AUWCL Professor Teaches Legal English in China

After teaching Legal English at AUWCL earlier this summer, Cathy Schenker, associate director of the International Legal Studies Program, traveled to Beijing, China, to teach the course to students at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), July 20-23. It is the first time the course has been offered outside of AUWCL’s Washington, D.C. campus.

This opportunity came about thanks to Tao Cheng, a visiting scholar at AUWCL and a professor at CUPL. She took Legal English at AUWCL in the spring of 2015 and enjoyed it so much that she invited Schenker to teach the course at CUPL.

While in Beijing, Schenker taught the one-week course as part of CUPL’s intense summer program. Topics covered included: the basics of the U.S. legal system, the basics of U.S. legal writing, how to read and understand cases, summary writing, legal analysis, how to summarize cases, and how to use cases to answer legal questions.

Of the 18 students who participated, many had very strong English skills and were motivated to continue improving. Some enrolled in the course as a way to prepare to come to the U.S. to obtain a JD or an LL.M. degree. 

Schenker believes partnering with other schools around the world is important, both in recruiting and for sharing best practices. “For me, it’s interesting to hear from others about how they teach in a different country, what their students do, and what’s required and not required.”

Schenker has been invited back to CUPL next summer to teach a two-week Legal English course. In addition, the program could be going to other countries, including Japan.

Outside of teaching the course, Schenker participated in a number of other activities, including dinners with alumni, sightseeing, and meetings with administrators at both CUPL and Capital University of Economics and Business.