Program Overview

Legal English

The first part of the Summer Institute includes an interactve legal English and American law foundations course. Students will learn about the U.S. legal and judicial systems, read American case law, and learn how American lawyers research and analyze legal concepts. The focus of the first part of the program is on providing the core concepts of American law and fundamental legal English vocabulary.

Mock Trial

After the initial part of the program, participants will conduct a mock trial, starting from the initial case analysis and discovery work to the final arguments in court. Using a simulated legal dispute, participants play the roles of lawyers, judges, clients and witnesses. With briefings and feedback from legal experts and other practitioners, participants will learn and practice the key skills of conducting litigation and trials in American courtrooms. Participants will also have many opportunities to practice and use legal English.

International Negotiations and Dispute Resolution

Co-enrolled with American law students, the Summer Institute also includes coursework that focuses on negotiation and alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration). Participants gain firsthand experience negotiating international deals and resolving cross-cultural disputes in simulated exercises. Topics will include negotiation, mediation, arbitration and client counseling.

Visits and Field Trips

The program includes a number of activities outside of the classroom as well. The Summer Institute arranges field trips around the region to important legal institutions (including courts and prisons) and law firms. During past programs, students have visited the Minnesota Supreme Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, toured the Minnesota State Capitol, and paid visits to private law firms, international corporations and a state prison. The cost of the field trips is included in the tuition.

Free Time

Although the program classes are highly engaging, participants still have sufficient free time for other activities. Optional field trips are available to local cultural and historic sites, such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Guthrie Theater. And of course participants can explore on their own. Participant housing is in downtown Minneapolis, near the exciting Warehouse District, and within walking distance of the light rail which goes to the Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping mall, and to other popular sites such as Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling. In addition, William Mitchell holds an opening reception to welcome the students to the program and a final wrap-up and certification dinner at the conclusion of the program.

Language Level

All courses are conducted in English without the aid of an interpreter. Therefore, it is assumed that students will have at least an intermediate level of English when they apply for the program.