 Int’l J. Leg. Info. (2007).
  • Margaret Y.K. Woo, Reflections on International Legal Education and Exchanges, 51 J. Leg. Educ. 449 (2001).
Textbooks on Legal Writing for ESL or Non-U.S. Law Students
  • Deborah H. McGregor & Cynthia M. Adams, The International Lawyer's Guide to Legal Analysis And Communication in the United States (Aspen Publishers 2008).
  • Nadia E. Nedzel, Legal Reasoning, Research, and Writing for International Students (2d ed., Aspen Publishers 2008).
  • Laurel Oates and Anne Enquist, The Legal Writing Handbook (Aspen Publishers 2006) (includes a section for ESL students).
  • Jill Ramsfield, Culture to Culture:  A Guide to U.S. Legal Writing (Carolina Academic Press 2005).

Books on Legal English
  • Teresa Brostoff and Ann Sinsheimer, Legal English:  An Introduction to the American Legal Language and Culture of the United States (2d ed., Oceana Publications 2003). 
  • Debra S. Lee, Charles Hall, & Susan M. Barone, American Legal English: Using Language in Legal Contexts (2d ed., U. Mich. Press 2007). 
  • Craig Hoffman and Andrea Tyler, U.S. Legal Discourse:  Legal English for Foreign LL.M.s (Thomson West 2008). 
  • Amy Krois-Linder and TransLegal, International Legal English:  A Course for Classroom or Self-Study Use (Cambridge University 2006).
  • Susan M. Reinhart, Strategies for Legal Case Reading and Vocabulary Development (U. Mich. Press 2007).
  • Mark Wojcik, Introduction to Legal English: An Introduction to Legal Terminology, Reasoning, and Writing in Plain English (2d ed., Intl. L. Inst. 2001).
 Other Books
  • Burnham, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States (4th ed. Thomson West 2006).
  • Dana R. Ferris and John S. Hedgcock, Teaching ESL Composition, Purpose, Process and Practice (2d ed., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 2005).
  • Toni Fine, American Legal Systems:  A Resource and Reference Guide (1997).
  • John Gibbons, Forensic Linguistics: An Introduction to Language in the Justice System (Blackwell Publishing 2003).
  • George Gophen, Sense of Structure:  Writing from the Reader’s Perspective (Pearson Longman 2004).
  • Margaret Z. Johns & Rex R. Perschbacher, The United States Legal System:  An Introduction (2d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2007).
  • Ruth Ann McKinney, Reading Like a Lawyer (Carolina Academic Press 2005).
  • John M. Swales & Christine A. Beer Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students (2d ed., U. Mich. Press 2004).

Reference Materials
  • ALWD & Darby Dickerson, ALWD Citation Manual (3d ed., Aspen Publishers 2006).
  • Douglas Biber et al., Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Pearson Educated Limited 2007), including a workbook.
  • Bryan A. Garner, The Redbook: A Manual of Legal Style (West 2002).
  • Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English (U. Chicago Press 2001).
  • Bryan A. Garner, The Elements of Legal Style (2d ed., Oxford U. Press 2002). Ann Hogue, The Essentials of English: A Writer's Handbook (Pearson Educ. 2003).
  • Ken Hyland, English for Academic Purposes, An Advanced Resource Book (Routledge 2006).
  • Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary (Cambridge Univ. Press 2008).
  • Cambridge Dictionary of American English (2ed ed. 2007).
  • Henry Saint Dahl, McGraw-Hill's Spanish and English Legal Dictionary, Diccionario Jurídico Inglés-Español (McGraw-Hill 2004).
  • Bryan A. Garner, Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed., West 2004).
  • Longman Advanced American Dictionary (2d ed., Pearson Educated Limited 2007).
  • Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, Int’l Ed. (4th ed., Pearson Educated Limited 2005).
  • Richard A. Spears, McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs (McGraw-Hill 2005).
Some of these resources have been updated since this list was created, for example, I am using Deborah McGregor and Cythia Adams's newest edition called The Guide to U.S. Legal Analysis and Communication. It builds on the previous edition and offers additional information on persuasive writing, among other things.

In planning my conference travel, I also came across the Legal Writing Institute's 2016 Biennial Conference to be held in Portland July 10-13. This is one that you certainly don't want to miss. 


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