Summer law institute brings international students to campus

A new two-week Summer Institute in U.S. Law for international students will be held July 22-Aug. 3 at the School of Law.

Undergraduate law students from several countries, including Portugal, India, Iceland, Denmark and Venezuela, will explore the U.S. legal system, its basic structures and processes and the ways in which it is distinctive from the legal systems of their countries.

The students will assume the role of a U.S. lawyer resolving hypothetical problems that demonstrate the methods and principles covered in lecture and reading assignments.

In the final session, they will orally argue one side of the hypothetical case, employing both “legal English” and their knowledge of U.S. law.

“The law school has a very successful yearlong master’s in law program (an LL.M. degree program) for foreign lawyers who have earned their bachelor of law or LL.B. in their home countries,” said Michele Shoresman, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate programs at the law school.

“We have invited these students for a shorter period of time to see our campus and to become familiar with the quality of legal education we offer,” she added. “International students often hear of institutions on either coast; we want them to know more about the advantages of studying in St. Louis.

“We have learned from the yearlong program that once we bring people here, they love it. We hope to welcome back some of these summer students as LL.M.s after they have completed their undergraduate degrees.”

The more than 20 participants also will examine the structure of the U.S. court system and visit local courts.

They will resolve a freedom of religion problem designed to demonstrate distinctive aspects of the court systems in the United States as well as how constitutional rights are enforced, how the Anglo-American “adversarial” procedures differs from the civil judicature and how judicial opinions operate as a source of law in this country.

Outside the classroom, students will spend a weekend in Chicago and attend St. Louis events such the jazz festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Leigh Greenhaw, J.D., senior lecturer in law for foreign lawyers, and Michael Koby, J.D., director of the Trial and Advocacy Program at the law school, will serve as faculty for the institute.

The law school plans to make the Summer Institute in U.S. Law an annual event.