Certificate Program in US Law and Communication Skills

Welcome to USCLS!

Georgetown University's Certificate Program in US Law and Communication Skills (USLCS) allows students to enhance the English language skills you will need for law classes in the United States. The courses are designed to help prepare you to read and write in legal English, as well as sharpen your abilities to participate orally in law classes. Our USCLS courses use materials that are law-specific, including judicial opinions and articles from legal journals and newsletters. In addition, you will receive extensive individualized feedback on your skills development. Finally, the program allows students access to learning opportunities with U.S. lawyers from the Georgetown University Law Center, as well as the unique opportunity to observe the U.S. legal system from the vantage of being located just steps from the capital of the U.S., Washington, D.C.

Why do participants want to study?

Individuals who enroll in this 16-week, spring semester program are introduced to case law, legal analysis, legal writing and developing oral skills needed to actively participate in law classes. They will explore topics such as immigration, religious rights, and privacy. The coursework also includes experiential learning events that capitalize on the Washington, D.C. location and include:

  • Observations of Supreme Court moot arguments
  • Visits to the Supreme Court and US Capitol Congressional Sessions
  • Trips to other D.C. professional centers, such as the World Bank

The coursework and experiential learning platform work in tandem to prepare participants for studying in U.S. law classes.

Applicants with a TOEFL score less than 80 may benefit from additional English language development before beginning the USLCS program. These students are encouraged to apply for admissions to a 16-week, fall semester academic English program through the English as a Foreign Language program at Georgetown University. Individuals who enroll in this fall semester program learn principles of academic writing, reading, listening and speaking while exploring a variety of topics.

Where do participants study?

Georgetown University offers a network of campuses that provide an outstanding education in an international and intercultural environment. The oldest Catholic university in the U.S., Georgetown has been a leader in higher education for over 200 years. Today, approximately 17,000 students, more than 2,000 of whom are from other countries, study at one of the many beautiful campuses that comprise Georgetown University. Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University campuses offer students a rich educational, cultural, and cosmopolitan environment in one of America's most exciting cities. Specifically, participants in the USLCS program have access to three of Georgetown's campuses:

  • School of Continuing Studies Campus: USLCS students take legal English course at the recently built School of Continuing Studies campus in downtown Washington. This new building offers state-of-the-art technology, conference rooms, and research facilities.
  • The Law Center Campus: USLCS students regularly visit the Georgetown Law Center for experiential learning events, such as viewing Supreme Court Moot arguments.
  • Hilltop Campus: The historic hilltop campus offers numerous benefits for USLCS students, including possible eating, housing, and recreation activities.

USCLS participants:

  • Develop an advanced level of English for the field of law.
  • Engage in extensive practice in using all skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, and vocabulary) for law-related materials.
  • Participate in supervised field experience in which they use their legal English skills outside the classroom.
  • Participate in organized cultural activities.
  • Experience a vibrant university community.
USCLS Courses

USCLS students take the following courses in the Spring Semester. These course employ materials that are law-specific, including judicial opinions and articles from legal journals and newsletters.

  • US Legal Practice (3 hours/week): This course introduces students to case law, legal analysis, and legal writing.
  • Drafting and Interpreting Legal Texts (10 hours/week): This course further prepares law students to read and write legal English.
  • Oral Communication in the Law (6 hours/week): This course develops oral skills needed to actively participate in law classes.
  • Legal Seminar (3 hours/week): This course complements these core courses, predominantly focusing on analyzing legal texts and developing oral skills to participate effectively in law classes.

The coursework also includes experiential learning events that capitalize on the Washington, D.C. location and include:

  • Observations of Supreme Court moot arguments
  • Visits to the Supreme Court and U.S. Capitol Congressional Sessions
  • Trips to other D.C. professional centers, such as the World Bank. 

The coursework and experiential learning platform work in tandem to prepare participants for studying in U.S. law classes.

Fall Semester Coursework (late August - December)

Some applicants may benefit from additional English language development before beginning the USLCS program. These students are encouraged to apply for admissions to the English as a Foreign Language program at Georgetown University for a one-semester (16-week) academic English learning opportunity. To see if this extra study might be appropriate for you, please contact the USLCS program.

USLCS Application & Admission

Applicants must have earned a post-secondary school degree. In addition, applicants must submit a TOEFL score of 80 iBT / 213 CBT / 515 PBT. Applicants with a lower TOEFL score may apply, but they may be required to complete a semeseter of study in the EFL program before beginning the USLCS program. The following items must be submitted:

  • Application Form: Contact eflgu@georgetown.edu for an application form.
  • Application Fee: U.S. $100 check payable to Georgetown University. This fee is non-refundable.
  • Advance Deposit: U.S. $300 check payable to Georgetown University, applied to tuition. This deposit is non-refundable.
  • Evidence of eligibility for the program: 1) An ETS official TOEFL score report and 2) documents showing proof of completion of a post-secondary education (please send copies of the documents in English, not the originals).
  • Passport and Photo: A copy of your passport as well as a passport-size picture of yourself.

Admissions to the Certificate Program in U.S. Law and Communication Skills does not constitute admission to any other Georgetown University program. Students should not anticipate admission to the University upon completion of the program.